Budweiser Brewing Group UK & I launches unique digital printing technology on glass bottles for the first time on an industrial scale

31 October 2019

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, a proud part of AB InBev, through its Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITEC), is introducing Direct Object Printing onto beer bottles, a unique technology being developed in the brewer’s Tattoo Alpha Plant (TAP) in Haasrode.

This revolutionary technology is being rolled out to market for the first time to customers in the UK Grocery retail sector as part of a limited-edition run of Beck’s Artist Series, which is a collaboration between GITEC, the iconic brand Beck’s and six upcoming artists. The outcome of this collaboration is nine unique bottle designs. In total 200,000 bottles will be available in this limited-edition.

"Direct object printing on glass is a revolution in print and AB InBev is pioneering this technology”, says Simon Gerdesmann, Digital Object Printing and TAP Site Manager. “The state of digital direct object printing is comparable to the first digital label press back in the nineties. In the next years it will grow and will have its own spot in the current labeling techniques landscape."

The printed bottles have ink and varnish applied directly to the glass for a ‘no label’ look, with full 360 bottle decoration and a premium design. Furthermore, this technology allows digital embossing, giving a tactile effect to the glass. "This digital embossing is one of the most unusual capabilities of this technology,” Gerdesmann explains.

“Colourless ink is used to meme traditional glass embossing, bringing a new dimension to bottle decoration - consumers will feel and experience a bottle in a completely different way.”

This printing technology has been used in the past, but the Beck’s Artist Series marks the first time the technology has been commercialised on a larger scale.

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