Orora launches Helio direct-to-shape can decoration technology

Orora Beverage has announced Helio by Orora, a “transformative packaging decoration and first-to-market high-speed digital printing technology” developed for can design and decoration. The technology is expected to be fully deployed by Q3 2024. 

Orora has partnered with Velox Digital, an Israel-based global developer and manufacturer of industrial-grade direct-to-shape digital decoration solutions, to install the first digital printer in Oceania at the company’s can production facility in Dandenong, Victoria. 

Orora said the name Helio, derived from the ancient Greek god of sunlight and colour Helios, symbolises the brand owners’ ability to realise their colour, texture and finish imagination and inspiration to engage consumers through a means currently unavailable. 

“With Helio, the can becomes the canvas for leading marketing communication, innovation and infinitely unique promotional execution,” Orora said. 

By adding the new advanced digital printing technology, the company, which currently decorates cans with traditional high-speed offset processes, is aiming to provide its customers with a quick turnaround by eliminating with the lead time required for the development of printing plates.

Moreover, the Velox Digital technology is expected to provide greater operational flexibility, catering to smaller minimum quantities and reduced inventory overproduction as well as complement and capitalise on the new multi-size can line investment at Dandenong.

Orora beverage can general manager Chris Smith said, “We have been assessing the development of direct-to-shape digital decoration technology for cans for some time – we’re thrilled about our new technology choice and the introduction of Helio enabled by new high-speed digital decoration capability. 

“Our role in primary packaging is to help our brand owners engage the shopper at the point of purchase. Helio and the Velox solution will transform our ability to do this for our customer’s brands. 

“Once commissioned, what this means for our customers is that wait time will be significantly reduced in delivering a specific can size or label design for activities such as promotions, new products and limited-edition retail events. 

“With no label set-up required and near-immediate supply, shorter, faster minimum runs can be accommodated, providing greater flexibility in product and campaign planning.” 

Expansion into the can market

Orora also mentioned that the introduction of Helio adds to the company’s significant investment in cans capacity expansion, uniquely positioning it to meet the strong outlook for growth in the cans market. 

Orora multi size can line Dandenong

In June, construction of the company’s new $80 million multi-size can line at Dandenong was completed to plan, increasing production capacity by 10 per cent and allowing for varying can sizes and formats. 

A $30 million project to expand can ends capacity at Ballarat was completed in March, and a new $85 million can line at Revesby, NSW, is underway and expected to come online by Q1 2025.  

Smith added, “We are seeing the demand for aluminium cans continue to grow, with particularly exciting developments across a number of categories including craft beer, soft drinks, RTDs and seltzers. 

“Cans are a terrific sustainable, packaging option, convenient for many occasions and most importantly, produced from aluminium containing recycled content, with the can itself being infinitely recyclable.  

“We know that can graphic design and decoration is a critical tool for engaging consumers – with strong in-house can decoration capability, the Helio solution enabled by high-speed, direct-to-shape digital printing, adds even greater value to Orora’s service offering for its customers.”

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