ebeam Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of electron beam (EB) technology, and its partners, Uteco Converting and INX Digital International, are to unveil what is claimed to be the first industrial end-to-end digital narrow web system for the safe mass personalization of flexible packaging and labels for indirect food contact.
The new digital production line has been created through combining Uteco’s expertise in web handling, INX Digital’s expertise in the customization and integration of digital technologies and print engines, and an in-line ebeam Technologies’ ebeam Compact 80/400 curing unit. The 4-color system uses recently developed photoinitiator-free inkjet, EB-curable inks from INX Digital, has a resolution up to 720 x 360 DPI, a throughput speed of up to 25m/min. It has a footprint of only 4.4 x 1.5m and it is a low energy/low pollution technology, meaning it fits safely and conveniently into print room environments, according to the partners.
Earlier this year, ebeam Technologies and INX International formed a partnership to boost EB innovation.
The new industrial end-to-end inkjet production line with in-line EB curing is said to enable print and converting professionals, and brand owners in the flexible packaging sector, to take advantage of proven market opportunities around variable printing, such as product personalization, short-run market testing, print-on-demand or print-per-event, and local area snap promotions.
Because the INX Digital EB-curable inks are photoinitiator-free, package converters will now be able to target consumers with indirect personalized food packaging. In-line EB curing, meanwhile, allows a higher degree of cure, durability, a higher gloss finish and the ability to cure all colors. Instant curing characteristic reduces the time-to-market as the lengthy drying stage and storage before cutting is eliminated. It also eliminates the need for solvents, produces virtually no VOCs and requires very little energy.
Elsa Callini, business development manager at ebeam Technologies, described the system as ‘all about freedom’, and said: ‘From choosing your supplier to producing as many different packages as you like with compliant digital packaging, package designers are now free to let their imaginations go in the world of personalization and variable printing. Personalization is going to be a great way for brand owners to differentiate their products and they will be able to use our solution to test their ideas with economic short runs.’
Mario Gazzani, head of the Uteco digital division, added: ‘We are very pleased to be presenting our new solution at Label Expo. In addition to the innovation involved in the creation of this production line, the business model is also new in the digital printing market because, with us, the customer is free to choose their suppliers and there is no click-charge.’
The system is to be commercially launched at Labelexpo Europe 2017, and will be sold through the Uteco Converting sales channel. INX Digital EB-curable inkjet inks will be available from September 2017.