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.
Epson launches the enhanced SureColor S-Series line of its 64-inch solvent inkjet printers, defined as the SureColor S30675, S50675 and S70675. The systems are now integrated with a new Epson PrecisionCore TFP print head and suitable for a range of applications like signage, vehicle graphics, fine art and packaging.

Designed and manufactured by Epson, the SureColor S30675 and 50675 feature Epson UltraChrome GS2 ink with a newly formulated Cyan ink for enhanced durability and performance, while the SureColor S70675 leverages the Epson UltraChrome GSX ink set with newly formulated Cyan and Light Cyan, plus an all-new Orange Plus ink. The SureColor S50675 also features a new Epson micro-weave print mode for higher production speeds.

UltraChrome GS2 and GSX inks with newly formulated Cyan, Light Cyan, and Orange Plus inks deliver more expansive colour gamut than previous SureColor S-Series printers. A spindle-less design for roll loading media and take-up reel system allows for easier loading and unloading of heavy roll media. This also provides for standard heavy roll support in rear for up to 90-pound roll with motorized take-in; optional high-capacity roll support for rolls up to 150 pounds. All SureColor S-Series printers include the GamaPrint Pro Rip software from ONYX.

Sappi Speciality Papers introduced atelier as what it describes as a brand-new concept in folding boxboard (FBB), being produced at its Maastricht mill in the Netherlands. Sappi explains the new product broadens its offering in terms of both width and depth of coated virgin fibre carton boards for the packaging market. atelier is a hybrid FBB product that exceeds current market standards, according to Sappi, available in weights from 220 gsm to 350 gsm.

atelier is a multi-ply board produced on a single-wire board machine, which the company states is feature that no other paper manufacturer has ever achieved. Sappi also points to the product’s brightness, purity and gloss combined with a silk touch and feel.

With a brightness level of 99 percent on its topside, atelier is described as exceeding the market standard in brightness compared to what Sappi states is the industry top value of around 92 percent. On the reverse side, atelier offers a brightness factor of 98 percent to accommodate the increasing demand for printing on both sides of the board. Sappi entered the carton board market 10 years ago with its Algro Design family of SBB carton board.

Sun Chemical made its Online Troubleshooting Guide into a mobile-device app available on Google Play and the Apple Store. 

The free app is designed to help customers resolve common technical defects that can happen during a press run, whether running flexography, sheetfed offset, paper packaging, gravure, or energy curable printing systems.

After choosing the printing process, the app uses both photos and defect terms, such as dot gain, pinholes and feathering, to help a printer identify which technical problem they are facing and read a possible solution.


Flint of Plymouth, Michigan, has released its new dayGraphica 4600 heatset blanket, which the company describes as addressing three main challenges that directly affect press uptime: gauge loss, smashes, and blanket memory.

“Flint Group’s technology team addressed all three concerns,” said Bill Branson, Flint Group’s Business Director, North American Blankets. “The effort involved substantial research, development and testing, and resulted in the new dayGraphica 4600 heatset blanket.”

Joe Byers, Global VP Technology for Flint’s Transfer Media Division, continues to say the key to the new blanket product was designing three new elements and combining them into one product. “Built with a re-engineered carcass design, compressible layer and face rubber compound formulation," he explained, "The dayGraphica 4600 heatset blanket significantly decreases the frequency and severity of the major blanket challenges in today’s pressrooms."

Agfa Graphics today announced the worldwide launch of its new Azura TE plate, described by the Belgian imaging giant as a chemistry-free, direct-on-press product aimed at commercial sheetfed applications.

As the Azura TE plates are cleaned out on-press, Agfa explains the system requires no processor, no chemistry and no water. The company continues to explain its Azura TE product behaves very similarly to a traditionally processed or chemistry-free plate, limiting the variables in pressroom operations, including immediate ink acceptance.

“In fact, a direct-on-press plate is ready for use after exposing on the platesetter. On top, Azura TE shows an outstanding image contrast thanks to our patented Thermochromic Dye technology,” said Guy Desmet, Head of Prepress Marketing for Agfa Graphics. “That makes visual inspection easy and means that dot measurements or plate detection can be done with standard devices. In addition, Azura TE has an excellent daylight stability, which comes in handy if the plates cannot be mounted on the press immediately.”
As with other ThermoFuse products in the Azura plate line, Azura TE support up to 240 lines per inch with Sublima screening. Launched in 2004, ThermoFuse technology works with a single-layer water-based coating, containing ink-accepting latex pearls, which allow for sharp highlight reproduction.

Xennia Technology launched a new range of sublimation textile printing inks, called Corundum, for proofing and production-scale decoration of polyester fabrics.

The Xennia Corundum range, designed for fabric printing with both coated and uncoated transfer papers, is currently available for Kyocera and Epson-based systems.

“Xennia Corundum is our high performance sublimation ink for polyester textile decoration,” stated Dr Olivier Morel, Xennia's Chief Technology Officer, who notes Corundum builds from the company’s existing Amethyst reactive dye textile inks for printing cotton and cellulosics. Xennia also produces Moissanite UV curable inks for outdoor textile printing.

Xennia Corundum is now available worldwide following a year of testing with beta customers.

Sun Chemical, at the recent ExpoPrint in Brazil, highlighted updates to its family of SunLit sheetfed inks for the commercial-printing market.

The inks are all formulated with what Sun describes as a high proportion of renewable raw materials and each ink is fully aligned with the measures of print standardization ISO 12647:2.
One of the newest products in the ink family SunLit Crystal, which is a universal sheetfed offset process ink. The printing ink can be used on straight or perfecting presses of all sizes and, according to Sun, is a strong product if one or more presses are supplied from a pumping station.

Sun Chemical’s SunLit Triumph Max commercial sheetfed inks, exhibited at ExpoPrint, are formulated for high-speed printing and high-abrasion resistance on a range of stocks. The ink’s abrasion-resistant film is well suited for uncoated and matte stocks, as they dry hard enough to not scuff in finishing operations.
The fast setting properties of SunLit Diamond inks are designed to reduce cylinder build up, cleaning frequency, and sheet guide marking. SunLit Diamond can be used on all offset presses of different sizes and formats. SunLit Exact PSO, meanwhile, is a sheetfed offset ink for high-quality 4-colour process printing. It is suitable for publication, commercial, and package printing.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is introducing its new Saphira Low Migration product line of consumables engineered to meet health and safety requirements for food packaging in Europe.

The company focused its range of Saphira Low Migration products for press and postpress, including printing inks, dispersion coatings, dampening solution additives, wash-up solutions, cleaners, oils to protect rollers, and dispersion glues for folding carton manufacture. Saphira Low Migration products are identified with the symbol of a glass and fork on the label.

All materials bearing thjis Saphira Low Migration label are tested by independent institutes for legal conformity with European Regulation No. 1935/2004. The products, according to Heidelberg, ensure that neither the smell nor taste of the foodstuffs is affected, and that their composition does not change in any way.

"With Saphira Low Migration, we are responding to requests from many of our customers for consumables for the food packaging sector that are not harmful to health but are still of very high quality," stated Peter Tix, head of consumables at Heidelberg. "Users can rest assured that these products fulfill all the legal requirements for this sector and thus eliminate one of the biggest risk factors in the production process for food packaging."

Presstek, at the Ipex 2014 exhibition that took place from March 24 to 28 in London, UK, introduced its new thermal offset Zahara printing plate for waterless press platforms.

With no cover film to remove, Presstek describes Zahara as a chemistry-free CTP plate. It can be imaged on any 830 nm thermal platesetter. The plate itself can be cleaned in a processor with chemicals, but Presstek points out Zahara technology also allows users to rinse it with tap water in a traditional processing device, without the need for mechanical adjustments.

“Zahara is UV compatible, perfect for the production of plastic gift cards or credit cards, for example,” stated Yuval Dubois, Product Marketing Manager for Presstek’s waterless market segment. “Zahara is engineered for the industry’s small-, half- and mid-size sheetfed and narrow web label presses.”

Presstek feels that waterless press owners will appreciate that Zahara provides a choice and that it easily accommodates their existing workflow with no mechanical adjustments to their existing processor unit. With the Presstek Zahara plate, just simply image, rinse, and print for a true chemistry-free workflow.

Heidelberg introduced a new series of Saphira inks, called Saphira Ink Low Energy UV 100 and 400, for use within low-energy curing, as well as new Saphira consumables for environmentally progressive printing.

The new ink products are being brought to market to work with Heidelberg’s DryStar LE (Low Energy) UV drying technology, which was unveiled at the drupa 2012 exhibition in Germany. Heidelberg explains its DryStar process leverages highly reactive UV inks, which reduces the number of dryer lamps required in the press to cut energy consumption.

The Saphira Ink Low Energy UV 100 and 400 inks are suited for printing on paper, cardboard, and non-absorbent materials. Both products enable printing to ISO 12647-2 (process standard for offset printing). Heidelberg also provides Saphira consumables like blankets, coatings, washup and dampening solutions that can be employed within LE UV production.

Just before this new ink launch, Heidelberg also enhanced its Saphira Eco product line, first introduced in 2011, to meet what the company describes as "the strictest criteria in the print media industry for the environmental compatibility of consumables."

Working closely with suppliers, Heidelberg states it has defined and introduced the world’s first criteria for environmentally progressive blankets with the Saphira Blanket Pro 200. Heidelberg is also launching the mineral oil-free Saphira Ink Anicolor S100 and H100 ink series for Anicolor technology, which already provides for minimal waste and low energy consumption.

In the postpress sector, users will be able to use Saphira Binding Glue PUR 330 NE, which Heidelberg describes as the first PUR glue not to release any harmful isocyanates.

"Green printing has already become standard at numerous companies in industrialized markets,” stated Peter Tix, head of consumables at Heidelberg. “The Saphira Eco product line from Heidelberg offers these companies a range that meets the world’s strictest requirements for eco-friendly consumables.”

Flint Group today released its PremoCorr series of packaging inks for paper and board applications.

The PremoCorr series, according to Flint, are low maintenance inks for all three levels of the post-print corrugated market. The company explains this statement is based on PremoCorr’s building block resin technology for all three corrugated levels that use modifying blocks to obtain desired characteristics.

Flint continues to explain how Building Block Technology reduces supply chain complexity, improves inventory control, and provides a thorough understanding of the chemistry for every formulation. PremoCorr inks, therefore, eliminate the need for the addition of amines to maintain viscosity. The result is what Flint describes PremoCorr as a maintenance-free ink with a stable viscosity over a wide pH range.

“The viscosity stable, low maintenance benefit of PremoCorr is the result of a scientific statistical approach to the design of PremoCorr and extensive market research,” stated Gayle Wirthwine, Product Development Specialist with Flint. “These inks are a result of many focused man hours – we had to find just the right ingredients to create a formulation that would deliver the best print results.”

PremoCorr inks can be prepared to match accepted colour standards as a blended ink or as part of a dispenser package for corrugated printers.

Kodak advanced its line of Sonora XP process-free plates to be more applicable in larger commercial printing operations, expanding upon the product’s previous fit primarily with small- and medium-sized printers. 

Sonora XP plates are now available in larger widths of up to 1,495 mm and with a 0.40 mm gauge, allowing for their use in more demanding manufacturing environments. The larger process-free plates maintain their abilty to reduce requirements for chemistry, electricity, water and equipment during processing. Kodak plans to start producing even larger plate sizes over the coming months.

“More than 2,000 customers have embraced the process-free revolution started by Kodak," stated Rich Rindo, General Manager of Kodak’s Worldwide Graphics Marketing organization. "The Sonora XP process-free plate is the next step in the evolution of process-free thermal plate technology."

Kodak describes Sonora XP plates as being used in small, medium and large commercial sheetfed operations, as well as with printers running commercial heatset and coldset web presses, offset packaging applications, and short-run UV. Kodak states that its Sonora XP line represents "the only true process-free plates commercially available in [VLF] formats."

Agfa Graphics at its headquarters in Mortsel, Belgium, launched an addition to its ThermoFuse product line of what the company defines as chemistry-free plates.

The new Azura TU, aimed at the commercial sheetfed printers, is a thermal plate product with a rated run length of 150,000 copies or 10,000 in a UV printing environment. Azura TU holds a daylight resistance of up to 48 hours.

The TU plate works with Agfa’s Azura CX clean-out and a pH-neutral gum for cleaning and protection. Azura CX has a bath life of up to 7000 m².

“Switching from a conventional plate to Azura TU means less waste, less disposal costs, less maintenance, and a safer work environment,” stated Dirk Debusscher, Vice President Prepress, Agfa Graphics. “It also equals water savings of more than 95 percent.”

ThermoFuse technology was first introduced around a decade ago, which, in addition to Azura TU, forms the imaging foundation for Agfa’s Azura TS, Azura Vi, Amigo TS and N94-VCF plates.

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