20 May 2024

What should you consider when looking at new ink suppliers?

Nazdar blog: What should you consider when looking at new ink suppliers?.

Selecting the right ink product is far from an easy process. Whether this is simply trying out a new ink on your printer or purchasing different ink products to support you in producing a new type of work, identifying the best solution is often tricky and time-consuming.

The core consideration for print service providers will be ensuring the product performs in line with their expectations. Quality may be assumed when buying inks from most manufacturers and is very difficult to quantify until you have an actual product problem. However, there are other factors customers can keep in mind to help guide their choice.

In terms of specific factors to be aware of, after all the shortages that we experienced in the last couple of years, availability has to be a top priority in today’s fast turnaround printing world.

Then, when talking about inkjet inks, compatibility is essential due to the damage incompatible inks may cause to your printer. Fortunately, this is not seen as quite so critical for screen or flexo printers.

If we are to focus on inkjet printers, then companies should be looking to an ink manufacturer with a comprehensive ink warranty that outlines what support to expect should a product failure require machine service or repairs. This can be evaluated prior to switching inks in warranty documents provided to support the inks. An established ink manufacturer will provide you with prompt comprehensive technical support.

When it comes to determining ink type after you have decided what ink manufacturer to use, it would be a good idea to use the SAFE criteria, which determines what ink to use in this order: Substrate, Applications, Finishing, and End Use.

Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider. For example, customers should remember that manufacturers design inks around specific market requirements. These requirements almost always dictate the raw materials used in the inks to achieve certain end use functions such as flexibility, durability, and chemical resistance.

The bottom line is that these factors will affect the costs of the inks. High-cost, end-use products will require the use of high-cost, high-quality inks.

Linking in with this, printhead issues associated with an ink are usually a quality-related issue and need to be carefully considered when changing from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink. Alternative ink manufacturers like Nazdar demonstrate the support of their products with a comprehensive inkjet warranty program.

Working with an established ink supplier with support fully in place is also wise. Nazdar has a history of industry leadership beginning with the introduction of the first commercial screen-printing ink in 1922 and continuing to develop quality inks for the screen, inkjet, and flexo printing processes.

This leadership goes beyond the manufacturing of quality products to include a long history of providing product support, innovation, and industry association education in ink chemistry, UV curing, G7 color control, and digital bootcamps. Combined, this makes the switch over to Nazdar’s inks a very compelling proposition.

Authored by Bruce Ridge, Director of Technical Service, Nazdar Ink Technologies

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Alternative ink manufacturer Nazdar