Manufacturers / Technology

Making the case for metal

March 24, 2011
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Sustainable, Collectible, Delectable!  Signature Brands sales are ‘poppin’ with quick turn-around on promotional metal containers from J.L. Clark.

Every year, Signature Brands ramps up to stock the shelves at Walmart, Staples and other major retail outlets with their hot-selling, highly collectable NFL and holiday popcorn tins – all with the help of J.L. Clark’s custom flat sheet printing capability.

While Signature Brands is perhaps best known for its Betty Crocker and Cake Mate brands, it’s also the company behind a tradition as American as apple pie and, well, popcorn, says J.L. Clark’s Lori Hernandez, national accounts manager.

“Big popcorn tins are big business, particularly around the holidays, because they make great gifts that everyone can enjoy,” says Hernandez. “There are also many benefits inherent in metal containers that are good for customer and consumer alike.”

100% recycled steel

Among the most important, points out Hernandez, is sustainability.  The world’s most recycled packaging is, surprisingly, the steel can. Containers like Signature Brands’ are both easily recyclable and easy to ‘re-purpose’ because of their durability, further reducing their environmental impact.

J.L. Clark also uses up to 100% recycled steel in its containers. In addition, the company is working to ‘down-weight’ metal structures wherever possible to take weight out of the container, thus making a significant impact on energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions downstream.

Metal makes brands stand out. The use of steel as a packaging material dates back to the dawn of brand packaging. 

Today, savvy brand marketers are increasingly considering the merits of metal, because of the perception of value it creates in the minds of consumers and as a material that lends itself to exciting, even spectacular decorating.

This can include all kinds of lithography options for color and varnishes, embossing/debossing, even textured finishes.

“Signature counts on J.L. Clark,” says Hernandez, “Because they can take advantage of our advanced technology and experience in producing the very highest quality custom metal decorating. We offer customers an in-house flat sheet printing capability that is, quite simply, unmatched.”

This includes:

•A totally digital environment using the latest computer-to-plate technology for extremely accurate registration and to help meet the demands of our advanced four-color presses.

•The production of printing plates in-house for exceptional speed and quality control.

•A full array of modern two- and four-color presses, to meet the widest range of sheet size and thickness requirements.

•Exterior and interior coaters, for colors, white, strip and spot; and coatings such as phenolic, Organosol Sanitary, etc.

•A highly experienced team. 

• All certified to the latest ISO 14001:2009 environmental standards. While Signature Brands takes advantage of J.L. Clark’s just-in-time flat sheet capability, many other customers choose from J.L. Clark’s extensive array of stock metal tooling catalog to get fast delivery on completely decorated and fabricated containers, even including ‘one stop’ filling and drop-shipping services.

For more information, visit

Get the UV Cure

Every day, some of the world’s finest metal lithography is being created at J.L. Clark.

Now for more customers, that process is taking less time and reducing the environmental impact, thanks to installation of a new UV Interdeck.

With the new equipment, J.L. Clark has added to its existing capacity to decorate metal containers using UV inks rather than with conventional solvent-based inks, which must be oven-dried one color at a time before a second, third or fourth color is printed on top.

By using UV inks that can be cured in a fraction of the time typically required for conventional drying, throughput times are up to four times greater, while at the same time eliminating Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) found in the solvents used by conventional inks.

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