Fujifilm exhibited reference models of a pigment ink for waterbased inkjet, to be used in flexible packaging, at drupa 2016. Fujifilm also showed its webfed inkjet press running at its drupa stand but that press was based on the use of LED UV inks. Not many in the industry are aware that Fujifilm is in fact one of the largest ink ingredient, inks and chemical suppliers to the global print industry because many of its products are sold through other original equipment manufacturers or OEMs.
At drupa 2016 Fujifilm was strongly commercializing its various inkjet related products under the ‘Fujifilm Inkjet Technology’ brand, which brings together various technologies owned by the company. These include Fujifilm’s Samba inkjet heads that are widely used both in its own presses and by manufacturers such as Heidelberg which used it for its UV-ink based Labelfire 340 and aqueous ink Primefire 106. Fujifilm’s own Jet Press 720S B2 size digital presses originally made for commercial printing are now finding increasing traction in carton printing and more than 80 of these presses have been installed worldwide.
The trend for short-runs, high-mix and quick turnarounds is increasing in the packaging sector, and traditional analogue printing, the mainstream in the flexible package field, faces difficulties regarding turnaround, cost and environmental performance, at least in some of the more developed economies. This has led Fujifilm to further develop the technology used in the Jet Press 720S to create an ink technology for water-based inkjet inks capable of being jetted on to flexible packaging film.
The bleeding of inkjet ink is an issue in the non-absorbent film substrates used in flexible packaging, but the application of ‘Rapic Technology’ created during the development of the Jet Press 720S enables an ink droplet to retain its stability where it has landed, and clear image reproduction is made possible by combining with proprietary undercoating technology. The combination of these technologies with Fujifilm’s high-definition Samba printheads has achieved productivity of more than 30 metres a minute while printing at 1200 dpi high-definition, in full color, enabling compatibility for digitalization for the reverse printing of flexible packaging.
Print samples using these water-based inks were shown at the Fujifilm inkjet technology zone at the company’s stand at drupa. An inkjet print sample of a shiny metallic ink currently under development was also exhibited. The development of metallic ink meets the increasing demand for indoor signs, packages and label printing with metallic textures. Also exhibited were some of Fujifilm’s latest inkjet printheads, inks, image optimization results and samples including commercial printing, wide-format, package printing and numerous other industry segments.
Packaging Soth Asia is a cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which was held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany