digital
KBA RotaJET 168

A first for the beverage carton industry, this investment taps the power of digital on-package printing to offer new possibilities for beverage brands. Tetra Pak is all set to become the first company in the food and beverage carton industry to offer full-colour digital printing on its carton packages, working in collaboration with Koenig & Bauer, a global leader in the field.

The digital printing technology will simplify the complexity of design handling, reducing time from design to print and opening up new opportunities for flexibility in order placement and product customization. Beverage brands can take advantage of added benefits like dynamic on-package printing and the ability to include a variety of designs within the same order.

Charles Brand, executive vice president, Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak said, “We are committed to helping our customers explore new avenues with a truly smart package, supporting their need for product customization, smaller batch sizes, shorter delivery times, greater traceability and the ability to interact with the consumer. Our investment in this digital printer demonstrates our commitment to support customers with future-proof technologies as the digital revolution transforms the way we all do business.”

The full-width Koenig & Bauer RotaJET 168 digital printer is currently being built by Koenig & Bauer and will be installed at Tetra Pak’s converting plant at Denton, Texas. Field testing of the new, digitally-printed carton packages is expected to begin in early 2020 with North American customers.

Carmen Becker, president and chief executive officer of Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada, said, “Brands continue to look for opportunities to deliver greater customization and personalization of their products. We’re thrilled to offer our customers new and innovative ways to engage with consumers, all while increasing flexibility in the design and order process.”

Christoph Müller, board member at Koenig & Bauer said, “We are absolutely delighted that Tetra Pak has decided in favour of our digital printer. Collaboration between our companies is on an extremely constructive and trusting basis. I am sure that, together, we will significantly change the market for the benefit of Tetra Pak customers.”

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The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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