The decision to advance the technology to a full-scale prototype follows an intensive feasibility and testing phase of the joint development program conducted by the two companies. Over the past 12 months, the technology was employed in printing ultra high-resolution color images on coated metal blanks using Jetrion’s proprietary flexible and formable color UV inkjet inks. The printed blanks were then formed by traditional manufacturing processes into three-piece cans that were subjected to Crown’s stringent tests for quality, durability and abrasion resistance. In test after test, the printed results consistently met Crown’s rigorous standards at every evaluation level.
Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, executive vice president, technology and regulatory affairs of Crown Holdings, Inc., and president of Crown Packaging Technology, said, “Our tests successfully demonstrated the readiness of this exciting new technology for the next move into a full-scale production prototype that will become the first commercial unit for UV digital color inkjet printing of metal packaging. We’re on the threshold of offering our customers the advantages of a breakthrough technology that enables new consumer marketing strategies by providing cost-effective short runs, tighter lead times, faster turnaround and targeted promotions with versioned messaging and personalization.”
Dr. Kenneth Stack, president of Jetrion LLC, noted, “The decision to build a full-scale production system prototype marks a major achievement for the Crown and Jetrion teams that have jointly developed this new high-resolution digital UV inkjet technology for can production. The vision, expertise and experience of our two companies have combined to produce an extraordinary advance in package manufacturing capabilities. The commitment to build the production prototype underscores Crown’s confidence in Jetrion’s inkjet ink and printer technology, and provides a platform for continued research and development of innovative products that open new markets for color digital inkjet production.”
The joint development project has resulted in a number of trade secrets and patents that are pending on various aspects of the technology.