Fostering advancements in metal decorating

IMDPA networking

The International Metal Decorating and Packaging Association (IMDPA)’s annual conference took place from 6-7 October 2021 in Oak Brook, Illinois, US. Here is a round-up of the event.

With over 40 exhibitors, the tabletop exhibits were the ideal setting for attendees to network. The exhibitors were able to present their latest products, services, and examples of high-quality work. It was however at the conference sessions, where an exciting announcement in terms of digital decorating for the industry was made.

Crown and Velox launch world’s fastest digital beverage can decorator

Dan Abramowicz, Executive Vice President, Technology and Regulatory Affairs at Crown (pictured), updated delegates about the new solution being debuted with Velox. He presented about the commercialisation of digital decoration solutions for both straight wall and necked two-piece beverage cans and introduced the collaboration.

Dan Abramowicz, Executive Vice President, Technology and Regulatory Affairs at Crown

“Beverage producers continue to select aluminium cans for consumer convenience, long shelf-lives, infinite recyclability and 360-degree shelf appeal. The high-speed, dynamic solution we are debuting with Velox makes these benefits more accessible to brands of all sizes and across multiple product categories.

“From speed to quality to design features, the technology truly pushes the limits of digital printing for beverage cans, and we look forward to introducing this exciting innovation to our partners around the world.

Unique to the technology and solution is a running speed of up to 500 cans per minute, a rate significantly higher than previous limits of 90 cans per minute for comparable-quality digitally printed beverage cans. The innovative technology also prints effectively onto the can surface with or without a white basecoat, streamlining production and allowing the use of translucent inks and/or the metal substrate to shine through graphics when desired. Additionally, it enables printing of images – for the first time – on both the can neck and chime, increasing branding real estate and consumer appeal.


Each year, the IMDPA recognises the skilful achievements of metal decorators. Independent Can Company, for many consecutive years, has won the prestigious “Award of Excellence” and “Best of Category” in Speciality Packaging.

This year, ICC has captured the Grand Award, Best of Show, for the Cheetos Popcorn can that was printed and manufactured for PepsiCo. This same exciting package, featuring Chester Cheetah, won Best of Category for Excellence in Quality for Specialty and Fancy Cans.

Independent Can
ICC has captured the Grand Award

Member of the Year

Elena West, CEO from Ohio Art was presented the Member of the Year Award. Since becoming a board member Elena has gone above and beyond for the IMDPA, serving on three committees, and just recently taking on the role of chairperson for the newly formed Webinar Committee.

Elena West, (right) CEO, Ohio Art, receiving Member of the Year Award from Renee Schouten, IMDPA President

Awards Lunch

The 2020 and 2021 Decorators of the Year were celebrated during the Awards Lunch. 2020 recipients were: John Caperton, The Ohio Art Company, Bryan, OH Bryan House, Crown Cork & Seal, Philadelphia, PA.

2021 recipients were:   Robert Barbato, Tecnocap, Warren, OH; Samuel Martinez, J.L. Clark, Rockford, IL; Doug Roschel, J.L. Clark, Lancaster, PA.

Golf Day

The Scholarship Golf Outing and Banquet was well attended, and the association was able to award four students with scholarship money this year. Since its inception the IMDPA has awarded nearly $100,000 in grants which have been distributed to IMDPA family members as partial college scholarships to be used to offset some of the high costs of higher education.

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