Domino is a leading supplier of printing and label application technologies across the packaging industry. Beverage Packaging Innovation talks to Greg Treanor, the company's product manager, about its diverse product range and culture of continued innovation.
For every container, vial, box or demijohn containing a beverage for commercial sale in the UK, one will find a corresponding label denoting the ingredients contained therein, as well as the location of its manufacture and sell-by date. Even the vintage milk bottles that clink through sleepy English mornings at least display the logo of the manufacturer in small lettering across the foil opening.
As the product marketing manager for Domino, Greg Treanor is more aware than most of the high degree of accuracy and reliability demanded by the packaging industry during the label printing and application process. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of the printers that make this all possible. "We've based our reputation over the past 35 years on the reliability and performance of our products," says Treanor.
Founded in 1978, Domino manufactures barcode and label printers for clients across a number of different verticals, overseeing a distribution network spanning 140 countries and manned by more than 2,300 staff. However, it is in the food and beverage sector that it has seen the most growth in demand. "Within that, we're seeing a greater need for the types of printers used in high-speed beverage production lines, where priority is placed on efficiency, speed and throughput," says Treanor.
Adaptable printer options
"We provide a range of variable printing technologies able to print directly onto the material used, whether it's best-before or manufacturing lot information," he adds. In fact, Domino supplies printing equipment for all stages of the production line, from small character inkjet printers to laser and pallet coders. Earlier this year, the company released its new XS printhead for the beverage packaging sector, as well as a new alkali-washable ink for returnable bottles, complementing its IP66-rated A520i inkjet printer designed for harsh washdown environments.
Domino's equipment is also adaptable to a diverse range of regulatory environments, which is especially important in the wake of new legislation being imposed on the beverage packaging industry in a number of core markets. "As a company, we always deliver full disclosure of what goes into our products, as well as full traceability," says Treanor. "Whatever we put in the ink within our printers, our customers are always assured that it will not have an adverse effect on whatever they are producing for their customers."
This is buttressed by a well-funded in-house research and development programme, itself fuelled by the culture of innovation and expertise in printing technologies present within and around its headquarters in Cambridge.
Having recently been acquired in a £1-billion takeover bid by the Japan-based multinational Brother Industries, Domino is now in a position to take the next step in expanding its focus in the years ahead.
"We've seen yet another increase in research and development spending," says Treanor. "This complements the demands of our customers for printing products that comply with new environmental sustainability requirements in their respective countries. We're in a position to plan that into our product design, and it's something that we will continually address.
"It is this foresight in the design of its printing products that distinguishes Domino from its competitors in the marketplace. "Our reputation is founded upon that," Treanor says. "We've always traded on the strong research culture we draw upon in Cambridge; on the fact that Domino was spun out of that. We possess a history of innovation. And, in that respect, we've always led from the front."