Minimum dot gain, consistency and improved mechanical resistances; the key advantages of printing with EB 730 curable inks proven in practice

Minimum dot gain, consistency and improved mechanical resistances; the key advantages of printing with EB 730 curable inks proven in practice

Siegwerk, Henkel, Comexi and ESI join efforts in a successful demonstration in the Technological Center from Comexi to show and analyse the benefits that printers can achieve by using GelFlex EB Technology

Minimum dot gain, consistency and improved mechanical resistances are some of the key advantages that printing with EB 730 curable inks from Siegwerk can offer in comparison with conventional solvent inks printing that were shown during the one-day event that ESI, Siegwerk, Henkel and Comexi organized in Comexi’s Technological Centre Manel Xifra Boada (CTEC) on July 19th.

The event started with a presentation from PepsiCo, in which Todd Fayne, Project management and execution specialist, explained PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose sustainability agenda which guides its commitment to deliver strong long-term financial returns in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the world at large. We also had the privilege of listening to Im Rangwalla, Market Dev Manager at Energy Sciences Inc., who explained the GelFlex Intellectual Property (IP) Licencing program. ESI is the Global, Exclusive Distributor of the GelFlex IP Licenses (Apparatus & Methods).

The printing tests were held in the Technological Centre Manel Xifra Boada on a Comexi F2 WB capable of printing both water-based and solvent-based inks that had been mechanically modified to be able to print also with the EB 730 inks from Siegwerk. The configuration of aniloxes, tapes and plates was also the result of months of tests, analysis and deep deliberation from the different experts conforming the team.

We printed a 7-color job using Siegwerk inks plus a High Gloss EB Curable overprint varnish from Henkel. The wet on wet flexo application allows for high gloss and superior abrasion resistance as compared to conventional solvent or water-based lacquers.

A total of 8 experts from the five different companies collaborated in the demonstrative event to showcase the results that can be achieved with EB curable inks. Through observation and analysis, the present representatives of top converting companies around the world were able to verify that printing with curable inks offers a complete and wide range of opportunities that involve a blue ocean of chances to increase profitability in the flexible packaging market. Not only it offers a saving in solvents, and its mandatory peripheral equipment such as RTOs and distillers, but also a bigger saving due to avoiding lamination by surface printing the only substrate to be used and applying an overprint varnish to increase the optical and mechanical performance.

Additional benefits from the EB curable inks are:

  • Single downstream EB unit. Eliminates the need for multiple curing stations vs UV flexo
  • Excellent print quality and great dot gain control
  • Large reduction in VOC
  • Very low energy required to cure
  • Absolute optical control (gloss / COF)
  • Printable on both surface and laminated structures
  • EB cure able inks & lacquer meets and exceeds the strict food regulations required by PepsiCo.

The increased interest for sustainable technologies from converters, the pressure from big brand owners on finding eco-friendly solutions, the appearance of different players competing on EB curable inks for flexo printing and the always present menace of a possible restriction (or even ban) on the solvents, is creating a huge momentum on the utilization of this technology that has helped to quickly move it forward – says Raúl El-Fakdi, Flexo Brand Manager from Comexi.

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