Consumables
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.

The hubergroup USA Inc. and GFI Innovations, after an existing 10-year business relationship, have entered into a dealer agreement aimed at hubergroup’s offset- and flexographic-ink customers in the U.S. and Canada.

hubergroup provides a range of products, including ink-mixing systems, for commercial, news and package printing applications. The company has a global sales network of over 150 offices and 40 regionally operated ink-manufacturing companies.

“Our relationship with GFI Innovations extends more than 10 years. Recently we have been very successful in the packaging inks market in the USA and Canada,” said Martin Weber, Group Managing Director for hubergroup USA Inc. “Especially in this market segment, we see strong potential for our cooperative efforts with GFI by offering printers integrated solutions for in-house colour mixing. Our business has also been more active on the flexo ink side and the market is growing.”

hubergroup uses GFI’s AccuBlend-HV for offset litho inks and the new AccuBlend-LV for flexo applications. Both systems provide hardware and software designed to improve control over the ink mixing process, schedules and workflow.
INX International Ink Co. on July 29 held a grand opening ceremony for its new 63,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Ohio. The plant is expected to produce 37-million pounds of solvent ink for packaging annually and employs 38 people. It occupies 11 acres in the Lebanon Commerce Center Business Park northeast of Cincinnati.

The building includes manufacturing space, a lab for colour management and development, and quality control and testing areas. Designed to also manufacture some other INX product lines as well, the new building is expandable to 90,000 square feet for future growth.

“Our business has been growing in the liquid ink division over the past several years, so we are extremely excited about this new facility,” said Rick Clendenning, President & CEO of INX International, when addressing the Open House guests. “It will help us support our loyal existing customers while we continue our growth trend this year and in the future.”

Clendenning continued to explain the location of the Lebanon, Ohio, facility will support INX' interests in the Southern United States and Mexico. John Hrdlick, INX Chief Operating Officer who was responsible for managing the project, explains planning to expand the company's solvent ink capabilities initially began in 2011, and the decision to build a new complex was made in 2012.

“We went to great lengths to design and build a solvent manufacturing plant with the very best safeguards for a safe working environment,” said Hrdlick. “Safety is a global top priority for Sakata INX. There is always the human factor that requires constant vigilance and safety training, however, we are very proud with the high level of safety built into this facility.”

INX International Ink Co. is the third largest producer of inks in North America with over 15 facilities in the U.S. and Canada, and is a global supplier as part of Sakata INX worldwide operations.
Sun Chemical expands its Streamline line of OEM-compatible solvent-based inkjet inks, first introduced into the market here in 2014, with the launch of new low-odour inks for North American printers.

The new Streamline ESL HPQ inks are the first inkjet products to leverage Sun Chemical’s recently developed low-odour chemistry. The inks have been developed for the Roland Soljet Pro 2, Pro 3 and VersaCAMM printers, explains the company, and are also described as being compatible with Mutoh ValueJet printers along with other eco-solvent inkjet printers using Epson DX 4 through to DX 7 piezo inkjet print heads.

“The industry is seeing a boom in entrepreneurial start-up companies using wide format printers and these companies tend to occupy smaller offices,” said Penny Holland, Vice President Marketing, North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “Because many of our customers now work in closer proximity to the printer, they really need low-odour inkjet ink cartridges installed in the printer.”

Sun Chemical explains customers who already use Streamline ESL HPQ inks can switch to the new low-odour versions without flushing out their machines. The ESL HPQ inks are available in CMYK, light cyan and light magenta colours along with a flush solution. They will be available in 440ml cartridges and one liter bottles for use with bulk ink supply systems, throughout North America.
Kornit Digital introduced a new series of digital inks designed for use with all of its direct-to-garment systems. The new NeoPigment Pure formulation, still in development, is designed as an evolution of the company’s existing NeoPigment process, providing what Kornit describes as increased vivacity, an improved hand feel and a more opaque and smooth reproduction of white.

The NeoPigment Pure ink set comprises CMYK plus red, green and white and is formulated to supersede the company’s existing ink families by providing colour standards that are closer to ideal LAB values. According to Kornit, improved overall smoothness resulting in an increased gamut of more than 15 percent, is accompanied by a deeper black (K), while the white ink has greater brightness and opacity with greater coverage.

The company also explains, with a refined hand feel, NeoPigment Pure ink provides for reduced post-print odour, and is suitable for use on virtually all fabric types with the added benefit of offering 100 percent sustainability and biodegradability. The ink is fully compliant with OekoTex 100 and is GOTS pre-approved.

NeoPigment Pure ink has also been designed to increase the performance of the Kornit Digital direct-to-garment systems’ print heads with faster start-up and better reliability. The new ink, according to Kornit, also offers better wash-fastness, a longer shelf life and the likelihood of waste is reduced.

“Our new NeoPigment Pure inks respond to customer demand for refined characteristics that we’re able to offer with our NeoPigment process, and we now have the widest colour gamut in the industry, a velvety touch and the ultimate in white ink performance,” said Guy Zimmerman, Kornit’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.

Sihl introduced its newest banner material, called 3275 TexBanner Xtrem white 145, which the company describes as an economical alternative to existing high-quality products.

TexBanner 3275 is a 100 synthetic non-woven material coated with Sihl’s water-fast matte inkjet formulation. The company explains it holds a high tensile strength and tear resistance. These factors, combined with an ability to be stapled, sewn or used with grommets make, it well suited for both indoor and outdoor banners.

Sihl also explains, that although 3275 is optimized for aqueous based inks, it delivers optimal performance with latex and UV inks as well. The 3275 TexBanner Xtrem white product is available in sizes of 36, 42 and 54 x 125 inches, with three inch cores.
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