Digital printing for beverage cans

Ball Packaging Europe signs long-term technology agreement

Ball Packaging Europe, one of the leading beverage can makers in Europe, and Tonejet, the British manufacturer of advanced electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engines, have today signed a strategic technology agreement. According to the terms of the contract, Tonejet will supply print engine technology and grant licences in respect of the printing of various packaging products belonging to Ball's international product portfolio. "This contract is a milestone in one of our most important innovative projects: the digital printing of beverage cans", explains Gerrit Heske, President of Ball Packaging Europe. "We have created a sustainable basis to advance and further develop this seminal technology."
The contract also includes a global service and maintenance agreement which ensures that Ball has access to Tonejet’s support in next-generation packaging print applications across the world. A prototype of the digital printing machine was installed at the beverage can plant in Haßloch in the spring of this year. The signing of the contract was preceded by a longer pilot phase.

Using the digital printing technique developed by Ball Packaging Europe in collaboration with Tonejet, it is possible to produce beverage cans each with an individual design. This means that the technology opens up completely new market potential, in particular in respect of promotional campaigns and the use of beverage cans at big events.

"I was personally involved in the technology project with Tonejet from the very start and therefore I am aware of the potential which this innovation offers brand producers when it comes to printing packaging. Digital printing opens up completely new options for us and our customers", says Gerrit Heske.

Ray Southam, CEO of Tonejet stresses: "Now Ball has certainty over the long-term supply of our digital printing technology. This agreement typifies what companies need to allow them to cooperate more closely during new process developments. I firmly believe that the easiest way that major advances can be made profitably during recession is through such closer collaboration."

Ball Packaging Europe
Ball Packaging Europe is one of the leading beverage can makers in Europe with 2,900 employees and 12 production sites in Germany, France, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Poland and Serbia. The company is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation, which produces high quality metal and plastic packaging for the beverage, food and household goods industries. In addition Ball Corporation supplies aerospace technology as well as other technologies and services predominantly to the US-American government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries worldwide employ more than 14,000 staff and reported turnover of some 7.6 million US dollar in 2008.

About Tonejet Limited (TJL)
TJL owns, develops, supplies and licenses Tonejet Technology, a powerful new digital printing process targeted at commercial and industrial applications, primarily package decoration. TJL works closely with industry leaders in the key target sectors in order to commercialise its technology and bring the benefits of digital printing to the high volume, multi-billion dollar markets where cost, reliability and throughput are critical factors. The company is part of the TTP Group, Europe’s leading independent product and technology development and licensing organisation. It is headquartered in Melbourn, near Cambridge, UK.

Tonejet was the delighted recipient of the Killer Technology category at the Business Weekly Awards. Tonejet was crowned winner in recognition of its unique electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engine. The print engine works on our proprietary electrostatic drop-on-demand deposition technology which allows photographic quality images to be printed directly onto virtually any type of material including plastic film, paperboard and metal.
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Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at Factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include product demand fluctuations; availability/cost of raw materials; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve productivity improvements or cost reductions; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; political instability and sanctions; and changes in foreign exchange or tax rates; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the company as a whole include those listed plus: changes in senior management; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures; regulatory action or issues including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government budget, sequestration and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives; interest rates affecting our debt.