Consumables
Agfa Graphics this spring is set to launch a new chemical-free plate line called Adamas. The company states Adamas will be the most durable chem-free plate available on the market, in terms of plate throughput and run length. Agfa states the plate system will require zero water and provide up to 75 percent less waste when compared to similar products.


Adamas leverages new Agfa-patented ThermoLink technology, which, according to the company, provides run lengths as long as 350,000 copies. Adamas can be used in a variety of print environments like sheetfed and cold-set to heatset printing. The plate is compatible with low-power curing UV inks.

“When we designed Adamas, we kept every need of the most advanced commercial printers in mind. The result shows innovation on all fronts – increased durability, enhanced performance and responses to the biggest market trends, such as low-power curing inks,” said Iris Bogunovic, Product Manager for Thermal Plates. “Adamas is a testament to our ECO3 sustainable innovation drivers, which bring ecology, economy and extra convenience to our customers. With Adamas, commercial printers enjoy every advantage of chem-free printing, combined with new technology, ThermoLink, that takes press performance and process efficiency to new heights.”

The highly sensitive plate Adamas was designed for use with Agfa Graphics’ dedicated Adamas clean-out units, which can be cleaned with pH-neutral clean-out solution and zero water.
Sun Chemical in January launched a new UV offset ink developed, explains the company, to make sophisticated graphics look stunning and vibrant on high-end luxury folding cartons, while at the same time providing the longer-term shelf appeal.  

The new ink system, called SunCure Aspire UV, has been formulated to exhibit what Sun Chemical describes as immense colour transparency to help create vivid colour graphic effects on metallized, lenticular and holographic board stocks frequently used for pharmaceutical, perfume, liquor, cosmetic and POP applications.

The company continues to explain that SunCure Aspire UV inks offer “excellent transfer, a wide water window, a high degree of lithographic stability, very high pigment strength to ensure mileage on press, and good lightfastness so shelf appeal remains consistent over time.” This ink system has been designed to work well with Sun Chemical’s SunInspire special effects coatings in the production of cartons.

Sun Chemical explains the new UV ink system does not use any of the “exclusion-type photoinitiators” that are sometimes considered to be a concern to many brand owners and regulatory bodies. 

SunCure Aspire UV inks, according to the company, also deliver strong adhesion properties to many non-porous substrates. SunCure Aspire UV inks are available in a range of high strength blending colours for all spot colour needs, and meet ISO color requirements for GRACoL G7 applications.
Sun Chemical has introduced a set of migration-compliant metallic inks for sheetfed offset printing. The new set, part of Sun Chemical’s SunPak FSP range of bio-based, lithographic inks for board and paper, comprises four colours – silver, rich gold, rich pale gold and pale gold. The SunPak set of migration-compliant, metallic inks is now available in Europe, North America and South America.

The inks are ideally suited for food packaging, explains the company, as they have been fully certified as migration-compliant. Developed to ensure that there is no batch-to-batch variation and offering a storage life of 12 months, the new inks will be dispatched to customers as a ready mixed, one-pack system.
 
The new inks have been validated in tests by existing customers, Sun Chemical explains their feedback indicates that the new range of metallic inks delivers good storage stability, is more robust on press compared with other migration-compliant inks and has drawn level with standard oil-based metallic inks in terms of metallic brilliance.
 
“In line with Sun Chemical’s commitment to continuous innovation to help our customers operate more productive, profitable and sustainable businesses, we’re now introducing our latest set of metallic inks,” said Detlef Trautewein, Technical Service Manager, Sheetfed Europe, Sun Chemical. “Offering an unsurpassed level of shine, together with a 12-month storage life, batch consistency and a migration-compliant certification in a one-pack system, we’re confident that these new additions to our SunPak range will enable our customers to produce stand-out packaging for their customers.”
CRON-ECRM at PRINT 17 will debut and demonstrate the Blackwood Digital-UV plate. In addition, CRON-ECRM will be producing all of the offset plates being run on the RMGT 9 Series 8-up press on an adjacent booth.

The CRON Blackwood Emerald-UV low chemistry plate, explains the company, is designed to minimize the consumption of chemicals and water for UV exposed plates. With a wash-out bath, CRON explains the plates are press ready in a matter of seconds, with dot reproduction from 1-98% for either stochastic screening (20 micron) or conventional screening up to 200 lpi. Run length is rated for up to 50,000.

For UV ink printing, Blackwood offers UV double coating plate, HUV whose run length is over 50,000 and dot reproduction 1-98% at 350 lpi. For normal ink printing, HU-PXX the run length can go up to 100,000 and dot reproduction 1-98% at 350 lpi.

At PRINT 17, CRON-ECRM will also be running the CRON UVP4664G+X+ UV CTP solution, which is geared to commercial printers who have a half-size or a full 8-up press. This fully automated system will feature a Multi Cassette loader. With CRON’s magnetic linear drive platform, integrated online punch and dynamic drum balance the registration accuracy is up to 0.01mm and the tonal range is 1-99% in either conventional or stochastic screening.

The CRON HDI-600S Flexo CTP will also be on display, an imager designed for label printing running digital photopolymer plates, ablative films, and polyester-based letterpress plates.
Fujifilm North America is to debut the Superia ZD offset plate technology, a new addition to its processless plate portfolio for the commercial market, at PRINT 17. It will be demonstrated with the existing Superia Ecomaxx-T plate.

The company describes the Superia ZD as a true no-process thermal plate, with no effluent to dispose of and no additional consumables to contend with.

“Superia ZD provides superior performance when printing under UV ink conditions, and also allows for improved run length in non-UV ink environments,” said Jim Crawford, Director, Consumable Sales, Fujifilm. “UV durability was one of the key driving factors in this development.”

Superia ZD performance is maximized with Fujifilm Hunt fountain solutions, including Superia PressMax JRDC-AB, compatible with UV/LED-UV/H-UV or conventional inks; along with the single-step Superia PressMax PPF-DC, a fountain solution with calcium control additive, also suitable for UV/LED-UV/H-UV or conventional inks.
Sun Chemical has named Veritiv as a distribution partner of its Streamline solvent inkjet inks for wide format and super wide format printers.

The new distributor partnership, according to a Sun Chemical statement, allows the two companies to reach their North American inks customers faster and more efficiently and jointly provide customers with technical and product support.

Veritiv customers will now have access to Sun Chemical’s range of Streamline inkjet eco solvent inks for Mutoh and Roland printers, as well as super wide format inks for three- and five-metre solvent printers.

“As we continue to expand into new wide format markets, one of our goals is provide our customers with the leading products, selections and solutions available,” said Scott Dickerson, Product Manager, Wide Format for Veritiv. “We are pleased to be able to offer Sun Chemical’s product line which is supported and developed through industry leading research and technical expertise.”
Sun Chemical’s recently introduced SunBar (Aerobloc) oxygen barrier coatings are aimed at converters to provide durable and sustainable films that support lighter weight packaging. It creates a homogenous, pinhole-free, and flexible gas barrier layer that can be easily overprinted, explains Sun Chemical, with inks and laminated to a variety of secondary films. SunBar Aerobloc is compostable, chlorine- and metal-free alternative that can be applied with few changes to current equipment.

Through its partnership with acpo ltd., Sun Chemical can also deliver SunBar (Aerobloc) pre-coated films to converters to have alternative barrier films with improved barrier protection without needing to make capital investments in a coating unit. SunBar(Aerobloc) coated films from acpo are well suited for clear high barrier flexible packaging structures and also for ultra-high barrier metalized film structures.
Effective May 15, 2017, Sun Chemical customers will see a price increase of up to eight percent on all inks and coatings containing acrylic.

Depending on the amount of raw materials used, geographical region, and other factors, the price will increase on all water-based and UV/EB inks and coatings. Sun Chemical faults disruption in the production of materials like styrene and acrylic acid used in the making of inks and coatings for the increase.

Other product lines may also be affected depending on the production of other raw materials like nitrocellulose, distillates, solvents and soya oils.

Sun Chemical says sales representatives will be contacting each customer to explain which products will be affected by the price increase.

The Graphic Systems Division of Fujifilm is teaming up with alfa CTP Systems Inc. for the production of environmentally progressive newspaper printing plates.

Fujifilm will combine its Superia Ecomaxx-T, a no-process thermal plate with alfa CTP’s Accelero thermal Computer to Plate machines. The union eliminates the need for plate processors and with them, the cost of ownership, operation and maintenance. It also means no chemistry to handle or dispose.

Hands-on demonstrations of an Accelero plate setter are being held at Fujifilm’s Chicago Technology Centre and sample plates will be made available to customers within the newspaper industry.
Toyo Ink Co. Ltd., a member of the Toyo Ink Group, has unveiled its development of the Elex-one series of electron beam (EB) curable flexo inks. The new Elex-one series is completely VOC-free, making it suitable for food-safe flexible and carton packaging applications.

The flexible package printing market has seen growing interest from package printers and converters in VOC- and CO2-reducing technology, according to Toyo, due to increased environmental and safety concerns, as well as regulatory requirements. The company explains demand is particularly strong in North American and European markets, where flexo inks based on solvent materials are mainstream technologies. In particular, Toyo relates the growing industry demand for both water-based flexo and EB-curable flexo inks to the the drupa exhibition last May.

“Many of the EB flexo inks out on the market today contain small traces of solvent that is chemically added into the ink during the curing process,” said Katsumi Yamazaki, president and CEO of Toyo Ink. “The Elex-one series was specially formulated by Toyo Ink engineers to cure using only EB irradiation — without the addition of a volatile component. As a result of this, we are able to offer a completely VOC-free solution that still provides the high print quality and performance results that are our customers require.”

EB flexo inks do not evaporate or volatilize on the printing press, explains Toyo, so the ink does not change in consistency during processing. Since ink curing does not occur on the plate, stable print quality can be achieved even over long runs. In addition, EB inks are highly safe from chemical migration in that its composition is free of solvents or photoinitiators, making it a non-hazardous material suitable for use in food packaging materials and sanitary products.

Elex-one is currently undergoing trial testing for the European market. Once approved, Toyo Ink plans to begin the commercial release of the product in the region. Subsequent launches into new markets are expected once the company establishes a foothold in Europe.
Sun Chemical has expanded its online support platform, SunSupportOnline.com, to its Canadian customers. Available now in both French and English, the online platform includes the ability to view order history, re-order products from a personalized product catalogue, and check the shipment status of open orders.

In addition to the Canadian-support, SunSupportOnline.com has also been optimized for mobile functionality and improved tracking information. “Increasingly customers want to interact via the web to improve productivity – either to check their order history, track a shipment or reorder common products. They just need a quick, o-line solution to answer their questions and support their needs,” said Penny Holland, Vice President of Marketing, North American Inks, Sun Chemical.
 
Existing customers can sign up online at SunSupportOnline.com. The process requires registration and verification by Sun Chemical.
With the relocation of its UV ink production from Lachen, Switzerland, to its primary plant in Kirchheim, Germany, printing-ink manufacturer hubergroup decided to update many of its products for the UV offset segment. Following a test phase, these upgrades have now reached full market-readiness. While the brand names of the NewV series have been retained, a new product line has been created for LED-curing products.

hubergroup explains these emerging UV technologies in particular, such as printing with LED lamps or iron-doped lamps, demand inks and lacquers with new characteristics. The potential of LED printing systems is limited by the currently available inks and coatings, but will continue to gain more R&D focus from ink manufacturers.

“These new curing technologies make is possible to customize press technology more specifically to customers' requirements,” said Carsten Zölzer, Product Manager UV Inks at hubergroup. Colleague Roland Schröder also explained: “As a printing-ink manufacturer, we can support printing houses by supplying them with inks and lacquers precisely formulated for these specialized applications.”

In addition, hubergroup has also revised its ink series for conventional UV printing using standard UV mercury lamps.
Flint Group has introduced a new letterpress plate, called nyloprint WF-S, with a softer layer. The water-washable, film-based nyloprint WF-S plate, according to Flint, provides more flexibility and improved ink transfer over previous products.

The new nyloprint WF-S plate, developed by Flint Group Flexographic Products, as the global supplier of nyloprint® letterpress printing plates, replaced the nyloprint WF-M printing plate type as of November 2015.

Compared to the previous type, the new nyloprint WF-S film-based plate has what Flint describes as a softer plate surface for more varied applications. Flint explains the soft surface provides improved ink transfer resulting in optimal ink lay-down, especially on rough surfaces.

The nyloprint WF-S plate, according to Flint, is particularly suitable for special applications like blister pack printing but also for rotary letterpress, coating units and imprinting units. It also provides for fast plate processing, which Flint describes as reproduction being completed within 25 to 35 minutes. Flint also explains the WF-S plate provides a wide exposure latitude combined with high intermediate depths and very good durability for long print runs.

The nyloprint WF-S plate is available in thicknesses of 0.70, 0.80, and 0.95 mm. A digital version of the film-based plate with all the advantages of digital processing is also available on request.
Kodak is expanding its plate portfolio with a new violet offset plate, called LIBRA VP, which the company describes as being compatible with most violet CTP platesetters and plate-line equipment.

The LIBRA VP digital plate is designed for both newspaper production and the quality needs of semi-commercial printing applications, while holding what the company describes as a streamlined easy chem setup.

Kodak continues to explain that, with LIBRA VP, newspaper printers that process plates in the conventional way can now simplify processing and reduce environmental impact by replacing their traditional developer and replenisher with a single, low-pH clean-out finisher. Using this same finisher, Kodak explains printers can choose an easy chem setup that eliminates the plate prewash and post-rinse steps using a modified conventional processor or a dedicated clean-out unit.

Kodak’s LIBRA VP plate provides 150 lpi (60 lines/cm) AM or 180 lpi (70 lines/cm) hybrid (XM) screening capabilities. Newspaper printers can achieve run lengths of up to 350,000 impressions if the plates are processed conventionally or up to 300,000 impressions when easy chem setups are used.

“The LIBRA VP digital plate is yet another new Kodak plate that's designed to make production processes more efficient, more profitable, and more environmentally responsible,” said Brad Kruchten, President, Print Systems Division and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “What's more, this latest addition to our portfolio offers newspaper and semi-commercial printers unprecedented flexibility: they can choose the processing method which best meets their printing needs.”
At the upcoming Graph Expo trade show, beginning September 14 in Chicago, Kodak will highlight its new Electra Max thermal plates, which will be available in the company’s first quarter for United States and Canada.

The Electra Max plates are designed for the requirements of commercial and packaging printers needing a high-performance plate. Kodak explains this includes strong on-press robustness and solvent resistance for harsh environments such as UV, 10-micron FM screening capability, long unbaked run lengths, fast imaging and processing speeds and low chemistry usage.

At Graph Expo, Kodak will also showcase its new Q2400/Q3600 large format thermal platesetters, which can image plates up to 1,422 x 1,804 mm or 1,600 x 2,083 mm, respectively. Featuring unique Kodak Squarespot Imaging Technology, the Trendsetter demonstration at Graph Expo will be processing Sonora Process Free Plates and the new Electra Max Thermal Plates.

Kodak also plans to highlight Prinergy 7, which was introduced in May 2015. Prinergy Workflow 7 software focuses on automating core workflow functions like job creation, collaboration, file processing, trapping, proofing, imposition and colour management. One of its new features allows for callas Preflight Profile Integration. Preflight+ allows the integration of callas preflight profiles for improved quality control and reduced manual touch points.

Prinergy 7 also includes what the company describes as layered PDF versioning enhancements, which provide improved error detection and better control over multiple layers of files.

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