Expressions digital glass printing solution unveiled

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Owens-Illinois (O-I) has unveiled Expressions, a new solution for design agencies, packaging firms and food & beverage marketers looking to exploit digital glass printing techniques.

Expressions enables late-stage design, combining the benefits of glass with what it calls an agile, marketing-focused capability that facilitates brand engagement, consumer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as a mark premium value.

The digital glass printing solution enables brands to create highly personalised and customised packaging at flexible volume, industrial speeds, and affordable value, with what O-I claims is an unprecedented range of color and design possibilities, compared to traditional decoration solutions.

This, it says, means brands will quickly and nimbly be able to develop packaging to support short campaigns, such as seasonal promotions or limited/special editions to mark major events. In addition, Expressions is sustainable, using organic inks that don’t impact the recyclability of glass.

A premium version of the service, Expressions Relief, will offer brands the opportunity to use customised tactile digitally printed effects, such as embossing and coloured embossing.

Both Expressions services are planned to be commercially available by mid-2019 in Europe and shortly after in the US.

In 2014 O-I invested in a small-scale digital printing equipment to develop the foundations for the Expressions services and validate them with the market. To bring this new service to market at an industrial scale, O-I is making an initial investment in two direct2glass digital printing industrial lines, enabling contactless direct printing, through a Drop-on-Demand process, which only generates an ink drop when it is required for printing. The use of UV inks enables fast and reliable curing, while the CMYK model opens the door to the spectrum of Pantone hues.

Arnaud Aujouannet, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of O-I, said: “O-I : EXPRESSIONS is a valuable step in our continuous commitment to be relevant and agile in meeting the needs of customers and consumers. This innovation is an exciting outcome of O-I’s strategic growth agenda and reflects our vision to emphasize high value segments by leveraging new technology and product innovation along with new attractive customized and flexible service offerings.”

Vitaliano Torno, President of O-I Europe, said: “Europe accounts for 24% of the global personalized packaging market and at the same time Europe is a core market for O-I, so it is fitting that the first step of our journey will take place here. We see the desire for individual retailers to provide unique promotions gaining momentum and brands are increasingly using personalised promotions to differentiate themselves. To execute these types of programs requires fast design and approval cycles with prompt execution. O-I : EXPRESSIONS makes all of this possible.”


Stuart O'Brien

All stories by: Stuart O'Brien