Digital Printing Now Available for Aseptic Cartons

Brand names employing or interested in working with aseptic cartons for their foods and beverages now have a new possibility for printing individualized graphics and one of a kind codes to develop sensible packaging for purchaser engagement or product traceability.

Tetra Pak has finished putting in its initially ever digital printer throughout its world-wide company. Industry screening of the new RotaJET VL 168 entire-shade digital inkjet push from Koenig & Bauer proceeds but digitally printed business packs are anticipated to come off the line by early 2022.

“We’ve been investing heavily in our Denton and Queretaro plants around the earlier quite a few many years to meet the growing desire for aseptic cartons and wise packaging throughout North The usa,” claims Bruce Mackimmie, vice president of offer chain, Tetra Pak Americas. “Our prospects are looking for innovation, adaptability, and scalability — and we’re very well positioned to deliver on that.”

The full-width push (168 centimeters, or about 66 inches) can print at up to 270 meters for every minute (about 885 toes per minute). On top of that, a electronic offer-printing workflow minimizes time from layout to print. This speeds up time-to-current market supply of filled packs, which could be even additional critical for products and solutions tailored for a distinct function.

Resident digital printing specialist Mackimmie solutions Packaging Digest’s issues about this enhancement.


Why hold out so long to embrace electronic printing? What were the difficulties in building this occur? Did it require a new method of carton changing/producing for the enterprise?

Mackimmie: The digital printer created for Tetra Pak represents the greatest-in-class for single-move inkjet printing and has been produced exclusively to in shape Tetra Pak’s demands. We have been discovering digital printing alternatives for our packaging products for fairly some time.

This challenge is a elaborate conclude-to-stop progress task. This indicates that it’s not just about installing a printer, but also in adapting our get dealing with and structure procedures and establishing components these as ink and paper to make sure our high requirements for top quality print and food stuff security.

We can now offer electronic inkjet printing abilities in the scale and complexity to fulfill Tetra Pak needs. Even though the image handling and printing procedure for digital are different, all other measures in the manufacturing method stay the exact. 


Electronic printing permits more compact, extra custom-made batch dimensions for clients. What is the least batch measurement now of digitally printed Tetra Pak cartons? What was the bare minimum batch sizing in advance of of commercially printed Tetra Pak cartons?

Mackimmie: Minimums below our present-day flexo printing system can range depending on the bundle form and size, as nicely as colors employed in the layout. As we get started professional-scale trials making use of the newly put in digital printer, we will be able to create new order ranges.

For the reason that the electronic printer permits for dynamic printing of distinctive layouts inside of the same mother roll of paper, minimums will inherently be scaled-down. While this is a benefit to digital printing, we imagine the much larger price to our prospects will be the means to differentiate as a result of customization.


The before January 2019 press launch announcing the strategy to set up a Koenig & Bauer electronic press claims, “Field tests of the new, digitally-printed carton packages is predicted to commence in early 2020 with North American customers.” Why the 1.5-yr hold off in receiving the electronic printer up and managing?

Mackimmie: Various things contributed to delays in the producing and installation of the printer. As a initially in the market, we were generally in uncharted waters and conquering challenges in real time. This set us back again just plenty of to be impacted by supplemental delays thanks to intercontinental vacation limitations relevant to COVID-19.

The set up team has been pretty dynamic in taking care of a lot of the challenge via remote assistance when partners could not be onsite. Nevertheless, remote support adds unpredicted complexities and time. The winter storms in Texas also developed worries to the unique timeline.   

Tetra Pak digital printing quote-web.jpg

What is the value of staying able to print cartons digitally vs . standard print?

Mackimmie: 1. Enhanced customer engagement. It is now attainable to print exclusive digital codes on each individual deal for the duration of changing. When a client scans the code with their smartphone, it will open a world wide web webpage or other asset that can relay a extensive total of information and facts — from the place the item was designed to where the bundle can be recycled. This makes it possible for food items and beverage companies to switch their offers into complete-scale knowledge carriers.

2. Pack-by-pack customization permits variable printing of complete bundle style and design. Textual content and layout things can be varied inside of the very same order.

3. Smaller sized get sizes allow for greater opportunities of customization and creativity. This can be a major advantage in programs like seasonal products, customized models for situations, and much more.

4. The capability to deal with the ongoing need by way of more powerful product diversification will make it possible for food stuff and beverage brand names to deal with lucrative niche markets. By employing variable content material and larger style diversification, Tetra Pak is supporting its customers to accomplish a superior products encounter.

Ellen C. McGowan

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