Fancy dress – The new delight of decorating

For the marketing experts, Stefan Richter did some crystal-ball gazing: what will the future of container dress look like? Krones has sponsored the first themed day, “Idea – Process – Success” in the Innovation Flow Lounge at the drinktec.

Stefan Richter heads the Labelling and Inspection Technology Division at Krones, and does a lot of intensive work on container decoration. In a brief presentation on the first morning of the fair, he showed how bottlers can achieve a maximum of flexibility for their labelling operations: “Labelling is in the broadest sense of the term advertising. Which means it’s dynamic. Abundant possibilities, no musts.” Today’s modularised labellers already feature the technology needed to cope with the beverage industry’s multifaceted requirements. But there’s going to be even more individualisation.

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When a customer in a supermarket looks at the choice of products on the beverage shelves, the label may prove crucial in finalising his or her decision. For the bottlers, this means: distinctive individuality to stand out from the competition is vital. In practice, small batches have to be handled, which necessitate rapid change-overs. The solution for future requirements may prove to be direct printing. On Krones’ stand in Hall B6, the first labeller able to meet all the stipulations of future marketing is up and running: it’s called DecoType. What’s really impressive about it, reported Stefan Richter, is how three-dimensional surfaces can be applied to special-shaped bottles. This means that raised and recessed areas on plastic containers are no longer a problem. Variable data like barcodes, QR codes or competition codes can be easily integrated, products personalised. This technology can basically be used for glass bottles as well. Here, implementation is still a question of the ink quality. As far as the technology itself goes, direct printing on glass bottles is already feasible.

The speaker encouraged the international marketing experts to enter into an exchange of ideas. “We live from an ongoing dialogue. As a machinery manufacturer, we have to know what direction beverage marketing intends to pursue. What we want is mutually supportive partnership.”