One of the major highlights for printers and ink manufacturers alike, Graph Expo 2007 was held Sept. 9-12 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Rudi Lenz, left, Sun Chemical’s senior vice president and CFO, and Greg Lawson, president, Publication Commercial News & Industrial
All told, GASC reported 31,779 total participants, including exhibitors and attendees, at the event, achieving a 3 percent increase in attendance over last year.
“The activity on the show floor felt great,” said Ralph Nappi, president of GASC. “Now with the registration data compiled and finalized, we definitively know that this year’s Graph Expo surpassed last year’s show, with 20,285 attendees spending at least one day at the show, and most more time.”
Printing ink manufacturers showcased many new products, emphasizing environmentally-friendly technologies. Overall, they were pleased with the attendance at Graph Expo.
“We have more meetings planned than I’ve ever seen at a Graph Expo, and there are lots of customers coming to see us,” said Doug Labertew, vice president and general manager of Flint Group’s sheetfed ink division.
“Sun Chemical had an overwhelmingly positive experience at Graph Expo this year,” said Brad Schrader, Sun Chemical’s chief marketing officer. “Graph Expo provided us with an opportunity to deliver our sustainability message to customers and prospective clients while showcasing some of our new sustainable offerings, including Rycoline’s Evergreen Press Wash, Synergy UV Ink and our Intertech award-winning Liberty offset ink. Over the course of four days, we were excited about the booth’s activity level and our discussions with both clients and future clients. Graph Expo was a great venue for our leadership to visit with these customers in a short period of time.”
“INX International found Graph Expo 2007 to be very successfully and noted increased traffic from prior years,” said Renee Etiopio, corporate marketing manager at INX International Ink Co. “We placed concentration on our new EcoPure HPJ ink system, Fusion UV Hybrid, paste and liquid dispensing as well as digital printing capabilities.”
From left, Flint Group’s Doug Labertew, vice president and general manager of Flint Group’s sheetfed ink division; John Gramates, vice president, sales and service East;Birgit Backofen Rothaker, director, business development and OEM relationship management; and Rodney Balmer, director of global research and product development, sheetfed inks.
Ink companies noted the increased interest in digital technologies.
“In conjunction with Raster Printers and Innovative Solutions INX we exhibited the Daytona UV Flatbed printer,” Ms. Etiopio said. “It was obvious from our booth traffic and level of interest in the Daytona the migration towards digital print technology for both analog and digital printers.”
“Recognizing the theme and continuing growth of digital at Graph Expo, Sun Chemical was pleased to show customers its advances in the digital arena by introducing the new Streamline digital bulk ink feed system,” Mr. Schrader added.
For Graph Expo, Sun Chemical demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability, through the development of solutions that meet end-users’ stringent VOC requirements, lower energy use and waste reduction.
“Customers want ink and chemistry solutions that can make their operations run more efficiently while improving quality. They also need products that make it easy for them to address their environmental performance without driving up their costs or complicating their businesses,” said Mr. Schrader. “Sun Chemical’s global R&D operation is an engine of innovation that is creating solutions with lower emissions, faster drying times and characteristics that lead to significantly less waste and less clean up.”
Among these products is Sun Chemical’s new Synergy UV System, which combines new UV ink, coating, press conditioner, wash and fountain solution chemistries formulated to simplify UV printing. According to the company, Synergy is the only “system solution” designed for UV printing applications, with specially formulated products that speed make-ready, simplify ink and water balance settings and reduce start-up waste.
“Synergy inks offer a number of advantages, including excellent lithographic performance at high speeds,” said Jim Bishop, UV product manager. “The high-gloss series does not require UV coating, while the plastic series offers unmatched adhesion on a wide variety of plastics for display and card applications.”
Sun Chemical also focused on its Rycoline portfolio of green products: pressroom supplies and specialty chemicals designed to reduce VOCs in the commercial printing process. Created to meet the highest standards for print quality and on-press performance while providing the lowest impact on the environment, Rycoline’s Green Diamond Universal Fount eliminates the need for a 100 percent VOC alcohol replacement in the printing process, reducing VOCs by about three tons annually in an average sheetfed pressroom. The Rycoline line of blanket and roller wash products come in reusable containers, and their effective cleaning properties reduce VOCs by as much as six tons annually in a typical printing operation.
“Rycoline products not only reduce the VOC emissions in an average print house by many tons annually, but they also reduce the costs associated with drum disposal,” Mark DeSandre, vice president, market development, Rycoline, noted. “Using Rycoline products, commercial printers can comply with their customers’ demands for green operations while saving money in the process.”
In addition, Sun Chemical showcased Streamline S-Tech, its new digital bulk ink feed system for Mimaki JV3 series presses. Mimaki JV3 presses are used by approximately 8,000 commercial printing operations in Europe.
S-Tech is an ancillary system that gives Mimaki JV3 users the freedom to adopt Sun Chemical Screen’s range of Streamline solvent digital inks, realizing the cost savings of using a value-for-money bulk ink product. The system can be fitted and installed by a press operator with no modifications to either the hardware or software in the press. S-Tech uses a sensor to ensure a constant level of ink delivery, carefully controlling the ink reservoir levels to give consistent ink pressure on the printheads.
Sun Chemical also featured Kohl & Madden Liberty sheetfed inks, an environmentally friendly ink technology designed to produce outstanding print while reducing waste and dramatically shortening printers’ production times. Liberty utilizes proprietary chemistry to create inks that offer superb press stability and ultra-fast drying.
Flint Group had a wide variety of new products on hand for Graph Expo 2007, most notably its new Novavit F918 Supreme Bio sheetfed printing inks, which the company has recently introduced to the North American market.
Novavit F918 Supreme Bio are fast setting, vegetable-based inks. Their quick dry times make these inks ideal for perfecting presses, printers with bindery and finishing departments, and those who want to increase production speeds.
One key is that the inks are ecologically friendly. Made with naturally replenishable vegetable oils, the inks emit lower VOCs and minimize any potential negative impact to the environment. The Novavit F918 Supreme Bio series proves that ecologically responsible products can also perform to the highest standards in print speed, dot sharpness, ink/water balance, color intensity and quality performance on numerous substrates.
“Our customers are aware of the push toward green, particularly our packaging customers,” said Rodney Balmer, director of global research and product development, sheetfed inks, Flint Group. “Our Supreme Bio series offers a new resin technology, and it is fast setting.”
“Europe has been confronted with the demand for environmental friendly products, which the government has driven, and as a result we have expertise,” said Birgit Backofen Rothaker, Flint Group’s director, business development and OEM relationship management. “This is a major technology shift, and the feedback from press manufacturers has been very positive.”
“There has been a gap between bio- and mineral-based products, and we’re always looking to do better,” said Mr. Labertew. “We have overcome the performance gap, and we can now lead with this product over our mineral-based products.”
Flint Group also showcased its expanded Arrowstar energy curable product line, designed to meet nearly every print application and end use.
Joerg-O. Seeger, president and CEO, U.S. for Hostmann-Steinberg.
INX International Ink
INX International Ink Co. highlighted its Ecopure HPJ sheetfed inks, Fusion Hybrid process inks and Daytona T600 UV flatbed printer.
Ecopure HPJ sheetfed inks offer faster set times, improved trapping, greater rub resistance and better ink transfer than the Ecopure HP inks. Ecopure HPJ offers fast start-ups, wide water window, and can be coated with an overprint varnish, aqueous coat in-line or UV coat after 48 to 72 hours. It is foil stampable and laser printable.
Fusion Hybrid process ink is the latest INX advance in hybrids. It cures using UV technology, but prints, handles and washes up like conventional oil-based sheetfed inks. It eliminates the need for roller conditioning when switching from conventional inks, while offering exceptional adhesion to a wide variety of substrates, including styrene and PVC. Fusion has excellent flow and transfer, washes up with many conventional press washes, and may be coated with aqueous or UV coating and overprint varnishes inline.
Demonstrated in conjunction with Raster Printers and Innovative Solutions INX, Daytona T600 UV flatbed printer prints 120 ft2 to 240 ft2 per hour on a variety of rigid and flexible media, utilizing six M Class piezo electric grayscale printheads from Fujifilm Dimatix capable of printing at 10pl, 20pl and 30pl drop sizes. Each printhead has 304 nozzles.
Toyo Ink America
Toyo Ink was very active at Graph Expo, introducing new lines of ink, including its HyPlus 100 solvent-free sheetfed inks as well as flexible packaging inks and adhesives in the U.S.
Masaru Maeda, director, senior executive operating officer, division director, printing & information business HQ for Toyo Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd., was on hand for Graph Expo.
Toyo Ink has long been a leader in environmental issues, and its new HyPlus 100 is a reflection of the company’s approach. HyPlus 100 is solvent-free, is quick drying and delivers vibrant color. It has very good rub resistance and offers very high gloss. It is UV and aqueous coatable, and is hot foil stampable and laser printable.
“HyPlus was introduced in 2006, and we were initially targeting a specialized audience,” Mr. Copeland said. “However, it performed so well – it’s the fastest-setting ink I’ve ever seen, as well as being vegetable-oil based – that it’s become our fastest-growing sheetfed ink.”
Also on the sheetfed ink side, Toyo Ink displayed its HyPlus EC high-quality sheetfed inks, 24/7 Commercial Sheetfed Ink, Scuff Tuff SG Process Series and Aqualess Ultra Process Series of sheetfed inks.
Hostmann-Steinberg also emphasized the company’s commitment to the environment by highlighting its Inkredible line of inks, a series of six low VOC ink lines.
“The Inkredible series has much higher stability, better water-ink balance, higher gloss and is easier to handle,” said Joerg-O. Seeger, president and CEO, U.S. for Hostmann-Steinberg. “They are all low VOC, wash up very easily with less chemistry and come up to color more quickly. I think we have an excellent opportunity.”
Van Son Holland Ink
Van Son Holland Ink Corporation introduced its new SonaCure UV-Curable ink line at Graph Expo 2007. SonaCure UV-Curable inks are available in three series: paper, hybrid, and foil/plastic.
Paul Brouwer, left, Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son president, and Joseph Bendowski, president and CEO of Van Son Holland Ink.
“Our SonaCure UV curable ink line has been in development for a few years,” said Joe Bendowski, Van Son Holland Ink president and CEO.
“More and more printers are offering UV-cured printing as a value-added process for customers who want to convey a high quality image through their printed communications, especially packaging and related items. Van Son’s goal is to support printers in their efforts to expand their business opportunities and improve profit margins,” said John Sammis, vice president of sales and marketing for Van Son. “Additionally, SonaCure offers the added benefit of being an environmentally friendly, non-VOC ink. Printers can be assured that SonaCure, like all Van Son inks, is formulated for ease of use, maximum cost-savings and high performance.”
Van Son also showcase its Quickson line of process inks, including Quickson PRO and its high performance Vs3 and Vs5 series, available exclusively from ink company partners located strategically throughout the U.S.
Electronics for Imaging (EFI)
EFI displayed its wide range of products, including its Jetrion 4000 Series of UV inkjet printers, an affordable, full-color alternative to toner-based digital printers for narrow web converters. The Jetrion 4000 UV Inkjet System is also integrated with the Fiery XF RIP, making it the most versatile and scalable platform in the industry.
In addition, VUTEk QS3200 SWF wide format printers received Must See ’Em honors. The VUTEk QS3200 UV-curing digital inkjet printer, a fourth-generation UV printer, features high-definition print (HDP) capability.
“It’s good to be part of EFI, as we can now leverage all of our products together,” said Sean Skelly, director of product management, Jetrion Industrial Inkjet Systems. “Our technology is changing printing. This is an exciting time for us.”
Next year’s Graph Expo is scheduled for Oct. 26-29 at McCormick Place. For more information, contact GASC at (703) 264-7200, or on the web at www.gasc.org.