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.

To address this problem, Marabu and Koenig & Bauer partnered to create a solution that offers glass product manufacturers an alternative to traditional embossing techniques.

On Thursday, Sept. 23 2021 at 4 p.m., Marabu and Koenig & Bauer hosted a digital live event to demonstrate the new solution.

Innovative Inkjet Solution for Relief Printing on Glass

The manufacturing of glass products with textured decorations conventionally requires a variety of preparatory steps prior to embossing. 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 requires planning and can be time-consuming.

However, embossing is not ideal for highly customized glass items, for which there is currently strong demand, especially in the perfume and beverage (i.e. wine, spirits and beer) industries. Marabu and Koenig & Bauer have developed an inkjet solution that allows for the direct printing of highly customized glass products, from one-off items to large industrial-scale volumes.

Contours, for instance, are sharper than with conventional embossing. A precise single-pass application of multiple varnish layers is possible, producing textured finishes. This is performed with printing systems from Koenig & Bauer’s Kammann K15 and K20 family. The method also permits large areas to be printed, including color gradations, often required for brand logos.

In addition, textured varnish finishes can be combined with colored elements to produce strong visual effects. All printing process steps are integrated into the K15 and K20 systems. Servomotors are employed to accurately position and move the object to be printed and the print unit. This allows the raised decoration of glass products of any shape. The corresponding varnish was developed in close cooperation between Koenig & Bauer and Marabu to ensure it was tailored to the printing process.

Marabu GmbH & Co. KG is a leading global manufacturer of screen, digital, and pad printing inks. The company is headquartered near Stuttgart, Southern Germany – a region renowned for its pioneering technology and engineering prowess. In addition, there is the traditional division of creative colours for hobbies, art, and school.

Marabu has been setting milestones with plenty of industry-first solutions for both industrial applications and graphic design since 1859. With its 14 subsidiaries and exclusive distribution partners, Marabu offers high-quality products and customer-specific services in more than 80 countries.