ACTEGA Metal Print Beta Program underway as company prepares for commercialization in 2021

AMP predicts continued rise of tier two and tier three brand purchases

ACTEGA Metal Print Beta Program underway as company prepares for commercialization in 2021

ACTEGA Metal Print GmbH (AMP) has confirmed that within 2020, its revolutionary metallization technology, EcoLeaf, successfully went into beta at six print houses in Europe. Despite the pandemic, EcoLeaf provided these label specialists with a new, differentiating, and profitable service capability, allowing its customers to adapt to changing consumer behaviors. The company now readies itself for EU-based commercial EcoLeaf installations, planned to begin in mid-2021.

Jan Franz Allerkamp, chief executive officer of ACTEGA Metal Print, comments on changing consumer habits within the pandemic, “How consumer choices have changed during 2020 is really interesting. Due to restricted travel, limited duty-free purchases, and much reduced bar and restaurant trade, the sale of luxury products has significantly reduced. And as a result, tier two and tier three markets have started to boom.”

“There is a clear shift in consumer purchases made online from home, of high quality but cheaper products – often wine, spirits, and cosmetics. For some of those products, EcoLeaf is now being used by our customers to provide them with stunning metalized labels. And now that brands understand the benefits of the technology, our customers anticipate the continued use of EcoLeaf for their metalized labels beyond the pandemic.”

The basis of EcoLeaf is a silver pigment that can be overprinted, leading to a rainbow of metallic colors including gold. Integrated inline on analog presses, digital printing presses, or finishing equipment – either new or retrofitted to existing equipment – EcoLeaf consists of a printed trigger image and a metallization unit that applies only the precise and required amount of metal to the trigger image. The result of which is the eradication of foil, leading to huge sustainability and financial benefits.

Not unlike most businesses this year, ACTEGA Metal Print did have considerable challenges to overcome in 2020. These included the lack of trade shows such as drupa, which were to be crucial in its sales and marketing strategy. However, the absence of these shows did free-up resources to enable the company to further refine the EcoLeaf solution, while also enabling it to roll-out other business support functions, such as training, much earlier than planned.


Jan Franz Allerkamp comments on this time saving, “Of course, we greatly missed tradeshows as a mechanism to connect with the wider market, but we did make gains in other ways. For instance, we’ve used the time to further develop our gold solution, as well as our food compliant trigger image too. This is important as our trigger image is non-conductive and suitable for metalized microwaveable packaging, which once we have this certification, opens-up yet more opportunities for our customers.”

Intended for all its guests at drupa 2020, the company also produced a metalized label for a special Bavarian draft beer from Lake Starnberg. As the first beer label to feature EcoLeaf produced metallic decoration, it has since been used in AMP marketing activities to demonstrate the power of the technology.

Announced in May this year, the company also established a partnership with A B Graphic International (ABG). Within the agreement, ABG now manages direct sales, marketing, and customer service for EcoLeaf, starting first in the European Union and the UK. Following significant progress throughout 2020 and the lessons learnt from the early stages of its beta program, ACTEGA Metal Print continues to perfect the technology as well as put the infrastructure in place for a successful commercial roll-out.

“We are very pleased with the success of our beta program to date. With the promise of a vaccine being available in H1 next year, we are also very optimistic about the year ahead and the start of a general economic recovery. In between time, we will no doubt see further adoption of the ´next normal´ with companies finding new ways to conduct business despite the remaining challenges – we will work hard to support the market with whatever comes next. We wish everyone happy and healthy festivities over the coming weeks,” concludes Jan Franz Allerkamp.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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