All4Labels Global Packaging Group is partnering with Actega on joint development of the latter’s Signite decoration technology, which is claimed to significantly reduce waste by eliminating printing substrates. The agreement will bring this technology to Europe for the first time.

The Signite process uses either a reconfigured narrow web UV flexo press or a hybrid piezo-based digital press to create a ‘no-label’ look that Actega says is comparable to direct-to-container screen printing, but in a pressure sensitive application. The process can run at up 200 feet per minute.      

Signite involves a clear coating being printed in registration on a carrier film, acting as the label substrate or ‘liquid label layer’, with no material in the non-artwork space. An ink layer is then reverse printed on the same footprint, and an adhesive layer added, also matching this footprint. A release coating prevents blocking during winding, and during application the adhesive layer adheres the artwork to the product. This requires an inline applicator system from Actega. The initial coating and the adhesive are only available from Actega, but other components could be sourced from other suppliers once validated for use with the system.

All4Labels has Signite lines installed in North America, which have been producing commercial runs of thousands of containers over the last two years. Further development envisaged includes continuous improvement of the technology based on market feedback, as well as market introductions, end use validation, any adjustments identified for different end uses, and label design and printing optimisation.

Under the agreement between the two companies, All4Labels will have exclusive use of SIgnite in the European market.

‘This innovative technology will open huge opportunities, even for markets that do not use labels today,’ said Paloma Alonso, All4Labels CEO, adding that Signite ‘not only significantly reduces waste and improves recyclability and reuse, but also offers tremendous design flexibility for brand owners’.

For Actega, Thorstern Kröller said All4Labels was an ‘ideal and strong partner’ to further develop the process, which achieves ‘unique aesthetics for premium labelling’.