Croatian milk and dairy company, Dukat, is one of the first companies to sign up to Coveris Rigid 3D Digital Laser Engraved (DLE) technology.
Coveris invested in 3D DLE, an alternative to sleeved or IML decorated product packagings, commonly used for premium products packed in plastic packaging, in reaction to market trends for improved quality for dry offset printing.
Production of 3D DLE to replace analogue technology will start at the end of this month and customers already include Valio, Danone, and Gropper Dairy who are using the system provided by external partners.
Zoltan Marosits, R&D prepress specialist, Coveris Hungary, told FoodProductionDaily the market is asking for improved quality in terms of high resolution, gloss, smooth gradients, extended tone quality, extension of the colours "dimension" and clean highlight part.
“The printing results of 3D DLE are much better. The details can be printed more precisely and the product decoration as a whole is of a higher quality compared to existing analogue and digital high resolution black mask technologies.”
He added, the only limitation of dry offset printing decoration is the limited printing space, whereas sleeves and IML labels can make use of the complete surface for brand communication.
“3DLE keeps us one step ahead of the competition because if they don’t have this technology, they need to outsource for improved quality,” said Marosits.
“The complete process (pre-press, plate making and printing) is done in-house. The big advantage for us is having our experts (printing technologists, prepress artists, plate makers) work together for a long period of time on a project and the technical discussion is done "face to face" every day.”
Helmut Ruland, director technology and innovation, Coveris Rigid said the printing plates are prepared centrally for all units at Coveris and implementation took four months to complete.
“Smooth gradients, smooth shadow, smooth shine, good details and good readability are the benefits of printing from 3D direct laser engraved plates,” he said.
“We chose to make this announcement now to show the competitive advantage of Coveris; we have carried out our own market analysis to find out what the industry whats and the demand is for better print quality on available technologies.”