23 Sep 2019

Are ink price increases looming?

Flint Group Logo

The recent recession saw chemical manufacturers remove excess capacity, and as we now start to come out of recession and demand is again on the increase, it is widely expected that there will be short-term shortages in raw materials, with the potential for increased prices as demand outstrips supply.

One example of this is with Flint Group announcing price increases on a number of pressroom chemistry products sold in the Americas.

Increases range from 5% to 12%, depending on product line, and take effect for products shipped on or after June 1, 2010. Products include alcohol substitutes, sheetfed fountain solutions, conventional press wash, UV press wash, metering roller cleaner, film cleaners and deglazers/rejuvenators.

“A number of factors have significantly increased our raw material costs,” says Kevin Fennewald, business director, Pressroom Chemicals. “During the recent recession, major chemical manufacturers removed excess capacity. Now, with demand increasing, raw material costs are rising and supply is scarce.

“The rising cost of crude is also a key contributing factor,” continued Mr. Fennewald. “Other substantial cost increases have come from container and freight suppliers. All of these factors have affected Flint Group’s cost to manufacture and distribute pressroom chemistry products.”

Flint Group’s staff has worked hard to assure product supply and minimise the impact on customers, but the combination of economic and market factors has led to cost increases beyond what Flint Group is able to absorb.

Agfa to launch new UV low-migration inks at IPEX

Agfa Logo

Agfa Graphics today announced the launch of the UV curable Low Migration Inks for the :Dotrix Modular LM high-speed, single-pass UV inkjet press. The unique :Agorix LM UV inks can be used for digital printing applications on primary and secondary food packaging substrates.

The new :Agorix LM UV inks use advanced photo initiator systems resulting in low odor, low migration and low set-off risks. The inks are formulated using Agfa Graphics patented Complete Cross linking Technology. Agfa manufactures :Agorix LM inks adhering to strict industry standards. As a result, users of :Dotrix Modular LM with the :Agorix LM inks will be compliant with stringent EU & FDA food packaging regulations.

:Dotrix Modular LM users, their customers and the brands that rely on their high-quality printing, will find these new inks provide excellent adhesion on a wide variety of substrates, have excellent light fastness characteristics and feature good converting capabilities.

"These new :Agorix LM UV inkjet inks are available in CMYK and CMYK-OV  sets. The orange and violet color stations considerably extend the color gamut offering up to with 90% reproduction of Pantone colours through the use of :Apogee ColorTune Spot and :Apogee ColorTune CMM. :Agorix LM UV inks are designed to bring cost efficiencies to short and medium run digital printing on a wide range of primary and secondary packaging substrates including multi-layer alu, aluminium, PET, PE, PP, OPP and more. UV curable inks do not contain solvents, are considered "Green Technology" and lower operating expenses by eliminating solvent recovery costs. The new :Agorix LM UV inks have a long shelf life, provide outstanding jetting performance, guaranteeing high productivity and convertibility. " said Guy Fransen, product marketing manager, Industrial Single Pass Inkjet, Agfa Graphics.

Demo samples will be printed on the Agfa stand at IPEX in Birmingham, UK, 18-25 May 2010.

Fujifilm launches WonderTack at Sign and Digital UK

Wondertack Fujifilm

Fujifilm today announces the launch of WonderTack, a solvent printable, white satin gloss polypropylene film, which adheres to smooth, flat surfaces without the use of adhesive. This cost-effective, innovative solution is the latest addition to Fujifilm’s euromedia range of flexible media for large format printing and will be launched at Sign & Digital UK (Stand G10, 13-15th April, NEC, Birmingham).

This environmentally friendly solution is very quick to print, and its ability to stick without adhesive is down to the unique, micro-porous suckers on the adhering side. The lack of adhesive gives it its ‘green’ characteristics, as well as making it reusable on multiple occasions. For example, POS graphics printed on WonderTack can be applied even by inexperienced users as it is easily repositionable and reusable. In addition, the film is also available for UV-curing and water-based systems.

Other euromedia launches

Fujifilm is also announcing the successor to its former euromedia 150g Citylight Paper. This is a transparent, satin matt paper for lightbox applications produced by solvent printing, and ensures crisp, sharp print results with a satin matt finish and perfect, cloud-free light diffusion.

The robust paper produces needle-sharp prints, which are protected from humidity, smearing, scratching and fading. The excellent colour reproduction and outstanding contrast of the printed image make this product the ideal medium for low-cost lightbox applications. Since the material is made of paper, it is also an environmentally friendly alternative to film. Lightbox Paper is available as required in 100, 300 or 600 running metres.

Finally, the euromedia BlockOut Super Heavy FR Genuine B1-certified 800 g/sqm cast banner will be launched at the show. This bulky, heavy banner material, which is used for the production of durable banners using solvent-based printing systems, is made from satin matt material with a white surface and is perfect for double-sided printing. The opaque block-out liner prevents both printed sides from showing through. Although BlockOut Super Heavy FR has all the features of a premium banner, it is available in the basic price range.

“We are delighted to be launching these three new products at Sign & Digital UK,” says Peter Bray, sales manager, euromedia. “We are confident that WonderTack will be an extremely useful and cost-effective product for our customers and their customers, filling a gap in the market. We look forward to talking to visitors at the show and gauging their reaction to these fantastic new products.”

Mutoh Europe Introduces New Disperse Inks for Direct Printing onto Polyester Fabrics

Mutoh Viper Tx

Large format piezo inkjet printer manufacturer Mutoh Europe nv announces availability of new water based Direct Disperse inks. This new “zero harmful VOC” four-colour ink set has been specifically tuned for Mutoh’s existing direct to fabric Viper TX and Viper TX Extreme series printers. The fast drying inks offer an excellent colour gamut and nozzle stability. Application possibilities are volume production of soft signage and double sided flags.

Mutoh’s new Direct Disperse inks are an addition to its existing water based dye sublimation inks (transfer paper printing). The new direct disperse inks aim at offering polyester flag and banner printers a direct print alternative to the sublimation process, as they allow direct printing onto polyester fabric without the need for washing.

The new Mutoh Direct Disperse inks are suited for outdoor use, offering excellent washing and perspiration fastness according to applicable ISO standards. The outdoor UV durability is rated up to one year. Similar to dye sublimation inks, the new inks will require fixation via a heat source. No pressure is required to fix the inks. A pressure-free heat fixation system or a calender can be chosen for ink fixation.

Available in 1 litre bottles, the Direct Disperse inks are compatible with Mutoh’s continuous ink supply system for the Viper / Viper Extreme and Viper TX Extreme series printers, called BIS. Mutoh’s BIS has been developed for speed-intensive volume oriented users requiring a high end, high volume ink delivery and refill system offering long unattended printing capabilities along with minimum user intervention. Three models are available, i.e. a 4 bottle system and two 8 bottle systems. Each BIS ink bottle can hold up to 4.3 liters and can be refilled whilst printing.

The new Mutoh direct disperse inks will be marketed by Mutoh Europe all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa through its network of authorised Mutoh resellers.

IGS UK appointed UK distributor for Sun Chemical Streamline inks


Igs Sun

To consolidate and broaden its ink availability within the UK, Sun Chemical has appointed IGS UK as main distributor for its Streamline wide-format ink-jet formulations. The agreement will see this leading manufacturer’s portfolio grow in presence through IGS’s comprehensive reseller network, all of whom have been selected for their strong track record in sales and service.

A member of the DIC group of companies, Sun Chemical is the largest producer of printing inks and pigments in the world and its products have grown exponentially within the wide-format market. With an increasing number of printer users wanting to source their supplies independently through a reputable channel, the decision to appoint IGS as UK distributor for Streamline inks brings added value and support to existing and potential customers who want the benefits of using formulations from a renowned manufacturer.

IGS UK’s Nick Wintle comments: “Our comprehensive knowledge of the wide-format sector, coupled with the diverse range of high quality products and services we source for our sales channel, means that we are positioned perfectly to offer Sun Chemical’s inks through our network of resellers.”

“This agreement with IGS UK now means that we can extend the customer base for our digital inks, confident in the knowledge that we are working with the most experienced and competent team within the UK,” confirms Tony Cox, business manager at Sun Chemical. “The addition of Streamline products to IGS’s existing market solutions will be welcomed by existing and new users who want to benefit from our growing range of formulations for all types of wide-format ink-jet printer.”

Based in Maidenhead, having recently relocated to new, larger premises, IGS UK specialises in the wide-format industry sector and concentrates on sourcing and distributing products only from high-end manufacturers. The addition of Sun Chemical’s Streamline inks broadens the portfolio of cost-effective, reliable solutions on offer to display producers and sign-makers throughout the UK.

Further information about IGS UK and its reseller network is available by visiting www.igsuk.net/sun

Full details relating to Sun Chemical can be found at www.sunchemical.com



Trio of new inks from ITL offers an abundance of benefits

Itl Ink

Independent UK-based ink manufacturer ITL has extended its range of replacement, cost-beneficial inks for wide-format printers. The first of this trio is a dual-purpose solvent for versatile output onto both textile and vinyl substrates, the second an alternative to Mimaki's JV5 ink sets and the third a bio-solvent range. All can be supplied globally, in cartridges or in bulk feed options, representing a high quality and cost-effective option for sign-makers and display producers looking to lower costs but maintain their production standards.

The first new product, available for Epson-based solvent engines, is ITL's VTV, a dual-purpose textile and vinyl ink-jet ink in CMYK, orange and green. The formulation promises excellent results on either substrate type without the inconvenience of changing inks, and the manufacturer recommends it for improving environmentally-friendly constituents on textile and polyester-based banners. With these materials it is resistant to washing and fading especially useful for garment-printing markets, such as high-visibility clothing although it is also suitable for use on vinyl films and banner products.

Having a single ink which can meet the needs of a variety of applications at high quality whether on textile- or vinyl-based material offers the display producer an entirely new bandwidth of productivity," explains Peter Williams, ITLâ€'s sales and marketing director. "The long-term advantages of the Versatile Textile and Vinyl 'VTV' are its lack of compromise on colour intensity, machine performance and reliability, quite apart from the significant cost savings.

ITL's MS5 True Solvent is a colour-matched ink formulated to improve profitability on Mimaki's JV5 printer range, with excellent resistance to scratching, abrasion and alcohol damage. Most notably, these MS5 inks offer a wide colour gamut and strong individual colour density and brilliance, as well as 24 months' outdoor durability without fading in UV light; the printing environment is also improved due to the inks very low odour.

MS5 is available in CMYK, as well as light cyan (Lc) and light magenta (Lm). Manufactured to ISO9001-2008 quality procedures, the MS5 inks have an extended 18-month shelf-life and are classified as non-hazardous. Ease of change-over is also of particular benefit with the inks, which do not require the machine to be flushed or for new profiles to be created.

i-BiO is a new mild-solvent ink set designed for Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland and Uniform machines which employ Epson's DX3 or DX4 print-heads. With users turning increasingly towards more responsible options, i-BiO's primary qualification is its use of renewable corn oil derivatives in combination with toxicologically safe solvents, resulting in improved biodegradability and production of minimal VOCs. Pure, vibrant colour output is produced consistently with i-BiO, reassuring printers of reliability and superb results.

The i-BiO range does not differentiate between substrates, allowing for photo-realistic production onto both coated and uncoated media. Unlike other biodegradable inks, no additional lamination is required for exterior use, which also increases the options for recycling post-use. i-BiO can be purchased in CMYK, Lc and Lm, orange, green, red and blue.

"Each of these releases represents an opportunity for users to incorporate a cheaper but equally viable new ink into their existing systems with a minimum of fuss in change-over, and with the reassurance of a full warranty," continues Williams. "Our cover is for full parts and labour at a fraction of the price of OEM options in the sector and are backed up by a global network of professional engineers. Further financial benefits come with the ability to buy either in cartridge or bulk form as desired, with a range of chip options."

Manufacturer and supplier of alternative small-, wide- and large-format digital ink-jet 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, water-based, UV-curing and coding inks.