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Stoelzle Glass Group

Interview with Andreas Herzog, Head of Decoration

Dries Van Noten range

Andreas, could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your journey with Stoelzle Glass Group?

I've been with Stoelzle for more than 25 years. Once I started in the glass business, this fascinating material never let me go. After holding various positions in the company, I found my vocation in the field of decoration. I am responsible for the strategic development of decoration and decoration processes, as well as investments in state-of-the-art decoration machinery at Stoelzle Glass Group.

Based on your experience, why should customers consider decorating their glass packaging?

Decorating glass packaging is a multi-faceted strategy. Beyond the obvious enhancement of visual appeal, it adds significant value by conveying a sense of prestige and quality. Decorating bottles furthermore attracts attention and helps to effectively differentiate products from the mass market by making standard or bespoke items stand out.

In terms of decoration capabilities, could you give us a more detailed overview of what Stoelzle Glass Group has to offer?

We have four in-house decorating facilities in France, Poland, the UK and, from 2023, the US. Starting the decoration process at a new site in 2023 demonstrates our commitment to expansion. Our combined capacity enables us to decorate around 500 million bottles per year. This capacity has been supported by consistent and substantial investments over the last 15-20 years, totalling about 35 million in the last decade alone. These investments have included the expansion of decorating facilities, the acquisition of state-of-the-art machinery and the optimisation and automation of processes.

Concept bottle Year of the Tiger | 12-colour Screen Printing | Printing around corners

Can you tell us more about the different decoration techniques Stoelzle specialises in?

We offer proven methods such as screen printing, frosting and spraying. The latter includes various effects and textures, offering a wide range of possibilities including partial, metallic, glitter, carbon, crackled, prismatic, concrete and soft-touch finishes. In addition, classic techniques extend to hot stamping, pad printing, decals and labelling, providing a comprehensive foundation for traditional and established approaches to decoration.

Opaque spraying | Frosting with recycled ink printing

Stoelzle furthermore embraces contemporary technologies in line with evolving market preferences. Effect printing and digital printing offer dynamic and visually striking decoration options. Embossed lettering adds a tactile dimension, giving the glass surface a sophisticated and textured feel. Masked spraying, accessory application and UV gluing or bonding further enhance the visual appeal, allowing intricate and detailed designs that resonate with modern aesthetics.

Monkey Shoulder | Accessory Application

Innovation is at the heart of our approach and our portfolio includes cutting-edge techniques designed to captivate and push boundaries. Quadrichromie, a four-colour printing process, brings vibrancy and complexity to designs. Quali Glass Coat is an advanced process that enhances the durability and aesthetics of glass surfaces. Glow in the Dark adds an element of enchantment, especially in low light. We can also offer Ink jet printing, Tigital, and Fragment retention, as well as our latest addition, Inner Lacquering to stay at the forefront of technology and design trends.

Frederic Malle | Quali Glass Coat, matt effect

Can you highlight any specific advances in decorating technology that the team has made recently to stay at the forefront of the industry?

Actually, Inner Lacquering is our latest technological leap. At our decorating facility in Masnières, France, we have introduced water-based inner lacquering as a new decorating process. This innovative process enhances the inside of the bottle, giving it a distinctive look. The unique water-based formulation of the lacquer is extremely robust and prevents fragrance transfer, eliminating the need for an inner pocket. Inner Lacquering offers design versatility with a range of tones from translucent to opaque that seamlessly complements various external decoration methods.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important. How does the decorating team at Stoelzle incorporate environmentally friendly practices into its processes?

Sustainability is a cornerstone of our business. While decoration is only a small part of our overall glass manufacturing operations, we strive to be as energy efficient as possible in every aspect of our business. In terms of decoration, we focus on water efficiency, with around 70% of waste water being reused. Our energy initiatives include implementing the Energy Data Management System (EDMS) in decorating, which contributes to the overall energy efficiency of the glass manufacturing process. For over a decade we have avoided the use of heavy metals in our printing inks and only use solvent-based varnishes on our spray lines. In addition, we seek to offer our customers sustainable decorating methods such as Quali Glass Coat 2.0, Tigital and the use of recycled inks, not only to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint, but also to demonstrate our commitment to reducing our own.

Ink made from old tyres | Recycled ink

Finally, why should customers choose Stoelzle Glass Group for their decoration needs?

Firstly, we offer almost all decoration processes in-house, providing comprehensive and integrated solutions. This ensures a simpler and more secure supply chain for our customers and delivers consistently high and stable quality throughout the value stream. Our commitment to innovation, sustainability and design versatility makes Stoelzle Glass Group a trusted and reliable partner in enhancing the visual appeal and value of glass packaging.

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