Orora rolls out direct-to-can printing technology

Orora Beverage announced Helio by Orora – which the company says is a transformative packaging decoration innovation and first-to-market high-speed digital printing.

Orora has signed an agreement to team with global provider, Velox-digital to supply new state-of-the-art, direct-to-shape digital printing solutions. 

This represents a transformative first for the Oceania primary packaging market, with the first digital printer to be located at the company’s Dandenong can production facility in Victoria.

Helio, derived from Helios, represents sunlight and within this, every colour, shade, gradient and fine resolution imaginable.

The Helio offering allows brand owners to realise their colour, texture and finish imagination, to inspire and 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 currently decorates cans with traditional high-speed offset decoration processes. The new digital printing technology’s advanced capabilities will enhance this offering, providing the benefit of quick turnaround from design to delivery, with the lead time required of printing plates eliminated. 

In addition, the Velox technology will provide greater operational flexibility, catering to smaller minimum quantities and reduced inventory overproduction.

The digital decoration solution will complement and capitalise on the new multi-size can line investment at Dandenong, signifying a step change to the company’s leadership in can decoration.  

“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” said General Manager, Orora Beverage Cans, Chris Smith.  

Once commissioned, what this means for 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.”

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

In June 2023 construction of the company’s new ~$80M multi-size can line at Dandenong was completed to plan. 

This investment increases production capacity by ~10% and allows for varying can sizes and formats. A ~$30M project to expand can ends capacity at Ballarat was completed in March 2023, and a new ~$85M can line at Revesby, NSW, is underway and expected to come online by Q1 2025.

“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,” Mr Smith said.

The Helio technology is expected to be deployed by Orora for customers by Q3 2024.

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