Quebec’s Solucan to install world’s first Tonejet Cyclone direct-to-pack digital beverage can printer

From left are: Marvin Foreman, Sales Manager, Tonejet; Rob Day, CEO, Tonejet; Sebastien Baril, President, Solucan; and Jean-Francois Gaudreault, General Manager, Solucan, in front of their new Tonejet Cyclone direct-to-can digital printing system.

Solucan will install the world’s first Tonejet Cyclone direct-to-can digital printing system at the company’s new production facility in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. Solucan is a new company that serves the ‘smaller’ beverage industry in Canada and the U.S. Its business model is built on just-in-time production, responsive client service and hyper-customization of print runs. The new system will give regional and Northeast American beverage producers all the benefits of short-run digital can decoration – “without the high costs, waste and recycling headaches that come with traditional labels and shrink-sleeves,” said the company. The new Tonejet Cyclone system is scheduled for installation later this month and will be put through its paces at Solucan’s purpose-built site, producing literally millions of unique, customized cans. The Solucan initiative supports craft brewers and other beverage manufacturers in the region.

Sebastien Baril.

“We’re focused on offering a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution to our customers and to theirs,” said Sebastien Baril, President at Solucan. “The government is looking for a recyclable solution and we have their support towards a better canning solution for the industry. Currently, beverage producers wanting to avoid labels have to purchase from the major can manufacturers, whose minimum quantities are far too large for any microbrewer or craft beer producer that we’re working with. With the Cyclone, these issues are addressed. The system allows us to keep up with changing consumer habits, transforming packaging as we know it,” Baril added.

“We’re now able to transform a beverage can into a totally digital portal,” said Jean-Francois Gaudreault, General Manager at Solucan. “Linking packaging to the digital world accessible via your smartphone or laptop, is a total game-changer and provides a powerful marketing tool. In addition to using the space to promote events, marketing promotions etc., you can include codes to link to Augmented Reality (AR) apps and even invisible codes and water marking,” he he pointed out.

The Tonejet Cyclone direct-to-can printing system.

The Cyclone is arriving at a critical time in Quebec, where there’s government pressure to increase packaging sustainability. The provincial recycling body Recyc-Québec is enforcing new environmental regulations, making some beverage containers obsolete. The plastic shrink-sleeves and pressure-sensitive labels currently used for short-run beverage-can decoration have a high environmental impact and will become obsolete when new standards are enforced. Cans produced using the Tonejet Cyclone system are 100% recyclable, providing a future-proof solution, said Solucan.

Rob Day.

Rob Day, Tonejet CEO, said the new capability will transform the beverage industry in Canada. “Now that Solucan will soon have its machine installed, they can offer digital packaging to beverage producers while complying with new government regulations. They will save on material costs, minimize lead times and achieve better quality than with labels,” he added. Solucan has developed its relationship with Tonejet over the past four years and has a wealth of experience in traditional and digital print. Positioned as a leader in the field of digitally printed packaging, Solucan has taken on a mission to support Quebec’s beverage industry in its efforts to market a high-end product to meet consumer expectations while complying with new, strict environmental standards.

Tonejet Limited is part of TTP Group, Europe’s leading independent technology development and licensing company. As a leading digital print technology innovator of packaging decoration, Tonejet is known for its groundbreaking electrostatic drop-on-demand printhead, which can produce cost-effective, high-quality images at high speeds on virtually any type of substrate.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.