Canworks Printing recently opened in East Austin in the Summer of 2021. Brothers, Marshall and Ryan Thompson, started their can printing company after seeing a clear and present need during the pandemic and realizing that printing quality was rapidly declining based on cost and reliable availability of aluminum cans. With large, global companies, like ABInBev, Coca-Cola, and others purchasing much of the available can inventory, many breweries were quickly becoming dependent on inferior quality materials, pre-printed cans from other manufacturers, or were defaulting to growler fills and other delivery methods for To Go customers in a time when To Go was the model many brewers were depending on to stay afloat.
Recognizing the global shortage and the issues facing the industry in 2020, the brothers decided to pivot from other business concepts and focused on how to solve this clear industry need. Canworks Printing was created as an end to end service including sales of high-quality cans sourced from around the world, full digital printing based on the latest technology, and graphic design support focused on guaranteeing that labels match can form factors in a seamless and appealing way that does not disrupt a breweries can art.
One of the core goals of Canworks Printing is to get breweries to shift away from single-use plastics. When they learned that shrink-wrapped cans resulted in perfectly good cans being sent to the landfill, they set out to give craft beverage makers an environmentally friendly alternative that still gave them creative flexibility and speed to market. They also say flawed practices like applying can wrapping to pre-printed cans or using inferior printing techniques traditionally based on ink rollers and curing processes that require large commitments and time lags due to the time and space it takes to complete manufacturing. Canworks can print 100 cans per minute with unlimited colors using a digital process that is highly unique in the industry.
According to Marshall, “We are a new digital printing service that allows breweries and beverage makers to purchase printed cans in much smaller quantities, with shorter lead times, low MOQs, and the highest quality artwork. Our in-house printing process uses no single-use plastics (no sleeves or labels), leaving the can 100% recyclable. Since our process is digital, we are not limited to the colors you can use on each can and we can print on demand, which allows us to provide prototypes to our customers prior to production. In short, you get the highest quality printed cans without those pesky plastics!”