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PRINT 05 Consumables & Press Accessories -- All Consuming Topics

October 2005
by Chris Bauer

Managing Editor

The press manufacturers’ “big iron” may have taken up mammoth amounts of floor space and received the lion’s share of headlines at PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05, but not to be forgotten are the booths often found on the fringe of the McCormick Center’s halls. Here, there was plenty of news to be found from paper, ink and other consumables providers.

For example, while donning white lab coats, executives from International Paper announced that its entire range of uncoated freesheet papers for imaging, commercial printing, envelopes and forms would be improved to a new standard of whiteness and brightness. This technology increases the brightness from 84 on the GE scale to 92 and CIE levels of 135 and 145.

The company is making the enhancements to its Accent Opaque, DataSpeed, Hammermill, Postmark and Williamsburg grades. This innovation is the first in a series of technologies IP calls “VIP” Technologies for Vision Innovation Papers.

Mohawk Feeling Fine

On a somewhat-related note, after acquiring International Paper’s Fine Papers business, Mohawk Paper Mills has changed its name to Mohawk Fine Papers. Mohawk has initiated a 90-day operational plan to ensure the smooth integration of the two paper suppliers.

Mohawk also reported that it will be producing the entire Mohawk Color Copy line, as well as Beckett and Via, with wind power, expanding its use of alternative energy. In another announcement, the company introduced a proprietary process known as i-Tone applied to Superfine and Mohawk 50/10 products for use with HP Indigo printers.

Keeping with the digital printing paper theme, Stora Enso displayed its full product line-up, including Futura Laser, which has been engineered to run on both digital laser and digital offset applications. The grade is certified by the Rochester Institute of Technology for use with HP Indigo units.

Mitsubishi Imaging expanded its ink-jet media product line with GF6, a new semi-gloss proofing paper designed to be used with Epson’s UltraChrome inks. For fine art reproduction and high-end photographic printing applications, Mitsubishi Imaging now offers Diamond Jet 100 percent cotton paper.

At the MeadWestvaco space, Executive AV (Added Versatility) and Executive DC (Die Cut) envelopes were shown for use with automated production mail and small office inserting operations. The envelopes were developed in conjunction with several U.S.- and European-based inserting manufacturers.

Meanwhile, xpedx announced an improvement to its cut-size Vector Multi-Purpose business imaging papers line. xpedx has increased the paper’s brightness to 92, up from 84, which improves print quality and readability. The company also said that it expanded the Vector line to include new laser-cut sheets, computer paper and copier tabs. These join the line’s multi-purpose, coated laser and DI coated offset papers.

Also, GBC introduced GBC Scuff-Free Film, a combination of polypropylene and an abrasion-resistant coating that protects and enhances the look of books, packages and other printed materials. GBC Scuff-Free Film is engineered to accept UV spot coating. It resists scuffing during production, shipping and handling.

As for the ink portion of the consumables equation, Superior Printing Ink unveiled its creation of a program known as Preflight to Profitability (P2P). This comprehensive new program targets operational issues such as color management, press profiling, makeready, ink estimating, waste reduction and unscheduled downtime to help optimize manufacturing workflow and productivity. P2P is tailored to a printer’s needs to create a sustainable impact on costs.

Superior Printing Ink also showcased inks for commercial and packaging printers and its products were running on the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 and other presses on the show floor. The Super-Cure system is a traditional UV ink for paper and board stocks. The hybrid system offered is Inter-Cure.

Ink Line Heats Up

Three new products were added to Sun Chemical’s PrintEasy line for heatset offset printers. These include UltraPrint Universal, a low-tack ink developed for broader use in the high-end web printing market, and two Rycoline fountain solutions—the PrintEasy 2000 and PrintEasy 4000 series—formulated to produce results when used in combination with PrintEasy heatset inks.

Kohl & Madden, a subsidiary of Sun Chemical, introduced Liberty sheetfed inks, which were lauded as a breakthrough, VOC-free technology. Liberty inks use a proprietary formula developed in K&M’s new applications laboratory. This technology allows the inks to stay open on-press for days without drying. At the same time, the ink will dry virtually instantaneously once printed on the substrate.

Van Son Holland Ink showed its oil-based Quickson PRO, which is available in process and 16 basic Pantone colors, packaged in 2.2-lb. vacuum sealed cans and features ink and water balance for fast setting time. After processing, it may be coated in-line with aqueous coatings, off-line with UV coating and will film laminate.

It is laser-safe after 48 to 72 hours of curing time. Quickson PRO sets fast with a variety of fountain solutions, stays fresh overnight on-press, and dries fast on a number of substrates.

During the show, Van Son also held its fourth annual “VS” Series Ink Council meeting for printing ink manufacturers that distribute Van Son’s “VS” series inks, including the Vs3, Vs4, and Vs5 process and Pantone product range.

Flint Ink, fresh off its merger with European-based XSYS Print Solutions, launched its new ArroWeb heatset ink system. According to the company, it provides several pressroom benefits including quicker color start-ups, exceptional ink transfer and gloss, excellent ink/water balance, high-quality output, consistent color control and reproduction.

Six Sigma protocols are in place at the heatset ink manufacturing facilities to provide quality control and consistency for ArroWeb products.

Flint Ink also introduced a new generation of energy curable litho inks with the ArrowStar UV 7700 line. The formulations offer productivity to a range of printers including commercial, direct mail, folding carton, label and business forms producers.

Its merger with XSYS will create a $2.6 billion company with 8,000 employees.

Jetrion, the industrial ink-jet products and services subsidiary of Flint Ink, launched a program to provide ink-jet users with customized UV inks for in-line label, packaging and specialty applications. The company also debuted a low-VOC line of solvent inks for continuous ink-jet printers. In pre-launch runs at production sites around the country, Jetrion’s low-VOC inks reportedly ran at top bindery speeds in Domino and Videojet printers.

MetalFX Technology showcased its product that enables hundreds of metallic colors to be printed in one run of a press, using only one spot ink, the MetalFX Base Silver. It was printed live at the show exclusively by Heidelberg.

In other consumable developments, Kompac, a division of Day International, released its new line of fountain control systems. The systems offer variable reservoir capacity, refrigerated or non-refrigerated models, and work in a large variety of press configurations. The units feature corrosion-resistant pumps with AC motors.

Day also displayed its full line of printing blankets and sleeves and pressroom supplies. Featured technologies included the Durazone Compressible Layer for printing blankets that is said to increase durability without sacrificing print quality, and Apollo Web Conditioning, which replaces the practice of hand-mixing anti-stat additives and silicones.

Coverage for Blankets

MacDermid Printing Solutions offered offset blankets for the commercial, sheetfed, web, packaging and newspaper printing markets, as well as a complete line of blankets used for applying coatings. The range of products includes Polycell, Graffity, Timer, Contrast, Metro, Timer NP, Elastostrip and Polystrip. Also available is the Stabil-X range with the STX107, STX206, STX207 and STX209.

Reeves Brothers showed its full line of Vulcan brand offset printing blankets designed for the web, sheetfed, newspaper, business forms, metal decorating and packaging markets.

The new FCS (Flex Cleaning System) blanket and JetStream web cleaning systems were shown at the Baldwin Technology booth. The new FCS control platform will allow users to select the configuration of their blanket cleaning system to clean better and faster on all grades of stock. The no drip, no mist IMPACT mode is suited for auto-plate and auto-transfer applications.

In another development, Blue Glass anti-marking film is the latest addition to the PRI Technologies family of products. Its micro-bead technology is designed for coating applications where marking can be a problem. When used in conjunction with Super Blue 2 anti-marking, anti-static systems, it helps eliminate marking problems throughout the entire press.
 

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