INX launches INXFlex Contour inks

New ink products for the shrink sleeve market

INX launches INXFlex Contour to deliver performance, efficiency, and sustainability to the shrink sleeve market with new ink products. Photo INX

As shrink sleeves gain more traction in the packaging arena, INX International ink continues to meet market demand with innovative new ink products. The latest development is INXFlex Contour, a dynamic UV and LED dual-cure flexographic ink system designed to help produce distinctive shrink sleeve label solutions for brand owners.

INXFlex Contour follows the successful introduction of Genesis GS washable label inks, a recycle-friendly product that recently added a new flexo version and UV Curable primer that makes INXFlex Contour washable too. With various market research reports projecting the shrink sleeve market to expand considerably by 2026, both ink systems offer significant advantages.

In addition to high-performance capabilities, these colorful and vibrant inks were carefully designed to address pertinent brand owner issues including efficiency and sustainability, says Renee Schouten, INX’s vice-president of Marketing.

“INX shrink sleeves are formulated for optimal print and press performance, making the labels stand out on store shelves and attracting the attention of consumers,” she said. “Our ink and coating systems are versatile, adaptive, and work on all common substrates such as PET, cPET, OPP, OPS, and PVC. That’s a critical consideration since INXFlex Contour is designed for tamper-evident sleeve applications, an expectation most brand owners are seeking.”

One of the biggest benefits of INXFlex Contour is it corrects label and packaging industry issues of post-shrink adhesion loss and ink cracking and delivers superior flexibility that far exceeds any other product available in the market. Schouten explained that in addition to increased efficiencies, faster lead times, and lower applied costs with a dual-cure version, it also addresses sustainability concerns with patent-pending recycling capabilities.

“It was essential for us to design INXFlex Contour to work with a wide array of substrates while maximizing press speeds and ink strength. These inks give our customers flexibility in choosing the best substrate and the most cost-effective solution for their application,” indicated Schouten, who said it is available as a dual-cure or regular UV cure system.

“It also addresses the key needs of shrink sleeve converters – including shrink maximization in both orientations – while eliminating post-shrink adhesion loss and ink flaking,” continued Schouten. “Curing LED provides several sustainability advantages including energy savings with less power consumption, instant on-off access, and no ozone being produced. This gives brand owners looking to strengthen their recycling efforts another solid option, in addition to our Genesis washable label inks.”

Genesis GS has proven to be a popular gravure solvent ink system as it meets the PET-CG-02 Critical Guidance Protocol established by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). Schouten said in addition to Genesis GS and the new washable Genesis FS flexo solvent version, INXFlex Contour with its UV Curable primer gives brand owners better options for the lifecycle of their labels.

“When used in combination with INXFlex Contour, the new UV curable primer enables the ink to be washable from shrinkable cPET,” remarked Schouten. “The primer allows the ink to be removed in a caustic wash bath prior to recycling for the circular reuse of recovered materials.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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