Launch of Signite for the "No Label Look" Market

16.06.2021 ACTEGA, manufacturer of specialty coatings, inks, adhesives and sealants for the printing and packaging industries, has officially launched Signite – a revolutionary, patented, high-quality decoration solution designed to significantly reduce, and one day eliminate, label production waste.

Small to mid-sized brands and contract decorators focused on raising the sustainability profile of their rigid container packaging programme can benefit immediately from Signite.
© Photo: ACTEGA
Small to mid-sized brands and contract decorators focused on raising the sustainability profile of their rigid container packaging programme can benefit immediately from Signite.

Depending on the decoration design, the technology can currently reduce label waste by over 50% compared to a self-adhesive label with a similar footprint by eliminating the label matrix, reducing the decoration thickness to about one-third that of a typical clear self-adhesive label and eliminating the plastic of the label material in the non-printed areas. 

Significantly less material mass

Because Signite decorations also involve significantly less material mass than alternative modalities such as self-adhesive labels and shrink sleeves, this novel alternative is much more accommodating to current recycling processes and the expanding brand-led container reuse programmes that are beginning to dominate single-use glass packaging worldwide. The breakthrough Signite decorations provide a real alternative to 'no-label look' labels by combining the look and feel of screen or digital printing directly on the container with the efficiency of self-adhesive labels. Today, decorations are produced using lightly reconfigured narrow web flexo or hybrid digital printing processes that run at standard narrow web print speeds. Small to mid-sized brands have the potential to immediately utilise these new or modified variants of their printing equipment, enabling relatively seamless scaling of their decoration production as Signite technology becomes further commercialised.

Transferring Signite designs to containers requires purpose-built variants of pressure-sensitive labellers. The first Signite inline applicators to be launched will address rigid cylindrical containers at lower throughput speeds. Subsequent system designs, which are in various stages of prototype development, will address aluminium and asymmetric containers, as well as thin-walled container types that require inflation for decoration transfer. High-speed signite application machines and corresponding decorating media are planned as an integral part of the technology roadmap and are expected to enter prototype production in 2022.

Ambitious waste reduction targets

"Brands are taking a leadership position in sustainable packaging solutions, with ambitious waste reduction targets and a drive to increase the efficiency and scope of container recyclability," explains Anthony Carignano, technical director marketing – Signite, ACTEGA. "At the same time, these companies are looking for ways to unlock new premium label aesthetics and tactile experiences for premium products."

"Signite offers these brands the best possible opportunity to achieve all of these goals. The solution is truly ground-breaking as no other technology enables plastic waste reduction on this scale. And as the solution advances and becomes compatible with other production processes, such as digital inkjet printing, the impact on the industry and ultimately the environment becomes more significant."

Signite promises to be a breakthrough solution for numerous market sectors, and in the future aims to support the high-volume production required by high-profile brands. Today, the solution is ideal for low-volume contract converters and specialist brand owners looking for a key differentiator that will strengthen their competitive advantage.

Focus on the glass packaging sector

"In this initial phase of bringing the technology to market, we have a strong and clear focus on further developing this solution for the glass packaging sector. The end customers that will initially benefit from this solution therefore include craft distilleries, micro or medium sized wineries, manufacturers of speciality foods and soft drinks, natural and nutraceutical pharmaceutical products, and household glassware such as candles. With several Beta customers already using glass containers and more versions of the technology expected for rigid PET containers and aluminium beverage cans in the coming months, we expect demand for this solution to accelerate its success and adoption across the industry," says Carignano.

Thorsten Kröller, business unit manager ACTEGA, concludes: "This is an exciting time for ACTEGA and the industry in general. We are developing and bringing to market a solution that will help brands achieve their sustainability goals while providing a unique aesthetic for premium labels. Although it is still in its infancy, Signite is a great milestone for the industry and also an important part of ACTEGA's sustainability roadmap."