Inks News

Excerpt: Here are the news about the inks industry across the world

Flint hikes inks and coatings prices

OWING to raw material shortages, critical supply chain conditions and supply disruptions, Flint Group Packaging Inks in India has initiated a price increase with immediate effect.

Upal Roy

“Unprecedented price inflation has been witnessed in resins, titanium dioxide, pigments, and key solvents; all of these feedstocks affect the cost base of both solvent-based and water-based inks and coatings, ” says Upal Roy, managing director, Flint Group India. He further explained, “Despite our staunch efforts to mitigate these supply dynamics by deploying significant capital and internal resources to efficiency projects, the cost pressure remains relentless. Recent price increases have not been sufficient to offset the cost increase burden and Flint Group cannot continue to absorb the rising costs internally. The situation now necessitates that we pass some increases through the supply chain.”

The company underscored few specific factors that have contributed to the cost increase burden. This includes supply constraints and facility closures of resins and at the same time numerous pigment production facilities in China have reduced capacity, some have been ordered to close, in-line with the 'Blue Skies' initiative. The solvent market is under pressure due to production outages, supply tightening and escalation in crude oil costs, all resulting in a finished product cost escalation between 11-17%. Plus the persistent tightening and price escalation across the titanium dioxide market.

Rising material costs coupled with increased global trading challenges, currency fluctuations and economic challenges in some regions are presenting the industry with a complex and volatile cost landscape.

Roy added, “Product quality and consistency are essential for our customers which is why we will continue to prioritise efficiency improvements and the sourcing of high quality materials at a reasonable price. Customers can always rely on us for best in class products at the most economic cost possible.”

Non-ketone, non-toluene inks from Flint

FLINT Group has unveiled ArrowFlex and ArrowBond solvent-based gravure lamination printing which are free of toluene- and ketone-based solvent ahead of the new regulations to be implemented in 2019.

The two new line of products in India address the market requirement for safe inks for food packaging and labelling. It is known that inks produced using toluene and/or ketone can pose health risks. Mr Upal Roy, managing director, Flint Group India, said, “At Flint Group, safety has always been our primary concern and that is why our development teams have now formulated a groundbreaking range of products which provide printers with the high-quality results and safety they expect from Flint Group.”

“Not only have we developed a safe alternative, but also, we have also been able to eliminate the need for printers to invest in new equipment. With our ArrowBond and ArrowFlex inks, printers can achieve quality lamination print using their existing cylinders and other press equipment. These inks are fully compliant as per BIS 15495 current guidelines and proposed guidelines for toluene-free products. They have been in the market in Sri Lanka and India for over a year and have yielded the desired outcomes.” Flint Group produces ArrowBond and ArrowFlex inks at its India mother plant location in Lamdapura, Vadodara. Anticipating the growing market in India, Flint Group invested a significant amount in 2017 to construct a modern manufacturing environment which includes equipment specifically designed to support the production of these, and other, products.

The facility in Lamdapura is a full-service facility with employees working in manufacturing, technical service, customer service and sales. The facility employs more than 120 people focused on the production, service, and delivery of inks and coatings to converters throughout India.

Toyo Ink to exhibit UV Inks, biomass Inks at All in Print China 2018

SHANGHAI Toyo Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the Toyo Ink Group of Japan, has announced that it, together with its sister subsidiaries, will jointly exhibit at the 7th All in Print China 2018 in Shanghai.

With the aim of expanding the Group's brand position to all regions of the vast country, Group companies from around China—Tianjin Toyo Ink Co., Ltd., Shanghai Toyo Ink Co., Ltd., Jiangmen Toyo Ink Co., Ltd. and Toyo Ink Asia Co., Ltd.—in cooperation with Japan's Toyo Ink Co., Ltd. and Toyo-Morton Co., Ltd., will collectively promote an extensive portfolio of printing and packaging solutions customized to the needs of the Chinese and global marketplace.

Rendering of Toyo Ink Group booth at All in Print China 2018

At the Toyo Ink Group booth E5-B239, products and services will be divided into two broad solution zones: the “Eco-conscious Products Zone” and the “High Function, Special Effect Products Zone.”

Visitors looking to fulfil ever-tightening regulatory requirements for reduced VOC emissions can learn about the group's lineup of energy-saving UV inks, UV offset inks, VOC-reducing sheetfed inks, low-temperature heatset web offset inks and other solutions under the graphic arts banner of the “Eco-conscious Products Zone”.

While a packaging area would feature water-based ink series (Aquaecol gravure, Aqua Liona flexo), and solvent-free and high-solid laminating adhesives designed to address the growing awareness by the global packaging industry to safety and security in food packaging.

The "High Function, Special Effect Products Zone" will feature high value-added products such as adhesives for the lithium-ion battery materials and plastic-extruded decorative mouldings for automobiles. In addition, the group will highlight its special effect inks and coatings designed to make packaging stand out on store shelves, including decorative screen-printing techniques and high-effect inkjet (Liojet) inks for corrugated carton.

Sunjet to showcase its Inkjet Ink Solutions at InPrint 2018

SUN Chemical will exhibit its portfolio for functional, industrial and specialty print applications suitable for a broad range of market sectors at InPrint 2018, in Milan, Italy from 20 to 22 November on stand 1254 in the south hall.

SunJet, the global inkjet brand of Sun Chemical and DIC, will demonstrate its most recent developments in inkjet chemistry and its ability to collaborate on development projects with OEM partners, system integrators and printhead manufacturers for current and future applications across a number of market sectors, including graphics, décor, textile, industrial and packaging.

SunJet will showcase DIC's proprietary SEPAREL hollow fiber membrane technology for the degassing (removal of dissolved gasses) of inkjet ink, resulting in consistently smooth printing, reduced substrate and ink waste, shortened printer cleaning times and lower printer cleaning costs.

Unlike traditional microfiltration membranes, SEPAREL hollow fiber membranes significantly reduce inkjet ink evaporation during degasification and can degasify inkjet ink to the parts per billion (ppb) level.

On the stand, the Sun Chemical Advanced Materials division will highlight SunTronic, developed to cater for the growth in printed electronics and touch-screen technology applications. The range includes new conductive solutions incorporating nano-silver particles for improved sinter at lower temperatures, advanced dielectric materials as well as its latest etch-resist solutions and masks.

Sun Chemical will also showcase the following range of industrial products:

  • SunHytek – heat and humidity-resistant ink solutions for high-tech, appliance panel and automotive applications, for which a combination of high visual impact and long-term durability is required
  • SunCarte – high peel strength, color-consistent screen and offset inks, adhesives and varnishes for laminated plastic cards
  • SunPoly – screen inks formulated for high-speed screen printing on a variety of container substrates.

The Sun Chemical team will showcase its technical expertise, knowledge and understanding of the diversity of end-user industrial-based applications by presenting its portfolio of leading inks and inkjet technologies used extensively in applications within the automotive, high technology interior décor, metal and plastic decoration, direct to product, functional print and printed electronic industries.

Presentations at the InPrint Conference

During the event, visitors will have the chance to hear from SunJet spokespeople in the InPrint conference. On Wednesday 21 November at 3:30pm, Phil Jackman, Product Manager at SunJet, will take part in a panel discussion looking at What are the next big opportunities for Inkjet in industrial applications.

On Tuesday 20 November at 2pm, David Reid, Global Sales Manager, SunJet, will deliver a presentation titled Aqueous inkjet solutions for digital packaging, which will look at the challenges in the world of the digital packaging print as well as the market requirements for ink technology.

Commenting on Sun Chemical's participation in InPrint 2018, Peter Saunders, Global Business Director at SunJet, says: “Inkjet technology is a key enabler for many industrial based applications, which is why it is increasingly being used in, or alongside, manufacturing processes.”

“We are incredibly excited about how its use in this field will evolve and we continue to stay committed to the research and development of ground-breaking solutions to cater for this growing demand.”

“We are confident that our collaborative approach and combined expertise will enable visitors to our stand to gain a unique perspective in to our cutting edge innovations and future technology developments to help them improve their own manufacturing processes, increase competitive advantage and elevate their own market positioning through creative product innovation.”

Siegwerk to showcase customized inkjet inks at InPrint 2018

SIEGWERK will exhibit from November 20 to 22 at this year's InPrint Italy 2018. The company will use this opportunity to present its customized inkjet ink and service portfolio including its latest developments and innovations for digital printing.

At booth 840 Siegwerk will present various application samples provided by customers and partners to demonstrate the wide-ranging possibilities of its inkjet ink solutions for personalized packaging and label applications.

Since its move into the inkjet ink area a few years ago, Siegwerk is today offering analog inks to printers and inkjet inks to equipment manufacturers both for packaging and label applications. The company always attaches great importance to building long-lasting cooperation with business partners.

“With the right OEM and industry partners on our side, we are able to jointly shape the future of packaging printing and further drive inkjet printing for labels and packaging applications”, explains Matthieu Carni, Director Business Unit Inkjet at Siegwerk, the company's partnership approach. With this year's presence at InPrint 2018 Siegwerk introduces itself as competent and reliable partner for digital printing solutions. “InPrint is a small but leading trade show for technical demonstrations of inkjet system developments and new approaches”, adds Matthieu Carni.

It is an ideal touchpoint for the company to share ideas, discuss newest challenges and ongoing projects with customers and other industry partners as well as position itself as leading printing ink provider also for inkjet solutions.

UV & Water-based Inkjet

From the company's perspective, UV and water-based inkjet are the most promising technologies. Two areas where Siegwerk already focuses its activities today. UV inkjet fits with narrow web printing on relatively thick material such as labels, direct-to-pack as well as aluminum blisters and offers good coding and marking options for packaging. UV inkjet inks offer clear benefits for narrow web single pass applications as they cure fast and can be quickly processed, are scratch- and abrasion-resistant and moreover create high-gloss prints ideal for label applications.

When looking at absorbent materials with a porous surface or very thin non-absorbent polymer films water-based inks are naturally offering great opportunities, making water-based inkjet the most promising inkjet technology for single pass large width printing on flexible packaging, tissue and corrugated applications.

Inkjet solutions for standard & sensitive applications

Today, Siegwerk's inkjet offering includes excellent UV inkjet solutions for both standard and sensitive applications as well as primers and OPVs suitable for several scopes. With Sicura NutriJet the company for example provides an inkjet ink series for sensitive food and pharma packaging that works with different inkjet printing head technologies. With Sicura Jet low-odor Siegwerk also offers the only non-CMR UV inkjet inks that are designed for printing labels for household, hygiene and industrial packaging. All inkjet inks are suitable for a wide range of label applications like for example self-adhesive labels for cosmetics, wet-glue labels for food and beverages, direct to pack printing, blister packaging as well as aluminum lids for food products.

“We strongly believe that UV inkjet will become a mainstream printing technology for label applications and moreover expect some long-term opportunities for UV inkjet especially in the direct-to-pack printing market”, explains Matthieu Carni.

“Besides, we expect water-based inkjet to become the future technology of choice for digital printing of flexible packaging.” Even though there are still some significant technology barriers and challenges that need to be overcome, Siegwerk is already working intensively on the development of water-based inkjet inks for packaging applications like flexible packaging, tissue or corrugated board for some time.

Kao to offer water-based inkjet ink for printing applications

KAO CORP. is pursuing change in the printing ink industry with a new innovation. Having already set itself apart from the competition in the promising inkjet ink market by way of a new water-based product, the company has now managed to improve the print permanence, and reduce the odor, of its offering here.

This improved product, Kao hopes, will take the leading role from UV-curable inks when it comes to surface printing applications. Past this, the company is also aiming to overturn the very structure of the packaging market itself, where reverse printing is currently the norm.

Kao first entered the ink market in 2016 with its development of Lunajet, a water-based inkjet ink. The product features proprietary technology for pigment nano-dispersion, is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is the world's first such ink to offer image quality on the same level as gravure printing methods. Now, the company has also added a product grade to be used in surface printing for packaging.

At present, around 70 percent of the market for food packaging uses gravure reverse printing. This method comes in the aim of boosting durability through the printing of images on the back of packaging materials, then laminating the material with film so as to protect the image. In contrast, surface printing applications have been limited to products with short shelf life, such as daily food items.

Stronger printed coating film

But by using a polyester resin, Kao has been able to form a stronger printed coating film, improving print permanence and opening up a far wider range of possible applications. This film comes in at only a tenth the thickness of alternatives using UV-curable ink yet provides the same level of resistance to weather, alcohol and scratches. Its design also incorporates new dispersant and emulsion components.

Kao's new offering here is able to avoid the issue of odor, which is often seen with the UV- curable ink that represents the norm in surface printing. And since processes for surface printing can be made significantly simpler than those for reverse printing, this new technology carries the potential for surface printing to make a comeback in terms of relative market share.

Further, inkjet ink can be used for the on-demand, small-batch production of a wide range of products, and so is being met with rising demand for applications such as product planning. One hurdle to clear here, though, will be popularizing inkjet printing presses that are tied more closely to users, as the printing industry generally sees ink manufacturers and printing companies interact with each other directly.

Having acquired both U.S.-based and Spanish-based ink manufacturers in 2016, Kao likely has ample business opportunities in the international market. Back in Japan, the company appears to be targeting a production increase for its inkjet ink, which it currently manufactures at its Wakayama Plant – with a leading candidate for this project being the company's Kashima Plant.

INX International opens a new plant in Brazil for 2-piece metal decorating inks

INX International Ink Co. has opened a new plant in Itatiba, Brazil to produce 2-piece metal decorating inks. Located in the state of Sao Paulo, the 24,000 square-foot facility is its first new complex in South America since Creative INX was acquired in December 2016 and is designed to manufacture approximately nine million pounds of product annually.

INX International Opens a New Plant in Brazil

Speaking on the occasion Mr Guilherme Ribeiro, Financial and Administration Director for Creative INX, said: “We are very proud to start our new operation in South America. We are holding to the responsibility of providing excellent products and service that represent the INX brand. With this new plant, we will be able to provide better service to our local customers and expand our business in South America.”

The new facility opened last month after construction was completed. Creative INX entered a 15-year lease agreement with an option on another 25,000 square-feet of space on land adjacent to the property. General Manager Luis Eduardo Ribeiro oversees 28 employees at the centrally located plant that was built with customers in mind.

Guilherme Ribeiro further remarked: “Itatiba is the heart of Sao Paulo state, which is responsible for 32 percent of Brazil's GDP. With this facility, we are located between two international airports and are not far from the biggest container port of South America in Santos. Our main customers also have plants located within two hours from us.”

Ribeiro said the facility's new equipment is state-of-the-art and was implemented with safety in mind. “We have installed high performance milling and grinding equipment, as well as dust collectors, ex-proof mixers and press-outs, electrical forklifts and more. All of this equipment is in accordance with INX global safety regulations, which are at high levels and exceed Brazilian standards.”

D. & S. Anastopoulos S.A. to distribute Epple printing inks in Greece

D. & S. Anastopoulos S.A., Koropi, has been Epple Druckfarben AG's new exclusive sales partner for printing inks and varnishes in Greece and Cyprus since June.

D. & S. Anastopoulos S.A. has recently become the exclusive distributor of Epple printing ink products in Greece. Source: stux / Pixabay.

"This cooperation is based on a common philosophy. Both companies want to offer high-quality products on the Greek and Cypriot printing markets. D. & S. Anastopoulos S.A. is a renowned dealer in the printing industry and we are delighted to have won the company as a sales partner", says Gerhard Janssen, Head of Sales at Epple Druckfarben AG. Gangolf Junglen, Regional Sales Manager: "In talks, Greek printing experts have shown great interest in future-proof color solutions. These include solutions for high-quality commercial printing and for sustainable packaging printing".

Wide range of printing materials

Spyros Anastopoulos, Managing Director of D. & S. Anastopoulos S.A.: "We are very satisfied with this cooperation, which promises both companies a bright future. We hope for a successful cooperation". D. & S. Anastopoulos S.A. is known for its wide range of printing materials and as the fastest growing paper import company in Greece.