Tonejet brings direct-to-can digital printing to Budweiser at Tomorrowland Festival

The Tonejet Direct-To-Shape Metal Printer.
The Cyclone – Tonejet’s Direct-To-Shape Digital Can Printer.
Marcus Timson
Marcus Timson.

Here, Marcus Timson, Co-Founder of InPrint: The Industrial Print Show and Pure Digital: The Digital Print Show, reveals a unique approach to metal printing that will be showcased in Germany November 14, 2017.

Responding to growing demands for greater flexibility for shorter-run, multi-version beverage packaging, Tonejet, the only manufacturer of advanced electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engines, will put the spotlight on digital printing directly to the can at the InPrint Industrial Print Show in Munich, Germany November 14-16, 2017. Tonejet’s direct-to-can digital printer – the Cyclone – with a built-in Rockwell iTRAK transport system, is designed to remove the barriers associated with small-batch can printing and includes features and capabilities adapted to the requirements of today’s print environment. It’s a unique approach to beverage-can production.

Marvin Foreman.
Marvin Foreman.

“We’ve chosen to launch the Cyclone at InPrint as the show provides us with a great opportunity to discuss developments, changes and requirements within the industry,” said Marvin Foreman, Sales Manager at Tonejet. “We’ll demonstrate how the Cyclone can revitalize production capabilities and create flexible run-length opportunities. This system brings a new level of competitiveness to beverage-can production for short to medium runs, as well as ultra-short runs. Built to accommodate any design and any run length, Tonejet’s direct-to-can printing capabilities provide brands with an opportunity to manage special or one-off print runs, and easily accommodate for events or festivals, social-media campaigns and competitions – or even limited-edition beverages! We recently worked with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, to produce customized cans for a large music festival they had sponsored.”

Budweiser beer can printed on a Tonejet Printer.
Budweiser beer can printed on a Tonejet Printer.

Using Tonejet direct-to-can printing, AB InBev created 10,000 customized cans for Tomorrowland (July 20-23 and July 28-30 in Boom, Belgium), the world’s biggest electronic dance music festival, bringing together some 400,000 visitors from around 200 countries. Tonejet, working together with AB InBev, printed 15 different can designs featuring national flags across just 10,000 units. The cans were produced in the exact quantities required, without the minimum-order restrictions associated with traditional printing. The largest print run was 1,400 cans, with the shortest being only 15 cans.

Unlike analogue processes, the low cost of digital-can production means that specially brewed and branded products can be produced cost effectively and quickly – and every single can can be produced with a different image if required. Long lead times and minimum order requirements are eliminated. And because the system can print multiple jobs without stopping, product time-to-market is significantly decreased as well. The cost per print is comparable to traditional can decorating processes and the digital offering means that ‘one is the new minimum.’


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.