Case Study: Absolut Unique

Challenge
At its glass plant in Limmared, Sweden, the Ardagh team stretched their creative and technical ingenuity with The Absolut Company. Absolute identifies their customers as “unique”, so they wanted to create bottles that matched their individuality. The project called for the need to adapt a decoration process that had been engineered to minimise design variation into something that needed to deliver the exact opposite.

Solution
After a few meetings and brain storming sessions, they developed numerous techniques to diversify the types of bottles that were produced. Computerised valve and control systems were put in place to automatically and continually change colours and spray patterns on the bottles. They also came up with a system to randomly add contrasting “colour splashes” to the bottles during the coating process. Furthermore, there was the introduction of new functionality of the on-screen printing machine for randomising the print start for each printing station in the machine. Lastly, they created a screen and colour changing scheme for the printing process, balancing variation and productivity, and established systems to mix the bottles during and in-between steps to further increase variation.

Outcome
The result, ABSOLUT UNIQUE! A daring concept which has challenged the whole team behind the world famous brand and its packaging. It is a limited edition of nearly four million uniquely designed and individually decorated bottles. Each bottle in this vibrant and eye catching collection has a different colour coating and pattern as well as its own unique label number, giving consumers an opportunity to choose a truly personalised and individually packaged product. As Jonas Tahlin, Vice President, Global Marketing at The Absolute Company says, “Anyone can do one or two unique products but we are making close to four million!”.