One of the highlights for signs, labels, and printing every year is the SGIA expo. This year it was hosted in New Orleans, at the Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center from October 9th through the 12th. This year there are over 500 exhibitors (closer to 540) displaying their technologies ranging from, graphics, garments, wide format printing, printed electronics, signs, industrial, commercial packaging, and ink in the form of UV inkjet, Solvent based inkjet, and water based inkjet (including latex).
PIAMS primarily focuses on the ink development for DOD and CIJ printing techniques. Here we will highlight:
Ink Developments of 2017
UV Applications – Wide format for Glass and thick substrates (Kao Collins)
Water-based Applications – Sign and label (Prism Inks)
Media Developments of 2017 – Inkjet Media by Durico C&T, Inc.
UV Applications – Glass and Thick Substrates by Kao Collins
Kao Collins has developed a wide-variety of high-speed UV curable inks for use in Piezo print heads. D and H bulb curing CMYKLcLmW ink sets are available for substrates ranging from thin films to glass. Several of these inks have received approval from print head manufacturers, while other inks have been formulated to target specific end-user requirements.
After discussing the new ink portfolio, the Kao Collins representative, they have developed inks for specialty applications in order to provide enhanced performance characteristics for customized solutions. They released a statement in their brochures stating:
“Kao Collins is currently developing a variety of inorganic inks designed for applications that require longer light fastness and durability from inkjet fluids. Targeted applications include a range of architectural design products and exterior construction materials: windows, shutters, siding, facades, flooring, and other industrial material.”
We discussed their upcoming product portfolio and confirmed that their products were mainly for the home improvement sector and they have already begun to partner with what they referred to as a well-known window contractor and exterior remodeling company.
LED Curable Tesla Inks
Kao Collins has developed a wide-variety of high-speed LED curable inks for use in Piezo print heads. LED curing optimized CMYKLcLmW ink sets are available for substrates ranging from thin films to glass.
Fibra – Textile Inks for Piezo Inkjet
Kao Collins shocked us once again this year by improving their textile line by offering pigment-, reactive dye-, acid dye-, and dye sublimation-based textile inks for direct to garment (DTG) and direct to fabric (DTF) printing. They had a floor unit to demonstrate the new textile printing ink and applications thereof.
Targeted substrates range from natural fibers to polyester and ever clothing material in between, according to the representative at the SGIA booth.
Quanta – EB Curable Inks for Piezo Inkjet
The material that they have published in their brochures states the following:
“EB curing occurs by a similar polymerization process as UV and LED curing, but without the requirement of photo initiators. Kao Collins embarked on this project after seeing that the prices of beam curing units were approaching those of high-end LED curing units. Without photo initiators, the inks are safer, less costly, more stable, more reliable, and most importantly nearly odorless.
The EB process also offers a more complete cure than UV/LED and does so without generating as much heat as other curing technologies. This opens the door for printing on very thin films and foils. E-beam provides advantages for companies wanting to print low migration labels, packaging for food applications, and other consumer products. “– KAO Collins Quanta Brochure
What EB Curable Inks Mean for the Future of Inkjet
Over the past couple of years, Kao Collins has been formulating and validating e-beam inkjet inks to provide a niche solution to the industrial printing industry that current UV/LED curable inks do not offer. Concerns regarding material variability, potential migration, print integrity, complete and consistent cure are obsolete with EB technology. After working closely with e-beam equipment manufacturer, PCT, to conduct multiple printing trials, they’ve experienced all of the above first hand. The results are what they are here at SGIA to demonstrate, and I must say they are exceptional.
Kao Collins is able to formulate inks that are far superior to anything previously available to the market with other technologies. Kao Collins has an e-beam curing unit mounted to a web transport for in house ink development and testing. Kao Collins states that they are the first inkjet ink company to have such a novel set up, and they are really pushing to show off their wonderful creations. They are also challenging and encouraging customers to take advantage of the opportunity to explore the possibilities of e-beam curing.