On 2 March 2016, Fujifilm announced that it will show a new UV LED inkjet press for flexible package printing at drupa 2016, for short-runs in the flexible packaging market. First aimed at its market in Japan, the 54 cm wide press can print 5 colors CMYK and white at 50 metres a minute which is similar to the speed of the 34 cm wide Gallus Labelfire 340 configured with Fujifilm Dimatix Samba inkjet for UV inks as well. The new flexible packaging press uses Fuji’s new EUCON imaging technology. EUCON stands for enhanced undercoating and nitrogen purging and is based on a newly developed UV ink by the company.
A major challenge for the flexible packaging market in recent years has been to effectively respond to increased customer demand for shorter runs, quicker turnarounds and a more diverse range of products. This trend will continue to rise, due to the ever-changing marketing methods and the shortening of product life cycles. As a result, traditional analogue print processes face growing challenges in terms of meeting these requirements from both a production and a profitability perspective. Fujifilm’s new LED-UV inkjet press is set to offer a real and robust production solution to help address these challenges and meet the needs of a changing market.
The new press takes advantage of the knowledge Fujifilm has gained in commercializing an extensive range of leading inkjet solutions for the graphic arts industry since the early 2000s. These include the company’s ground-breaking B2 Jet Press 720S (known as J Press 720S in the USA) for commercial print and folding carton applications and the hugely successful Acuity LED 1600 which has gained high praise worldwide for its outstanding quality, versatility and productivity. Fujifilm’s EUCON technology, at the heart of its new LED-UV inkjet press, is the latest innovation to come from the company’s industry-leading core inkjet expertise.
Fujifilm’s new LED-UV inkjet press for flexible packaging applications continues the philosophy of offering high performance, high quality digital print production, and thanks to a reliable media handling system can deliver productivity of up to 50 metres a minute using the 5 standard CMYK and white ink colors. In addition, as this new press uses an LED-UV curing and drying system, the amount of heat applied to the substrate is minimized, reducing power consumption and enabling the press to be used with a wide range of flexible substrates.
The proprietary EUCON technology in the new press is composed of three core components – a newly developed, high performance UV ink; a unique undercoating technology used to prevent ink bleed; and a Nitrogen purge technology, which is used to significantly reduce the characteristic odour of UV ink.
The ink used in the new LED-UV press offers stunning and stable color reproduction with superior color consistency compared to liquid toner, and takes advantage of Fujifilm’s high performance UV ink technologies developed for wide format applications. Fujifilm’s new UV ink also exhibits superb adhesive strength to film substrates, preventing peeling or cracking of the ink even when the print surface is heated. This means a high quality finish can be obtained for food packaging applications. Unlike most competitive systems on the market, the new Fujifilm solution fully supports heat-sealing and high temperature sterilization during pouch production or conversion.
Undercoating technology for superior image quality
The new EUCON technology used in the LED-UV inkjet press applies a newly developed and dedicated primer designed to generate superior image quality, even on non-absorbing surfaces. Applying this primer as an undercoat before depositing the CMYK ink significantly reduces ink bleed and enables vibrant color reproduction.
Nitrogen purge technology to reduce odour
Fujifilm has developed a new Nitrogen purge technology which instantly covers the surface of the substrate with nitrogen gas as it is being transported at high speed. This decreases the odour by completely isolating the substrate from oxygen, virtually eliminating the residual monomers.
Using Fujifilm’s EUCON technology, this new, next generation LED-UV inkjet flexible packaging press is set to offer printers a high performance, high quality, low odour production solution to meet the needs of a growing number of high quality, shorter run applications. And being highly versatile, it can also deliver personalization and variable data printing, while also being suitable for seamless printing, making it ideally suited for high mix, short production runs, to fully support the shortest lead times. Fujifilm says it will continue to develop new LED-UV inkjet technologies suitable for the EMEA and American markets.
Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.