Sun Chemical developed Spectrum gravure inks and Fidelity flexo inks to meet the needs of the fast-growing market for shrink sleeve packaging. Both systems are solvent-based inks designed for high performance on a variety of films, such as PVC, PET-G and OPS.
“The use of shrink sleeves is just exploding in North America, with growth of nearly 15 percent each year,” said Brendan Maunsell, vice president, Coates USA. “These high-impact sleeves offer 360° graphics, high gloss and can be applied to containers with unique shapes. Consumer goods companies have found that the sleeves really capture the attention of shoppers. Some retail products using shrink sleeves have increased sales more than 30 percent solely through redesign of their packaging.”
Both Spectrum and Fidelity resist cracking during application of heat and subsequent shrinking while the sleeves are applied to a container, he said, pointing out that in some cases the sleeves shrink up to 80 percent to fit the contours of a container.
Sun Chemical also launched RotoPure and RotoPure Ultra high-performance, solvent-based laminating systems designed to print on film substrates and structures.
Both products utilize Sun Chemical’s polymer technologies, which eliminate the need for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and tin-containing compounds. These components have been dropped to improve product safety in food packaging without reducing pressroom performance. The systems are ideal for use in stand-up pouches and flexible packaging applications.
Although market trials on RotoPure Ultra have only recently been completed, Sun Chemical already has received a technical achievement award for the product from the Packaging and Label Gravure Association.
Sun Chemical Ink (GPI) launched ClearMax, a line of anti-fog coatings designed to control water vapor build-up in food packaging. These coatings, available for flexo and gravure applications, are designed to give the product a fresher look by preventing fogging on polyethylene and polypropylene films used in the packaging. These products comply with FDA regulations for materials used in food packaging.
“Many foods contain large amounts of moisture, which can condense on the inside of packages,” said Brij Nigam, marketing manager, EC and aqueous coatings. “When this happens on the retail shelf, the foods can lose the crisp look that is appealing to shoppers. When Sun Chemical’s anti-fog coatings are applied, those products look fresher for longer times, making them more attractive to buyers.”
Advantage and Everest Hi Tone ink systems, designed to improve pressroom performance for converters of paper packaging, were also introduced. Sun Chemical’s Advantage is a water-based flexographic ink formulated for pH stability during long press runs of mid to mid-high level corrugated and paper bag products.
Everest Hi Tone inks were developed by Coates USA. They are water-based flexo inks designed for vignette and process printing on paper and board for preprint, multiwall bag, post-print and narrow web.
“These two inks systems represent substantial opportunities to improve print quality, run consistency and pressroom productivity across a wide range of paper packaging applications,” said Jim Wegemer, director, paper packaging, Sun Chemical Ink (GPI).
Mr. Wegemer said that due to Advantage’s stability, monitoring at press side is reduced, minimal viscosity adjustments will be needed and consumption of additives will be reduced. Advantage rewets well after shutdowns, and dries quickly for good in-line die cutting on a variety of substrates.
The vehicle structure in Everest Hi Tone provides clean printing with crisp print definition and excellent rewetting for high-end prints, Mr. Wegemer said. Everest Hi Tone dries quickly to a rub-resistant film, which allows further finishing almost immediately after printing.