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Pursuing screen/flexo

July 20, 2005

Pursuing screen/flexo
ink compatibility
Yet another inky partnership concerns Marabu, which makes screen inks near Stuttgart, Germany, and Paragon Inks, a manufacturer of UV flexo and letterpress inks based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They have formed an alliance to offer fully tested ink systems for use on combination label presses. They reason that while UV flexo has grown rapidly in recent years, there are still compatibility issues when it comes to overprinting UV flexo inks at high press speeds onto a white background printed with rotary screen inks. Normally operators have had to reduce speeds to avoid pinholes or similar defects with the screen inks, or to increase dot gain with the UV flexo inks. Yet, this overprinting technique is widely used among converters, especially when producing “no-label look” film labels for cosmetic, toiletries and bottled beverages, where the opaque white screen contributes to the label's aesthetic appearance and improves text legibility.
Marubu has developed a silicone-free rotary screen white named UltraRotaScreen UVRS 172, which can run with the established Uvdry flexo series 7000 from Paragon. A joint statement claims that the screen white not only optimally accepts the flexo overprint, but achieves an excellent surface at speeds of up to 200 feet/minute. The flexo inks are said to display excellent lay and gloss as if printed straight onto a synthetic substrate. They are backed by a combined technical support package.