Consumables

At drupa 2012, Agfa Graphics unveiled the :Azura CX125 COU cleanout unit, based on what it calls cascade technology, for higher-volume running of its :Azura TS chemistry-free thermal plates. According to the company, this new system yields a 60 percent reduction in gum consumption as compared to previous models.  

The :Azura CX125 COU reduces gum consumption and extends bath life, for higher volume users of :Azura TS plates. The :Azura CX125 COU, which accommodates plate widths up to 125c m, is designed to handle plate volumes up to 40,000 m2, while providing a bath life of up to 7,000 m2.

The cascade technology behind the :Azura CX125 COU cleans each plate in two steps: The primary clean out is carried out in Section 1, the plate then passes to Section 2 where the gum is always fresh from the bottle. The key part of the process is the cascade of gum from section 2 to section 1, where a small volume of water is added to compensate for evaporation.

“The patented technology in the new :Azura CX125 COU clean-out unit results in reliable throughput with fewer changeovers, for greater productivity, efficiency and ease of use,” stated Ralph Hilsdon, Marketing Manager, Pre-Press systems, Agfa Graphics.



At drupa, Agfa also highlighted the previously announced launch of :Apogee Suite 8.0, featuring the new :Apogee StoreFront, which is a cloud-based, web-to-print solution, as well as two versions of the UV-curable :Jeti 3020 Titan series – with a 36-print-head configuration that can be field upgraded to a 48-head version.

The company also introduced two new platesetters for the high-volume newspaper market. The :Advantage N PL HS (Pallet Load, High-Speed) and the :Advantage N TR HS (Trolley Load, High-Speed) both run at speeds up to 350 plates per hour, 50 plates more than the :Advantage N. The :Advantage N PL HS features a completely new design and can hold up to 6,000 plates – two pallets of 3,000 plates each.

Agfa also demonstrated for the first time its M-Press Leopard industrial inkjet system, which has an increased bed size of 1.6 x 3.3 metres, as well as an increase to 75 vacuum zones for positioning of the sheet.


Effective April 1, Flint will be raising the prices of its packaging inks, which include solvent-based and all packaging and narrow web white inks, in North America.

Citing the continuing increases in raw material costs, namely the increase in the price of titanium dioxide, solvent-based inks will increase six percent while white inks will increase upwards of 18 percent, depending on the type and concentration of raw materials of its composition.

Susan Kuchta, Vice President North American Packaging and Narrow Web, commented, “Cost pressure has been constant and the magnitude of the cost increases require we pass them through the supply chain. These costs cannot be absorbed and still maintain a consistent and assured supply of product to the industry.”

Flint Group will communicate directly with its customers regarding the overall impact of the price increases.


Flint Group North America will be raising the price of its black coldset inks (used to print newspapers, directories, and books) nine cents per kilo in Canada (four cents per pound in the US). The company attributes the increase to increased global demand for petroleum-derived raw materials, especially the increase in price for naphthenic oils and carbon black.

“Flint Group is taking every possible measure to mitigate the impact of this increase,” says Norm Harbin, Business Director, News Inks for Flint Group. “We appreciate customers’ understanding of the market conditions that make this price increase necessary.”

According to Flint, there are only a handful of North American naphthenic oil refineries supplying its global demand and a significant amount of that oil is now being exported overseas. Carbon black manufacturers also removed a significant amount of capacity during the recent global recession, but now that demand has increased once again (with demand from the tire industry), manufacturers are now at capacity.


Fujifilm and Kodak have separately announced increased plate production through its European manufacturing facilities. 

Kodak announced it has upgraded a second plate manufacturing line at its facility in Leeds, UK, and will increase its capacity for producing its process-free Thermal Direct and PF-N plates.

"We are fast approaching the milestone of 1,500 commercial and publication customers using process-free technology plates," said Doug Edwards, General Manager, Prepress Solutions for Kodak. "That number continues to grow aggressively. On the newspaper side, a growing number of newspaper accounts in the U.S. and Canada now use PF-N Plates."

Fujifilm announced that a new production line at its Netherlands-based plant will go online in January 2012. It is one of four primary sites where the company produces printing plates. It will also increase the company's capacity for chemistry-free and low-chemistry plates.

The Fujifilm plant in The Netherlands also employs renewable energy produced through wind turbines, which currently accounts for 20 percent of the company's production power needs, and also recaptures waste heat to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.


Sun Chemical's Rycoline Group announced it will be increasing blanket product prices in North America by five percent, effective January 1, 2012.

“We’ve seen especially high demand in cotton in 2011 because of the year’s poor harvest,” said Dennis Sweet, Vice President, Rycoline. “As a result, there has been a tremendous increase in the cost of cotton, and we don’t foresee any of these costs to go down in the near future. We will continue to work on controlling our own costs closely with our supply chain partners, to improve our internal operations, and to develop new value-oriented products and services that can help customers improve their productivity and grow their business.”

The blanket product lines affected by the price increase include: SunBeam, SunBeam N, SunBeam 116, SunBeam 122, SunDot, SunSpot, SunDual and SunLazer.


Citing the continued volatility of raw material pricing around the world, Sun Chemical will be increasing printing ink prices in Canada, effective December 1st.

The increases are as follows:
  • 8 percent for heatset process inks,
  • 12 percent for coldset black inks,
  • 6 percent  for coldset color inks,
  • 5 percent for water-based inks,
  • 8 percent for solvent-based inks,
  • 6 percent for energy curable inks,
  • 5 percent for sheetfed inks, and
  • 8 percent for water-based coatings.

“Commodity, resin and pigment prices continue to rise and are dramatically higher than earlier this year. We see the supply of many critical raw materials continuing to be constrained due to operational, market, and weather related issues, and there doesn't appear to be any relief anticipated in the near term,” said Rod Staveley, President, Sun Chemical Canada.
 
“We cannot absorb the drastic raw material price increases and global supply chain instability we continue to see. Despite these challenges, we will continue to deliver on-time, quality products to our customers through significant efforts of our supply chain and technical teams.”
 

Domino Printing Sciences has launched a new black ethanol-based ink, called BK107, for use with its G-Series range of thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers. The formulation of BK107 has been specifically designed for coding and marking applications within the confectionery and food markets, which includes properties for stronger adhesion.

According to Domino, this includes a high resistance to abrasion and deterioration after application to a range of substrates such as Polyethylene, POPP, Cast PP and Polyester/PET, which are used extensively by confectionery and food manufacturers. The company continues to claim this helps to eliminate the problem of print deterioration commonly found with many wax-based inks. The BK107 ink comes in a changeable print cartridge, while also meeting several guidelines for EuPIA and food packaging inks.

"Choosing the right ink for your application is essential, as the choice of ink affects not only the quality of printed output, but also the performance of the printer,” stated Alan Mutch, Product Manager of TIJ at Domino.

Domino Group employs 2,100 people worldwide and sells to more than 120 countries through a network of 25 subsidiary offices and more than 200 distributors. Domino's manufacturing facilities are situated in Canada, China, Germany, India, Sweden, UK and the United States.


At the IFRA show in Vienna, Tokyo-based Toray International will debut the latest generation of its waterless plate for newspaper and semi-commercial printing. The company says the new MX10 plate will have a 40 percent increased durability.

"Most printers will now be able to use only one plate per print form for over 90% of the jobs further enhancing the economic advantage of waterless," said Junichi Ishii as Sales Manager for graphics and chemical products for Toray International Europe. "Print runs up to a quarter of a million impressions have been obtained with the new plate under normal production conditions during the test period at customer sites. Minimal make ready time and waste which are well known features of waterless will of course be maintained with the new plate."

The company has increased production of plates in its Okazki factory in Japan. The MX10 is expected to be available by the end of the year. 

The company has also announced it is also building a new plate factory in the Czech Republic to deal with demand across Europe and the Middle East. The plant will be operational by early 2014.

"The European manufacturing site is also expected to reduce the adverse effects of currency exchange rate fluctuations," said Toshimitsu Matsumoto, General Manager, Graphics Division of Toray Industries Inc.

At the International Graphic Arts Show this week, Agfa Graphics debuted its :Azura TS System, which is aimed at the high-volume user.

The :Azura TS System combines the company's Avalon N8-80 XT platesetter with the new :Azura Ultima high-capacity clean-out unit. The combo is designed to process Agfa's :Avalon and :Azura chemistry-free plates, which are based on its ThermoFuse technology and will process 40,000 m2 of plates a year.

"The :Azura system now also responds to the needs of larger, high-volume printers," said Ralph Hilsdon, Head of Product Marketing at Agfa Graphics. "We can comfortably say that no other manufacturer can offer this level of productivity, quality, and environmental benefit with one solution. Moreover, in combination with Agfa Graphics' :Apogee workflow and the :Sublima cross-modulated (XM) screening, it outperforms any other solution in the market on speed, ease of use, and process stability."

According to Agfa, the new N8-80XT has a standby mode which saves 88 percent on power consumption without compromising productivity. The Ultima clean-out unit also generates "a fraction" of the waste of comparable systems and requires no water connection.
The Printing Ink Company, Rycoline Inc., of Vaughan, Ontario, has created a behind-the-scenes video about the creation of its offset printing inks. The video is presented by Peter Welfare, President and Head of Research and Development.

Titled The Making of Ink, the video has garnered much attention outside of the graphic arts world, reaching over half a million views to date on YouTube

You can view the video below:




Due to the increase in energy and raw material costs, Kodak has announced it will be increasing the prices of all of its flexographic plates by seven percent as of July 15. The increase will be implemented globally.

“It’s never easy to pass these kinds of price increases along to our customers, and we are committed to working with them to ensure that their plate needs and business requirements are met as effectively as possible,” said Mohan Garde, Vice President and General Manager, Packaging Business, Prepress Solutions, Kodak. “The value that our plates bring to the market—high quality, efficiency, repeatability, and more—continues to make them a sound investment for flexo printers who desire the best possible results. As always, we’ll continue to pursue manufacturing efficiencies that will minimize any future pricing impacts for our customer base.”

Details of the new pricing structure will be communicated over the next month to all customers and dealers. All current contractual commitments will be honoured.


Sun Chemical has announced a new round of price increases effective July 1 which will see the price of inks rise by as much as 14 percent.

“We have seen unprecedented cost increases on many raw materials including nitrocellulose, acrylic and polyamide resins, TiO2, and Violet 23 pigments. We’re also facing significant surcharges for the cost of freight due to the steep price of oil,” said Rod Staveley, President, Sun Chemical Canada. “We simply cannot offset the drastic raw material price increases and global supply chain instability we have seen this past year across all our product lines. Despite these challenges, we are looking for ways to work closely with our supply chain partners on controlling our own costs.”

Below are the increases outlined by Sun Chemical:

• 4 to 14 percent for solvent-based inks;
• 10 percent for heatset inks;
• 8 percent for coldset black inks;
• 6 percent for coldset colour inks;
• 4 to 6 percent for water-based inks;
• 4 to 6 percent for water-based coatings; and
• 10 percent on all blanket and roller washes.

Sun Chemical will also implement a temporary fuel surcharge which is dependent on the cost of diesel. "Beginning at $0.02/kg for diesel gas prices ranging between $1.06-$1.10/litre, the surcharge will increase $0.01/kg for every $0.05 increase in diesel fuel."


Agfa Graphics on May 9, 2011, added a silver surcharge for all of its graphic film products. Agfa did not release exact-dollar details about the surcharge, instead stating it will vary as the cost of silver fluctuates.

“The price of silver continues to escalate to all-time high levels,” Peter Wilkens, President of Agfa Graphics. “Year-to-date, silver prices have increased almost 60 percent with no signs of stabilization. This follows an 80 percent increase in silver prices throughout 2010.  

“Agfa can no longer absorb the ongoing increase in silver prices,” continued Wilkens. “Due to the rapid rate at which silver prices are escalating, it is impractical to offset these increases with a traditional price increase.”


Agfa states the silver surcharge will be discontinued when the price of silver returns to January 2011 levels.



Effective May 1, 2011, Kodak will be raising prices of its plate products in all regions of the world. The price of conventional plates can increase by as much as 20 percent. Digital plates will increase by five to 10 percent.

“Kodak understands the difficulty our customers face with increasing costs for many of the consumables used in the printing process, from ink and paper to energy and fuel,” said Doug Edwards, General Manager, Prepress Solutions and Vice President, Kodak. “During a time when all companies are facing added costs of doing business, we will work closely with our customers to ensure that both their plate needs and business requirements are met as effectively as possible.”

Kodak attributes the need to increase prices to rising key raw material costs. Specific costs will be conveyed to users and dealers in April.

Flint Group North America has announced price increases on certain printing inks and pressroom chemistry sold in the United States and Canada. This is in addition to the news ink price increase implemented January 1st and previously announced increases for blankets and sleeves.

Prices will increase on inks, overprint varnishes and pressroom chemistry as follows, effective February 1, 2011 and subject to existing contracts:

Liquid Packaging & Narrow Web Inks:
All Whites - up to 10%, depending on technology
Solvent Colors - up to 8%
Specific increases for the above products, as well as for nitrocellulose-based clears, other solvent-based clear formulations, and all violet colors will be communicated individually to customers depending on formula make-up and technology.
  
Print Media Inks:
Sheetfed Conventional - 8%
Heatset
    Process- 10%
    Blends, Metallics, Fluorescents and OPVs - 12%
Directory - 9%   
Publication Gravure - 9%

Print Media Chemicals:

Spray Powders - 8 – 15%
Press Washes - 8 – 12%
Web Conditioners - 6 – 10%
Fountain Solutions - 5 – 8%
Aerosols - 8 – 15%

 

 “We’re facing challenges on a multitude of fronts: Capacity constraints, government policies around the world, environmental concerns, decreased production of feedstocks, and more," says Diane Parisi, Vice President Supply Chain for Flint Group.

Page 4 of 5

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

EFI Connect
January 23-26, 2018
Graphics of the Americas
February 22-24, 2018