Nick Brannan, vice president product management, sheetfed inks and pressroom chemistry, explained the background.
“For the last 12 months, our product development and technical service teams have been striving to solve some of the industry’s most enduring challenges, including paper wastage and IPA-free printing,” Mr. Brannan said. “Now, after months of rigorous testing at printers across Europe, we are pleased to announce the launch of Libra Technology.
”In this world of diminishing resources, the need to reduce wastage now presses upon all of us to act quickly,” Mr. Brannan continued. “Libra Technology is a huge step in the right direction, as it enables printers to achieve ink/water balance faster than most other products in the market place, thus considerably reducing start-up waste. It also requires less intermediate blanket wash ups, leading to further reductions in waste material and less down time.”
It has long been recognized that the use of IPA in the printing process is undesirable, for environmental, health and safety as well as economic reasons. However its advantages in increasing the viscosity of the fount solution, optimizing ink/water balance and creating a wide and stable printing window far outweighed the pressure to stop using it.
However, as the world has changed in recent years, with more emphasis on environmental protection and cost savings programs, there has been a growing need to reduce or eliminate IPA from the printing process. Many attempts to provide stable solutions to this challenge have ultimately failed – but now there is a high quality, very stable option - Libra.
“These advantages alone do not paint the full picture,” explained Juergen Riedlinger, director of product management sheetfed inks. “Libra Technology brings performance benefits, such as reduced misting on high speed wide-format presses, and reduced picture framing, which is a long standing problem in the industry.”
“Flint Group’s capability to cross develop product lines has been identified as a clear advantage for our customers, and ink, press room chemicals and transfer media technical teams are now working diligently together, optimizing this opportunity to enhance on press product performance for our customers,” Mr. Brannan concluded.