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HomeHighlightsCollaboration Between Marabu and Koenig & Bauer

Collaboration Between Marabu and Koenig & Bauer

13 August 2021: Digital printing enables sophisticated designs and a high degree of personalization at low cost. However, this process was, until recently, not suitable for three-dimensional decorations on standard glass products – instead, a costly made-to-measure mold had to be created for each item. Now, Marabu and Koenig & Bauer have joined forces to create a pioneering solution to this problem. It offers glass product manufacturers an attractive alternative to traditional embossing techniques.

The manufacture of glass products with textured decorations conventionally requires a variety of preparatory steps prior to embossing. This process is associated with high energy consumption, and short production runs are prohibitively expensive. Each glass object to be given a textured decorative finish must be made with its own dedicated mold to produce a suitable raised surface for the embossed decoration. Production is time-consuming and requires corresponding planning. However, embossing is not ideal for highly customised glass items, for which there is currently strong demand, for example, in the perfume and beverage industries, i.e. for wines, spirits and beer. Marabu and Koenig & Bauer have now developed an innovative inkjet solution that allows the direct printing of highly customized glass products of all kinds, from one-off items to large industrial-scale volumes – in conjunction with excellent results. Contours, for instance, are far sharper than with conventional embossing. The precise single pass application of multiple varnish layers is possible, producing extremely textured finishes. This is performed with printing systems from Koenig & Bauer’s Kammann K15 and K20 family.

Marabu’s new varnish was conceived especially for digital printing of textured decorations, in particular on glass substrates. The precise printing method allows designs of extremely sophisticated and elegant appearance on glass objects, such as perfume bottles, drinking glasses and beverage bottles. The number of layers can be varied in accordance with customer-specific needs. The use of this purpose-developed digital-printing varnish permits the creation of highly customised, personalized decorations without the need for dedicated molds. The benefits include excellent contour sharpness, extremely fine textures and exact points, colored and transparent designs, printing of convex and concave shapes, and rapid, simple adjustments during the printing process. Unit costs are not dependent on volume. It is possible to apply any number of designs to the chosen glass product during a single print pass. There is no need for a minimum production quantity or unique molds. The results comply with the requirements defined for dishwasher resistance: 500 cycles in an industrial dishwasher and 50 cycles in a domestic dishwasher. The varnish is also highly recycling-friendly: the print oxidizes entirely without residue when the glass substrate is melted down for reuse.

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