Corrugated inkjet leads digital printed packaging

Digital print for packaging is worth $13.2 billion in 2017, and will climb to $23.2 billion in 2022, according to the latest research from Smithers Pira, The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2022 .
The demand for inkjet and electrophotography print in packaging will see an 11.2% annual increase in value across the forecast period (2017-2022) and annual 15.4%growth in volume output (A4 sheets equivalent) – up from 163 billion A4 sheets (equivalent) in 2017 to 334 billion in 2022. This reflects the arrival of new higher throughput equipment.
Penetration for digital print technology is not uniform – the labels sector is the early adopter and mature in some regions. Consequently future expansion will rest heavily on less-developed packaging formats principally, including corrugated board, folding cartons and flexible plastics.
In 2017, the mainstream corrugated sector has a real appetite for high-volume inkjet liner and postprint systems, to provide new functions and gain plant efficiencies. Implementation is being led by some of the largest companies in the corrugated sector – as well as by more agile independents – leading to the arrival of new dedicated equipment that will enable volume production at a much more economical price. 
For more information on this report, please contact Julie Bostock.


Flexo goes Green to be continued in China

imagePrinting on corrugated boxes was quite simple just to meet the needs of a transportation container. To push the development of corrugated post printing in China, Bobst started together with Flint Group, Esko and other partners the initiative “Flexo goes Green”, which stands for sustainability, productivity and quality. This project was presented during the Sino-Corrugated 2013 fair in Shanghai, gaining a lot of attention. Meanwhile, there is a trend to more sophisticated packaging, and the new role of corrugated can be described as “from the brown box to branding”. By this means, packaging is becoming part of marketing and sales activities to more and more attract the consumer’s attention.

To further develop this important market segment, the partners decided to proceed with the “Flexo goes Green” initiative and to present two new corrugated boxes at the Sino-Corrugated 2015 fair. The boxes have been printed in a joint cooperation of the project partners with Flint Group’s environmental friendly water-based ink, FLEXOPAK C, and photopolymer printing plate, nyloflex® ART 284 Digital. This plate is ideally suited for printing on all kinds of fibre surfaces, e.g. high quality post print on corrugated board with very good reproduction of highlight dots and excellent and consistent ink transfer. The job with screen ruling of 133lpi ran on a Bobst 160 Vision VI press, with die-cutting on a Bobst SPO 160 Vision. In this specific segment of premium post printing with a thin flexo plate (thickness 2.84 mm), Bobst is in a leading position in China. The artwork was delivered by the local tradeshop, Kunshan Fuhua, with an Esko system.

Smart Packaging

image_thumb[2]A study by IDTechEX comes to the conclusion that the market for Smart Packaging – that is packaging enhanced with imprinted electronics – will grow from 75 million to 1.45 billion US dollars over the next ten years. The reason: imprinted electronics are to become 99 per cent cheaper soon, and cartons are of course the ideal media for all things printed.         

Electronics on packaging already exists, from flashing bottles of rum to talking pizza cartons, to sprays which dispel insects with electrically charged aerosols. There is even pharmaceutical packaging which registers how much medication was consumed and when, and also reminds patients. By using E-packaging, the brands will position their products new and prevent them from drowning in a flood of copied products. This also applies to trade brands. A third of consumers already experience difficulties in reading the ever smaller instructions for use – this is where Smart Packaging can certainly help.

Nanography – the essential

image[4]Landa Digital Printing (Rehovot, Israel) announced the publication of a white paper providing informative insight into the Landa Nanographic Printing™ process, also known as Nanography™. This new category of printing combines the versatility and short-run economics of digital printing with the qualities and productivity of offset printing.  
The white paper highlights how Nanography differs from other printing technologies. It employs Landa NanoInk™ colorants, proprietary water-based inks with nanopigment particles that are merely  tens of nanometers in size.
Topics covered in the white paper include:
•    The characteristics and limitations of current digital printing technologies
•    The unique properties acquired by materials when reduced to the size of nanoparticles
•    A description of Landa NanoInk and the Nanographic Printing process
•    The special characteristics of dots printed with Landa NanoInk
•    The transfer of the printed image to any substrate

The white paper also explains how the Nanographic Printing process can yield the lowest cost-per-page of all digital printing technologies. To get a copy of this document, just CLICK HERE or the image.

Nanographic printing – a commercial hit

image_thumbThe launch of the new nanographic printing technology based on the NanoInks developed by Landa Corporation hits an immediate sucess during DRUPA. Landa reported unprecedented levels of interest and orders (Letters of Intent with deposit) for its B1 format commercial digital press, the Landa S10 Nanographic Printing Press, the only B1 size digital press on the market. The machine is able to print at normal offset speeds (13 000 sheets/hr), with papers from 60 to 400 g/m2) without requiring plate changes or lengthy set-up times. It is intended to mainstream commercial print markets but there is packaging version to print folding cartons up to 1mm thickness.

The Nanographic Printing™ process is unique – using Landa NanoInk™ colorants, the process can create ultra-sharp dots of extremely high uniformity, high gloss fidelity and the broadest colour gamut of any four-colour printing process. The NanoInk film image instantaneously bonds to the surface of any off-the-shelf stock, forming a tough, abrasion-resistant laminated layer without leaving any residual ink on the blanket. Since images are already dry, there is no need for post drying. Two-sided printing becomes simple and printed goods can be immediately handled, right off the press, even in the most aggressive finishing equipment.

Big screen – less operators

All Landa presses, including the Landa S10, employ the stunning Landa Touchscreen, an oversize user interface that enables even an untrained operator to quickly master the press. The machine controls appear both on the left and right sides of the screen to enable convenient operation from either the feeder or delivery end of the press. Graphic displays include job management information and real-time status of every function on the press.

Due to the high degree of automation on Landa Nanographic Printing™ Presses, a single operator can manage two, three or even four presses at a time. When the operator leaves the press, the display switches to Vital Signs Mode, in which key indicators are presented in large fonts that can be easily read from 50 metres away. In addition, the entire user interface is duplicated on a portable touchscreen tablet that lets the operator remotely manage the presses.

Narrow Web Print Awards

Flint Group has released the "call for entries" for the 8th annual Narrow Web Print Awards competition.  Label converters from around the globe are encouraged to submit sample labels for evaluation by a panel of industry judges.  The award winners will be announced September 12, during Labelexpo Americas in Chicago. In 2011 Flint Group presented awards in twelve different categories at Labelexpo Brussels – all submissions using inks, coatings and specialty products supplied by Flint Group. Criteria for judging includes: registration, smoothness of dot/vignette, overall print quality, and degree of difficulty. Entries will be placed in categories relating to technology and application.  

Entry Guidelines are as follows:
1.    Each entry must be printed using inks from Flint Group,
2.    Entries can be a commercial label, or a promotional label,
3.    Entries can be sent in roll or sheet form with no less than 20 of each label – converters should specify if labels cannot be displayed on the Flint Group stand,
4.    Entries should be received no later than August 15, 201,
5.    Entries should be submitted directly to Flint Group Packaging and Narrow Web. For more information, contact Niklas Olsson in Europe or Deanna Whelan in USA.

The European printing industry needs a rapid renewal

The growth of digital media and the resulting decline in print runs, together with rising raw material costs and increased pressure from Asian competitors have put European printers in a tight spot. A VTT study on the current state of the industry and its future challenges shows that these companies need urgent actions in order to remain competitive.
For a decade now, the graphic and printing industry has been shaken by a considerable structural upheaval. The growth of digital media has upset the operating environment of the printing industry, driving businesses to merge and to cut capacity.

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