ACTEGA Provides Sustainable Options in The Printing Industry

ACTEGA has been focusing on sustainability in many of their products and in the past month they have again demonstrated what sustainable printing options can look like. Introducing a new environment-friendly label decorating process for a clean ‘no label’ look and new silver coatings as an alternative to foil stamping and metalized board, has shown their seriousness towards renewable printing methods.

Trees in the sky

ACTEGA, a manufacturer of specialty inks, coatings, sealing compounds, and adhesives for the packaging and print industry, revealed the latest coatings to be incorporated into the widespread ACTEGA portfolio. Furthermore, they also launched Signite™, a groundbreaking, ACTEGA patented, premium quality decorating solution, intended to significantly reduce waste in label production, with the goal to one day eliminate it completely.

Silver Coatings Instead of Stamping Foil

In combination with greatly translucent overprint varnishes, five Wessco Polar UV silver coatings, including four Wessco Polar UV flexo silver coatings and one UV offset silver coating for usage from the ink duct, provide highly reflective properties and radiantly glossy effects. One of the biggest advantages is that the solvent-free Wessco Polar coatings offer businesses a high-quality substitute to metalized board and traditional hot or cold foil stamping. Moreover, the coatings are environment-friendly as they eliminate plastic waste. The additional foil application phase from the printing procedure is removed, as the coatings modernize the recycling process by delivering an efficiency and performance increase. Further benefits include overprint ability with UV offset inks, outstanding, flexibility, and proficiency.

“The efficiencies and environmental benefits of the Wessco Polar range strongly support ACTEGA’s company-wide goal to support advances towards more sustainable print production. With this new range, we can offer yet more coatings that will support our customers and their customers’ sustainability objectives while delivering the high quality required by these companies and brands. It’s a truly exciting addition to the ACTEGA product portfolio and we’re looking forward to seeing the many creative applications that our customers will produce as a result,”

says Andreas Käfferlein, product manager for metallics at ACTEGA.

The Wessco Polar UV Silver coatings are well-matched to a variety of paper-based print and packaging applications, as well as food and other delicate packaging categories, thanks to characteristics such as low migration and compliance with Swiss Ordinance and Nestlé requirements. Time-consuming material ordering and extended delivery times are cut out of the process, which the customers also profit from, as this leads to reduced lead times and better cost-efficiency.

Businesses wanted and needed good quality, which was the motivation for ACTEGA to expand their portfolio accordingly. 

A Labelled “No-Label Look”

“Brands are taking a leadership position on sustainable packaging solutions, with ambitious waste reduction goals and a drive to increase the efficiency and scale of container recyclability,”

explains Anthony Carignano, Technical Director Marketing – Signite, ACTEGA.

“At the same time, these companies are seeking ways to unlock new high-quality label aesthetics and tactile experiences for premium products.

Label waste is still a great challenge for businesses and brand owners focusing on packaging production. ACTEGA has decided not only to take on that challenge, but also had success in tackling it with Signite. Compared to a similar footprint pressure-sensitive label, the technology can currently reduce label waste by over 50%. This happens through the removal of label media plastic in non-print areas, elimination of the label matrix, and the reduction of the decoration thickness to about a third of that of a typical clear pressure-sensitive label.

Signite decorations contain less material mass than alternative options such as pressure-sensitive labeling and shrink sleeves. This new method is much more adjustable to present recycling processes and to the growing brand-led container re-use programs starting to take over single-use glass packaging all over the world. Additionally, the decorations represent a novel option to the “no-label look” labels by combining the feel and look of digital printing with the effectiveness of pressure-sensitive labeling.

The decorations are manufactured by the usage of hybrid digital printing procedures or marginally reconfigured thin web flexo operating at standard narrow web printing speeds. Small to mid-sized brands have the ability to make use of these new or revised changes of their printing assets right away, thus granting relatively seamless scaling of their decoration creation as the Signite technology continues to commercialize.

Transfer of the Signite decorations to containers involves designed-for-purpose modifications of pressure-sensitive labeling apparatus. The first Signite in-line applicators introduced into the market tackle rigid cylindrical containers at lower throughput speeds. Next focus points are asymmetrical and aluminum containers as well as thin-walled container types. High-speed Signite applicator devices and related decoration media are intended as an integral part of the technology’s future.

“In this first phase of the technology’s launch, we have a strong and clear focus on advancing this solution for the glass packaging sector. The end customers initially benefitting from this solution will therefore include producers of craft distilled spirits, micro- or mid-sized winery products, specialty food and non-alcoholic beverages, natural and nutraceutical pharma products, and home glassware, such as candles. With several beta customers already in operation working with glass containers, and additional versions of the technology targeted for rigid PET containers and aluminum beverage cans anticipated over the next few months, we expect the demand for this solution to accelerate its success and rollout across the industry.”

says Carignano.

Signite pledges to be an innovative answer for several market regions and pursues to support the high-volume production in the future, that is needed by high-profile brands. As of today, the solution is designed for specialty brand owners and small volume contract decorators seeking a substantial differentiator that improves their competitive capabilities.

“Signite offers these brands the best possible chance to meet all of these objectives. The solution is truly game-changing with no other technology delivering plastic waste reduction on this scale. Plus, as the solution advances and becomes compatible with other production processes, such as digital inkjet, the impact on the industry and ultimately, the environment, will only become more significant,”

 says Carignano.

Thorsten Kröller, President Division ACTEGA, concludes,

“This is an exciting time for ACTEGA and the industry in general. We are developing and bringing to market a solution that helps brand owners achieve their sustainability targets as well as achieve unique aesthetics for premium labeling. Although it is still in its infancy, Signite represents a huge milestone for the industry and on ACTEGA’s sustainability roadmap.”

Do you think more sustainable options are needed in the printing world and do you think other companies should follow the example of ACTEGA? Comment and share your thoughts!

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