The recent FESPA exhibition in Munich saw Ink Technologies (UK) Limited (ITL) showcase its newest alternative inks for wide-format digital technologies for the first time on the international stage. Earlier this year, the British company launched three products, VTV, MS5 True Solvent and i-BiO, all of which provide an innovative and cost-effective alternative for production onto rigid, flexible and textile materials. ITL offered printer owners insight into the versatility, efficiency and colour accuracy of its recent innovations, as well as being keen to share how good management and quality manufacture can combine to benefit all of its customers, both in Europe and further afield.
The company offers dedicated support and service to end users and has engineers based in several locations world-wide, including North America, Australasia and Asia. Its fundamental British quality standards are what attracts a broad international user base to its products and services and explained ITL's decision to brand its FESPA stand with the iconic British telephone box.
"Keeping research and development and quality control processes solely on UK shores has a multitude of advantages," explains Peter Williams, ITL's sales and marketing director. "Not only are we able to ensure the level of classic standards associated with fine British engineering, but there really is no substitute for the enhanced communication that only can be achieved by a tightly knit team which works face-to-face daily. It is this level of understanding which sets ITL apart in an age of outsourcing and ensures our pre-eminence in terms of efficiency, service and skilful production."
The first of ITL's new inks, Versatile Textile and Vinyl (VTV) has been popular since its launch due to its ability to produce results of equal quality on either textile or vinyl substrates, thus eliminating the need to change inks when switching material types. Other popular features include its resilience against fading and the strikingly vivid results and wide gamut produced with its CMYK, orange and green. VTV has proven to be a dependable addition to the solvent inks market due to both the stability of its colours and its potential to decrease costs significantly. In addition, ITL has taken measures to minimise the environmental impact of VTV, making it not only a convenient but also a greener choice for today's display producers as a mild solvent suitable for retail environments and other indoor spaces.
It is sustainability which is central to the second of ITL's innovations, MS5 True Solvent, an ink designed to work in tandem with Mimaki's JV5 printer series. Capable of reducing expenditure whilst maintaining colours consistent with the printers' original CMYKLcLm ink set, the MS5 is also able to withstand the elements, including extensive UV exposure, with an outdoor durability of up to 24 months.
"The MS5 produces rich results across an exhaustive spectrum of colours and is a hardy ink which really does stand the test of time," states Williams. "ITL has also been mindful of convenience when manufacturing this ink, so no cleansing of machines is necessary when swapping cartridges. In addition, companies can rest assured that storing the product on site prior to use will not diminish its effectiveness as it has a shelf-life of up to 18 months."
The third of ITL's options is the new i-BiO, an ink ideal for companies eager to improve their environmental practices. This mild-solvent choice, which is suitable for Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland and Uniform machines using Epson's DX3 or DX4 print-heads, offers all the colour density associated with more traditional inks whilst reducing VOCs and bettering the biodegradability of most mainstream alternatives.
The new ITL trio provides only a glimpse of the variety offered by the company in terms of ink-jet solutions for the wide- and superwide-format printing industries. Its fulsome catalogue boasts solvent inks - including eco- and mild versions - in addition to aqueous and UV-curable inks, all of which are compatible with the majority of widely used ink-jet printer brands.
"As a business committed to delivering first-class goods and robust customer support alongside efficient, reliable British manufacture across the industry internationally, ITL was excited to introduce its full spectrum of products and services to FESPA's visitors at this year's exhibition," continues Williams. "Our visitors were impressed by the results that can be achieved with ITL products, the delivery options and their lack of expense at a time when all companies are trying to keep their costs down."
Manufacturer and supplier of alternative digital inks, ITL (Ink Technologies (UK) Ltd) was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Cheshire, in the north of England. All manufacturing and product development takes places in the UK only and the company achieved the BS EN ISO 9001:2000 standard in 2006, upgraded to ISO 9001:2008 in early 2009. Its products span a multitude of applications, including eco- and full-solvent, aqueous-based, UV-curable and industrial coding and marking inks.