Special ink -- a new shortcut to eye-catching packaging
marketers hope that the packaging and labeling of their products will work - really work - and affect the appearance and ideas of those who see products on shelves or elsewhere. It is this that makes this industry survive and develop, and it is also the reason why processors flock to this market
but not everyone can produce shrink labels or stereoscopic pictures. If a printed product has a simple two-dimensional image, what should you do? You can use light or color. Glowing things can attract consumers, like colorful angled fish (tropical divers should know very well). If it flickers, glows or is dazzling, there must be a reason in the package
special inks can make labels look particularly beautiful, and people's interest in them is growing recently. "Obviously, people pay more attention to luminous inks in the dark and thermal color difference inks," said Dave Elliott, marketing manager of Craig adhesives coatings, an adhesive & coating company based in newarkcraig, New Jersey
"at present, the most used categories of special inks are thermal color difference inks, luminous inks, pearlescent inks and metal inks," said Ed Dedman, market development manager of SICPA company. SICPA is a Swiss ink manufacturer headquartered in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, in North America
in addition, there are photosensitive color difference inks and optically variable hybrid products, so there can be many professional methods to make conventional printed parts very prominent
special inks pose a challenge to printers, but they are still easy to master through use and training. For packaging users, metal ink provides an alternative with a lower cost than bronzing, while for processors, it means faster printing. However, metal inks, fluorescent inks, other unconventional inks and coatings are still expensive, because the components used to make these inks or coatings are themselves very expensive
at present, the most popular special effect ink on the market may be metal ink. "Usually, it is used most in decorative special inks," said Mike buystedt, director of market development at Akzo Nobel inks, Minnesota. They have entered this industry for many years, and now the old substitutes have given way to the new generation. Now every kind of experimental machine has its own structural characteristics
"vacuum metallized pigments have received a lot of attention recently," buystedt added. "The technology used in its production can produce silver with high brightness, just like metal foil. We can't get the same result for gold at present, but we are concentrating on research and expect disorderly competition to intensify and products to be available within 18 months."
according to Norbert hobrath, director of market communication and service of Eckart Americas, Ohio, the processing process of vacuum metallized pigment (VMP) "can produce ultra-thin aluminum layer dispersion, and its high metal powder suspension characteristics lead to particularly bright reflectivity."
hobrath exemplifies the difference between traditional metal pigments and VMP metal pigments: "imagine a group of small mirrors placed on a table with many bumps inside, so that the mirrors will reflect from many different directions and angles. This is traditional metal ink. In VMP, all mirrors are lined up and face the same direction, forming a super reflective property."
"this is the biggest progress," Dedman said. "These products with particularly high brightness are designed to replace metal foil. They perform best when printing on the back of transparent film. For metal ink, the film is like a lens. Some people print conventional ink in front of pure metal ink to increase metal tone or form a dark tone, and they can also mix colors in the ink to achieve this effect. Now the market is very interested in this."
according to Dedman, one disadvantage of VMP is that "the best products are solvent based products. Of course, not all products are like this. Only the high brightness metal foil replacement type is solvent based. At present, water-based inks and UV curing inks have also been developed, but they cannot obtain the same high brightness as solvent based inks."
buystedt said that solvent based VMP silver "is very bright. When it is printed on the back of transparent polyester material, it looks like a mirror. If the same material is printed with water-based ink or UV curing silver ink, the effect is not so good, and it looks more like matte metal foil."
"they are much better than old products," said John signet, marketing manager of water ink technologies in North Carolina. "Although the gloss is not as good as bronzing, it gives processors a good choice to present to users. We have several examples of ink replacing gold foil."
"some of our users coated a large amount of metal ink on the substrate, and then absorbed the higher part of the ink."
signet added, "this is a challenge." "So far, the biggest interest is VMP ink," hobrath said. "Printers see the value of faster machine operation. If you use online bronzing, you must slow down the printer to ensure bronzing registration. Using ink, you can make the printer really open, and you can also get the effect you want, and the cost is lower."
however, cost is a problem. "This ink itself is very expensive," Dedman said, "but the total cost depends on the area covered and the number of prints. Even if high brightness inks are expensive, using them is usually cheaper than investing in foil and equipment."
"VMP technology is very expensive," buysedt said. "Ink may cost $100 or more per pound, but processors can use it economically. Suppose you want to print two decimal points: if you have a 10" wide printer and use metal foil, you have to use 10 "metal foil for these two decimal points, which is a lot of waste. And using metal ink is much less waste. And you can print halftone with ink, without difficulty."
"if you want to cover the whole label with silver, you can choose metal foil as the first choice," hobrath said. "But if you want to cover most of the labels with white, you won't use metal paper. For film, now you can use ink on the bag instead of film/foil composite layer to get a metallic feeling. This will be very important in the future, and now it has begun."
printer operators may pay close attention to the performance of metal ink on the printer. Dedman said that most metal inks have no special adhesion to films; In addition, its plastic deformation is very small and its wear resistance is very poor. Because they are not chemically compatible with resins, conventional ink additives cannot be used. "
"they will have a little foam," buystedt added, "but the operation is not so difficult. If you print water-based metal ink on uncoated paper, because the adhesive penetrates into the paper, the pigment is bound on the printing plate, which is easy to cause reverse printing on the printing plate, resulting in the accumulation of the printing plate surface, which may be a problem. Using different materials is often helpful."
millions of metallic inks
one of the rising stars of metallic ink, me of guiseley, England, has attracted worldwide attention during the term of your contract. The company has professional technology. Printers can lay a layer of silver metal ink first, and then print transparent four-color ink on it to color. Metalfx has designed a software system that can guide printers to create colors, which can reach hundreds of kinds now, and may be millions in the future
"the idea of printing CMYK four-color ink on the silver background has a long history," said Andrew Aige, general manager of metalfx, "but I'm surprised that no one has provided such a system. So we began to realize that there is an obvious gap in the market. We saw the potential of printing millions of metal colors with only one ink, so we decided to develop such a system."
marks Spencer and Safeway department stores are planning to integrate metalfx technology into their product packaging, Ainge said. This has also attracted many other companies, such as Eckart, Kodak, Creo and Gretag Macbeth, to expand their use. For example, Eckart is developing a silver based ink MFX system for different printing platforms
"this is a tool based on prepress design," said hobrath of Eckart. "It tells the printer 'see how easy it is to metallize your packaging as long as five color printing'. First print silver ink, then four colors. As long as you change the color sequence, you can get up to 104million colors." The current MFX system has 615 logo colors, but as long as there is a small color change, millions of colors may be obtained
pearlescent ink is the most interesting after metal ink in the packaging industry. "It can be UV curing ink or water-based ink," said Jim Wittig, vice president of rad cure, New Jersey. "Traditional pearlescent ink is to add modified mica lamellae to different types of inorganic coatings, and the coating is usually based on titanium dioxide or iron oxide. These coatings make mica rainbow color, and the interface mode determines the appearance of pearlescent. These lamellae have been used in flexible printing and silk printing."
the primary color of pearlescent is "some kind of ivory white", Wittig said, "but now they can have various colors." They are more wear-resistant than ordinary coatings, and processors usually try to avoid die cutting through ink
"pearlescent ink has existed for many years," said decman of SICPA. "However, some recent advances in pigment technology have made it easier to flow and better results can be obtained on conventional films. In the past, they were difficult to use mainly because they contained dust, but now they are much easier to use."
"one of the challenges faced by pearlescent is to adapt the ink to users' products," said Elliott of Craig adhesives coatings. "You see, for those products that are pearlescent in themselves, there must be many pearlescent materials. Therefore, it is a challenge to make the label achieve such an effect, because the ink will not reach pearlescent saturation." "Pearlescent light falls off easily," said buysedt of Akzo Nobel. "The printer should be aware of the layering between it and the pigment; the pigment will precipitate after a long time, so you must stir it."
fluorescent ink, thermal color difference and photosensitive color difference ink
special ink can make labels look particularly beautiful
"we have received many inquiries for unusual luminous inks in the dark," said John signet of water ink technologies. "We have made a kind of ink into a flickering type. But some inks are difficult to deal with in this way; in addition, we often need to apply antirust oil to these areas to formulate the formula, but it is very difficult. The particles in the ink must reach the size that can absorb enough light. This type of ink performs better than flexible printing in silk printing."
fluorescent inks, and those that change in appearance when exposed to light or temperature changes, provide the diversity that printers and packers seek. Thermosensitive color difference inks react to temperature changes and can be formulated to work in cold (such as beer labels) or hot start systems. Photosensitive color difference ink will change color or appear when exposed to UV or sunlight
"we received a call from a cosmetics company," Elliott recalled, "it's a marketing of hot oil treatment. They want to invest in hot oil
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