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INX International introduces GAIA


GAIA is driven by the JetINX Printhead Drive and Ink Recirculation system.

Sakata INX and INX International Ink Co. officials have emphasized indirect food packaging solutions at Labelexpo Europe, as well as will narrow web label, sleeve and flexible packaging ink products. In addition to UV, EB and low migration inks and coatings and digital printing technologies have been displayed.

INX Digital’s expertise is being demonstrated with the introduction of GAIA, the first industrial end-to-end inkjet production line with inline ebeam curing for indirect food packaging and labels.

“We have a variety of products that are being showcased, and we are especially excited about GAIA,” says Peter Lockley, president of INX Europe. “It was created by combining INX Digital’s custom integration of digital technologies and print engines with Uteco’s expertise in web handling and an inline curing unit from ebeam Technologies. GAIA opens the door for packaging converters and label printers with custom print opportunities. The output quality and brilliant color is visually stunning.”

GAIA is driven by the JetINX Printhead Drive and Ink Recirculation system. The 4-color printer offers resolution up to 720 x 360 dpi, throughput speed up to 25 m/m, and uses photoinitiator-free inkjet, EB-curable inks from INX Digital.

JetINX also powers INX’s NW210 UV digital label press and has been displayed at the show. Producing best-in-class quality performance for customers in Europe and North America, the NW210 delivers single pass output up to 24 m/m. By combining printing and conversion, the end result is vivid, colorful labels at a maximum width of 210mm.

“We are excited about the evolution of our narrow web product line. The print width has grown, but just as important is the product options have drastically increased,” states Jim Lambert, vice president and general manager – Digital Division, at INX International. “The latest press we just installed has corona treatment for difficult to print on rolled goods, self-wound laminate application, laminate application with a carrier or liner, rotary output and a stacking device. When you add all of these options with the printing and laser diecutting capability that has been our mainstay, this device completely integrates the printing and converting process.”

The INX Group continues to respond with products to keep ahead of the demand for high-speed UV flexographic printing. INXFlex UV LM inks are premium, UV curable flexographic products that have been formulated to have low migration characteristics for indirect food packaging applications. Designed to have exceptional adhesion to a variety of synthetic stocks, they are compliant with Swiss Ordinance 817.023.21, the EuPIA inventory list, commission regulations (EC) 1935/2004 and 2003/2006, and the Resolution of Council of Europe on packaging inks AP(2005)2.

“UV inks are rising in popularity for several reasons. To begin with, water-based inks are cumbersome to dry and solvent-based inks require removing part of the solvent – after transfer – which is challenging to dispose of with environmental regulations,” explains Renee Schouten, director of marketing for INX International.

“Both water and solvent-based inks also require a drying process that takes time. You must reduce the efficacy of the ink, as ink costs in volume and about 40% of the ink base is lost in drying and curing,” continues Schouten. “That said, UV inks usage is still rising and will likely continue. They are more cost efficient than water and solvent-based inks. With all of the advantages, many printers of various types would benefit from making the change to UV inks.”

The INX Group also has plans for the increasing growth of LED and EB technology. On display will be food compliant UV LED offset and flexo inks for packaging applications, in-mold labels, and EB curing inks for shrink sleeve applications. The UV LED inks are Swiss Ordinance compliant and cure with as little as one LED UV lamp. As the technology evolves, these inks consume less electricity and significantly reduce the heat and odor associated with UV curing.

“LED UV is an enabling technology,” sums up Lockley. “In flexo printing, it allows for more specialty printing and superb product resistance properties while having an ink that remains stable on press, as there is no water and little to no VOCs to cause inks to drift. The electron beam (EB) technology is a further advancement of UV curing. In the EB curing process, a beam of high-energy electrons is used to cure flexographic printing inks. Our EB curable ink system offers good print quality, product resistance and high gloss, as well as eliminating the need for interstation curing.”

For sheetfed applications, the INX Group will feature long wavelength (LW) OSF process inks. They are formulated specifically for high performance printing on all major sheetfed presses and developed for the latest UV, LED and H-UV lamp technologies.