Brau Beviale: Interview with Rexam's Europe Sector Director

High definition prints and glow in the dark inks: Advanced graphic capabilities of cans need to be emphasized, says Rexam

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

The possibilities of high definition printing: Pilsner Urquell
The possibilities of high definition printing: Pilsner Urquell

Related tags Brand Graphic design Rexam

Brand owners are often unaware of the graphic capabilities of today’s cans; and the choices in design and finishes need to be better emphasized, says manufacturer Rexam.

The graphic choices for cans puts the packaging ahead of other formats, said Iain Percival, sector director for Rexam in Europe.

Meanwhile, the sustainability credentials of cans are another key area the industry needs to communicate, he added, as he talked to BeverageDaily at Brau Beviale.

Glow in the dark

“There’s been a number of meetings [at Brau] I’ve joined that illustrate that people are not overly familiar with all the different finishes and capabilities of graphic qualities that we can bring to a can,”​ said Percival. “That positions a can much better [than other packaging formats].”

Rexam has launched its patent pending Editions technology, which enables 8 – 24 variants of the same label to be produced at the same time on a single pallet. Super Premium Editions offers high definition printing of more detailed images, and an almost photographic quality finish, said Percival.

Meanwhile, inks can provide glow in the dark cans, while thermochromic ink changes colour when the beverage reaches the best drinking temperature.  Finishes range from matt to a tactile over-varnish that can mimic fruit skin in fruit juices.

Last year Rexam opened a new graphics and design studio at its European headquarters in Luton, UK, which takes brand owners through the design process.

“Cans – compared to glass or PET – one of the benefits is you have full 360 degree printing capability to bring across the brand value to consumers. That’s one way cans position themselves better.

“Consumers are looking for different finishes, different graphic capabilities, we have a whole range of different exciting finishes that can suit specific applications for customers, particularly when they’re looking for premiumisation or positioning.”

Metal recycles forever

The beverage can industry also needs to continue to push the message about sustainability, said Percival. This message needs to be explained to both brand owners and consumers, he added.

metal recycles forever
The 'metal recycled forever' logo

“The can is the most recycled product; and as a substrate it recycles forever. The more that we can do to get the message and awareness to consumers, the better we will be able to position the can as the pack of choice for the consumer. That’s a message [that] as an industry – we have to raise our game."

Rexam is one of a number of can manufacturers that has started to produce cans with the ‘Metal Recycles Forever’ logo (pictured). Endorsed by Metal Packaging Europe, the symbol wants to encourage consumers to recycle more, explaining that metal is a permanent material which can be recycled over and over again. Rexam, for example, started producing cans with the logo on for UK micro-brewer Concrete Cow in August this year.

The purpose of the logo is to produce a simple, unified message, and the loop logo is used in 15 languages. 

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