Tag Archives: SGIA 2017

SGIA 2017 Sensient Inkjet Technology 2 of 3

SGIA 2017 – New Orleans Part 2 of 3

Ink Development of 2017 – Water-based Applications for Sign and Label by Prism Inks

The booth that really caught our eye for printing on non-porous, semi-porous, or microporous material was Sensient.  They have been busy formulating top of the line inks for both mechanical durability as well as UV stability. The exact quote their SGIA representative used was, “For our new SX 3000 inks we are only using pigments with a Blue Wool Value of 6 or higher.  This means that all of our pigments in the SX 3000 inks have the highest resistance to color density loss and Delta E color fade.”

The statement from the SX 3000 SensiJet Ink Brochure states:

“SensiJet SX 3000 inks are pigmented, water-based inkjet inks designed for non-porous substrates to generate images with excellent adhesion and fastness properties.”

These inks were developed with the environment in mind. The SX 3000 aqueous inks have been designed to have a low impact on the environment and meet the modern environmental and regulatory requirements.


SensiJet SX 3000 Ink Applications

  • Labels, posters, flexible and rigid packaging
  • Signage and displays (advertising panels, outdoor and indoor banners, backlit displays, temporary signage, vehicle wraps)
  • Decorative industry (wall coverings, photomurals, professional photography and fine arts, glass, ceramics)
  • Leather (fashion, automotive)
  • Laminated applications (with adhesive or thermal lamination)


SensiJet SX 3000 Print Head Applications

Sensient Printer Integration

Sensient partners with several companies to develop printers and systems solutions. Their specialty lies in the inks and as such they have ensured compatibility with Epson, Kyocera, and Konica print heads.  These print heads can be integrated into 3rd party printers or printer solutions.

SensiJet SX 3000 Ink Printing

SensiJet SX 3000 inks have been tested on various industrial prints. The suitability of the inks for individual machines and model’s needs, has to be validated by the 3rd party integrator. Depending on the ink and Piezo print head being used, heat may be required during printing (45C to 60C is recommended), the ink will set immediately.

SensiJet SX 3000 Compatible Substrates

SensiJet SX 3000 inks can be printed directly onto non-porous or semi-porous materials such as: polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC, TPU, window glass, leather, polycarbonate, ABS, polyamide, and various exterior vinyl applications.

SensiJet SX 3000 Curing Conditions of the Aqueous Ink

For the maximum mechanical resistance, prints should be cured at 100C for 1-2 minutes. If lower temperatures are required due to the nature of the substrate, the curing time should be increased by 3 minutes for every 10-degree decrease in temperature. The dry time is most notable for smudging the image, but is truly critical for the exterior and mechanical durability. While an image may appear dry to the touch it can be due to an exterior skin forming at the liquid air interface. If this is not fully dried or cured the image will degrade significantly faster than a fully cured print.

SensiJet SX 3000 Pre and Post Treatment

Depending on the substrate, the surface may need to be optimized for wetting out. Many companies rely on Corona or plasma treatment, but there are specialty coating companies who develop print receptive topcoats or primers to avoid pre-treatments like Corona.  Post treatment is never necessary but can be used to improve durability if an over laminate is applied with UV stabilizers or absorbers.

SensiJet SX 3000 Cleaning and Head Maintenance

While this is highly dependent on the print head and the subsequent integration into a printer, it is recommended to use the SensiJet brand cleaning fluid for all preventative maintenance. The SXY 1010 will clean out any residual inks from the print head, as well as to clear out any nozzles which may be misfiring or clogging. Also, if the printer remains idle for longer than 60 minutes or becomes unplugged, the printheads need to be properly capped.

SensiJet SX 3000 Capping of the Printhead when Idle

It is recommended to use a water-filled capping station with the liquid level close to the nozzle plate to ensure that a proper vapor pressure is maintained through the capping periods.  Depending on the print head used ask your Sensient representative if a co-solvent such as a glycol can be added to improve the cleaning of the print head and nozzles after the capping session.

SGIA 2017 – New Orleans – Kao Collins 1 of 3

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.

SGIA Banner for 2017 trade show in New Orleans

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.