Ireland’s Bevcraft Group has ordered Europe’s first Tonejet Cyclone direct-to-can digital printer.

Bevcraft Group is an award-winning provider of packaging options to the craft beverage industry. The company has been investigating digital can decoration for some years, focusing its attention on a purpose-built solution with sustainability, food safety and reliability at the core of its offering. This led it to Tonejet and Cyclone, a digital printing system that deploys electrostatic drop-on-demand printing technology, achieving a 600dpi greyscale CMYK resolution at a speed of 60 cans a minute.

Tonejet’s electrostatic print technology combines a novel printhead architecture with proprietary ink formulations. Its printheads contain an array of ejector electrodes positioned inside an open, cleanable structure. Such a ‘nozzle-free’ structure combined with automated ultrasonic printhead cleaning technology is claimed to provide reliable industrial operation. The ejection process is electronically controlled, allowing precise adjustment of ejected drop volume without any impact on print speed.

The Tonejet Cyclone can printing system comprises all the equipment required to decorate necked beverage cans, including a depalletiser, a can inspection system, can cleaning and printing units, an over-varnish bake oven, a repalletiser, and all associated can transports and conveyers. Blank cans can be decorated in any combination before they are palletised for filling or shipping.

The introduction of the Tonejet Cyclone to Bevcraft’s portfolio provides a flexible short-run option for decorating beverage cans, complementing its existing can decoration processes. Specifically, Bevcraft’s new digital capability will give craft brand owners the ability to develop a market presence without the minimum order constraints of traditionally printed cans. Cyclone also provides Bevcraft with a completely new revenue stream, owing to its ability to produce short runs of premium quality 330ml cans, whilst eliminating waste, shortening supply chains and reducing production costs,

Darren Fenton, COO at Bevcraft, commented, ‘Given the current climate, it might be considered a brave time to invest in new technology, but our objective is to support our partners as they work to return to normal trading conditions during the pandemic. In achieving that, the Cyclone will provide them with the flexibility of production to cost effectively get back-up and running, with smaller batches.

‘The Cyclone end-to-end system is a total game changer in terms of can decoration for the craft market. It will provide us with a cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative for decorating small can batches from one to 50,000 units; still small quantities for the can industry.’

Bevcraft CFO Ciarán Gorman added, ‘We believe that this is the right investment at the right time. Indeed, everything about Tonejet’s approach, from the ink specification through to the logical integration of quality controls, has demonstrated to us that this was the solution we wanted for digital can printing.’

Headquartered in Mullingar, Ireland, Bevcraft has additional facilities in Merseyside and Peterborough in the UK, and Breda, the Netherlands. The Tonejet Cyclone is expected to be installed at its Peterborough facility.

Tonejet CEO Rob Day said, ‘Becraft’s Cyclone installation will open up a whole new packaging supply option for European craft brewers. Crucially, it allows craft beverage producers, many of whom strive to be carbon-neutral, to cost-effectively can small batches without the use of plastic labels or sleeves which can be problematic to recycle.’

Read more about the role of digital package printing in craft industries in the March/April 2021 issue of Digital Labels & Packaging; register here to receive the magazine, for free

Read an update on digital direct-to printing in the March/April 2021 issue of Digital Labels & Packaging; register here to receive the magazine, for free

Find out the latest developments in inkjet printing and printheads in the March/April 2021 issue of Digital Labels & Packaging; register here to receive the magazine, for free