Brewery uses low-migration inks from Agfa Graphics to print on PET bottles and adds augmented reality

PET bottles with printed images of TV show characters using Agfa Graphics' low-migration inks.
PET bottles with printed images of TV show characters using Agfa Graphics’ low-migration inkjet  inks.

The Martens Brewery in Bocholt (Belgium) is using the newest technologies available (including low-migration, UV-curable inks from Agfa Graphics and augmented reality) to promote a special flavour of its beer on the most popular show on Belgian television. “Bottling beer in PET bottles and printing images of TV show characters directly on the bottle are unique projects as such,” said Danny Dresselaerts, CEO at Martens Brewery. “And we added augmented reality which enables the characters in the images to talk to consumers via their smart phones or tablets. We will add extra TV characters during the promotion campaign so consumers will experience new stories along the line. This combination of marketing and technology is unique and may well change the way we will package food and drinks in the future. We expect the bottles to be a collectors’ item soon, whether empty or full.”

Augmented reality enabled the characters in the images to talk to consumers via their smart phones or tablets.
Augmented reality enabled the characters in the images to talk to consumers via their smart phones or tablets.

The technology combines proprietary, low-migration UV-curable inks from Agfa Graphics with the first industrial-scale direct print powered by KHS technology. The system prints colour images at 1080 dpi in 4 colours plus white at PET line speeds, creating unprecedented speed-to-market and variable-image decoration capabilities.

In 2014, Agfa Graphics’ low-migration (LM) UV-curable inkjet inks were honoured by Essenscia, the Belgian Federation for Chemistry and Life Sciences Industries, with the prestigious bi-annual Innovation Award. The inks are based on specific chemical formulations compliant with European guidelines on food-package printing and are designed primarily for printing directly on packaging and on labels, blister foils, lids etc. for food and pharmaceutical applications. Agfa Graphics’ LM inks can also be customized for specific packaging materials.

Agfa Graphics has a history of designing, developing and manufacturing high-performance inkjet inks for the wide-format sign and display markets and for various forms of industrial inkjet printing applications. The inks build on Agfa’s extensive expertise in chemistry, colour management and dispersion technology. Agfa offers a fully integrated B2B customer approach for developing custom-made inks, fine-tuned to accommodate specific inkjet applications. Agfa Graphics is also a leading worldwide partner within the commercial printing industry, supplying sign and display companies with a range of highly productive and versatile wide-format inkjet printers and platemaking technology in addition to workflow automation software. Commercial, newspaper and packaging printers in particular use the OEM’s range of solutions – including hardware, software and consumables. Agfa Graphics Canada is located in Mississauga, Ontario.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.