INX
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.”

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As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

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The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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