Ink Industry Highlights Innovations during drupa 2012

By David Savastano, Editor | 08.06.12

Digital technologies take center stage as ink manufacturers showcase their newest products

Every four years, the printing industry converges in Dusseldorf, Germany for drupa, the two-week trade show dedicated to printing. More than 314,500 attendees visited drupa 2012, visiting 1,850 exhibitors in 19 halls, and while that was a 20% decline from drupa 2008, it still is a sizable turnout.

While the ink industry has a sizable presence, particularly on the digital side, a number of key international players – Sun Chemical, Flint Group and hubergroup – were absent, and Siegwerk had a small booth for coordinating customer trips.

Still, the ink industry leaders who were on hand for drupa were pleased with the interest they received from customers.
INX International Ink Company showed its wide variety of ink systems, with an emphasis on the latest offerings from its INX Digital branch.


More than 314,000 attendees came to drupa 2012.

These included the new NW140 UV digital narrow web press with UV LED-cure single pass, the CP100 UV digital cylindrical printer and the MD1000, the latest in a series of UV flatbed printers.

On the ink side, INX International showcased its new Low Migration inks and coatings, including the high performance EcoTechLM sheetfed folding carton inks; energy curable Low Migration flexo and offset inks; UV Hybrid Low Migration inks for flat sheet metal decorating; oil-resistant gas barrier coating material for food packaging; and energy curable Low Migration coatings.

“We have certainly been busy,” said Rick Clendenning, president and CEO of INX International. “It has really paid off to have Sakata INX and our digital arm, INX Digital, here along with INX International to show how our customers can use digital technologies in their everyday applications. A lot of people are interested in its potential.”

Toyo Ink was active at drupa 2012, highlighting its latestflexible packaging inks, digital news inks, water-based and UV inkjet inks and high performance sheetfed inks.

“drupa has seen a lot of activity, although there are not as many U.S. visitors as in past years,” said John Copeland, president and COO of Toyo Ink America. “There are a lot of people here from Asia, India, the Middle East and Europe. Water-based packaging ink technology is getting much attention.”

“It has been very good and very interesting,” said Sandra Dupuis, communication project manager for SICPA SA. “We have met with many prospective clients as well as people we already know well.”

Drupa 2012
Check out photos from drupa 2012.

Inkjet Inks

Digital technologies played a major role at drupa 2012, led by Benny Landa’s Nanographic printing presses and NanoInk technology, which is covered in depth by European Editor Sean Milmo.

EFI showcased its vast array of digital solutions, including the Jetrion 4900 for the label and narrow web segment.

“The Jetrion 4900 integrates our 4830 print engine and inline laser die cutting,” said Jennifer Renner, senior product manager, EFI. “It has been well received, and customers are very happy.

“drupa has been really busy,” Ms. Renner added. “We have had people lined up in front of the 4900 as well as the Vutek printers. Our key advantage is that we have everything for printers, from our Fiery rip system and our printers and inks. There’s nothing worse for a customer than being shuttled around, and we work together to create an integrated solution.”

FUJIFILM had a number of new printing technologies during drupa 2012, and the company introduced the inks to match. Among the highlights were the new Vividia inks for its new web press, which is expected to launch at the end of 2012, as well as Acuity LED and Uvijet inks.

“drupa has been really strong,” said Terry Mitchell, director of marketing, FUJIFILM North America Graphic Systems Division. “We have gotten a lot of leads, and the major printers from North America have been coming here.”

Bordeaux Digital PrintInk enjoyed its first drupa, and brought along a whole host of new technologies, including its innovative Latex Water-Based Resin Prototype ink. The Latex Ink uses piezo drop-on-demand (DOD) instead of thermal DOD printheads.

“We are seeing a lot of interest in our water-based Latex ink, which replaces solvent-based inks,” said Moshe Zach, CEO of Bordeaux.“It took a lot of time to develop a prototype.”

“This is our first drupa,” said Galit Beck, Bordeaux’s marketing and PR manager. “We supply inkjet inks for all systems, as well as water-based and UV coatings. We want to show that we are a one-stop shop, and developed new ink and dye sublimation for drupa.”

Bordeaux places a major emphasis on environmentally friendly ink solutions, and drupa 2012 was a showcase for these products.

“We developed our EcoSolvent inks in 1997, and we continue to advance our environmental portfolio,” Ms. Beck said. “The market is asking for environmentally friendly water-based ink. We can convert any printhead, and it works on any substrate our EcoSolvent prints on. DyeSub is a water-based ink for textiles, and is super convenient for printing. Our UV ink is very flexible.”

Bordeaux’s leaders said that drupa 2012 was an ideal arena to highlight the company’s abilities.

“drupa is very good for us,” said Mr. Zach.“It has far exceeded our expectations. We are working with OEMs and printhead manufacturers, and we are pioneers in our field.”

“drupa has been a very big surprise,” Ms. Beck added. “People want to move in to digital from offset, and we are having a lot of OEM meetings. Our latex ink will be commercialized by Q3. There is strong demand for DyeSub, and UV is very popular.”

“drupa is really good,” Dror Mualem, vice president, marketing and sales for Bordeaux, added. “There are serious people here. This is my fifth drupa, and this is the first where I have seen so much digital technology. I feel there is a shift to drupa becoming a digital show. This is why I am so excited.

“Bordeaux is getting great feedback from the industry,” Mr. Mualem added. “In five years, Bordeaux has developed a wide variety of applications and geographic regions. We are keen to stay on the consumable side and work with OEMs in many fields.”

OCP also made its first appearance at drupa, and Dirk Hunselar of OCP’s Business Unit ComPrint said the show was a good one for the company.

“For us, this is our first drupa,” said Mr. Hunselar. “We have historically focused on the desktop segment, and in the last few years have started working on industrial inkjet. We are now looking for a partner to sell our water-based inks. This is a good show to see the right people.”

On hand for Toyo Ink were, from left, Katsumi Yamazaki, president, Toyo Ink Co., Ltd.; Kunio Sakuma, chairman of Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd.; John Copeland, president and COO of Toyo Ink America; and Hiroyuki Hamada, president, Toyo Ink Europe S.A.S.
International Presence

drupa features many international ink companies from around the globe, and European and Asian ink companies showcased their latest innovations.

“It has been a very nice show, very interesting,” said Wim van Mastrigt, managing director, Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son. “There is a good international presence here, and we meet again with old friends and new. We are a stable company, 140 years in business. We have nice possibilities in offset, flexo and digital.”

“The first three days were slow, but it picked up well,” said Stefan Zah, manager, marketing communication, Proll KG. “We are in a special industry, screen and pad printing, and we are meeting a lot of people. In the future, the printing industry will combine with capacitive inks, and our customers are working on this.”

“drupa was slow to start, but it picked up. We have had some good contacts,” said Marcus Ruckstadter, sales director, Zeller+Gmelin Division Printing Inks.

Marabu GmbH & Co. KG had two stands at drupa: one dedicated to its screen offerings –the company was part of Screen City – and the other to its digital portfolio.

“On the digital side, MaquaJet is an ecologically friendly ink,” said Ute Wilkens, marketing and communication print for Marabu. “For screen, UltraMold UVPC is ideal for the IMD process. People are very interested UV curing for IMD, and the reaction to UltraMold has been very good. Our MaraBox utilized our innovative cardboard packaging, which is a more ecological approach. Our UltraBoard UV BAR is a screen ink that utilizes more renewable raw materials. Our cardboard cartridge is a totally green concept, which brand owners want. We are working with Ilford in Europe.”

“Interest in MaquaJet is very high,” added Andreas Koch, managing director of Marabu’s Digital Division. “It dries fast, and can be cured at 45°C to 50°C. It can also be cut and laminated. As a result, it does not limit the substrate that can be used.”

Gary Sheppard, chairman and managing director of Pulse Printing Products, said that drupa is an excellent show for the company.

“The Pulse name is getting out there, and I like to think that we are becoming known for our high quality and support,” Mr. Sheppard said. “We make water-based emulsions, UV curable lacquers and inks. We are going to be consistent, and do not change our raw materials.We supply water-based coatings worldwide, and our goal is to grow our export distribution. We have developed strong sales in Eastern Europe and want to take the business global into North and South America and the Pacific Rim region.”

“drupa has been great,” said Esra Alpay, logistics and exporting executive, Budin Akarca. “It is our first time ever exhibiting here. We are looking at doubling our exports and we have already met many potential customers. Here we are seeing serious people coming over willing to buy inks.”

Epple Druckfarben introduced its new patented web-based color management tool that allows large companies to compare their production worldwide.

Environmentally friendly inks were also of great interest at drupa 2012.

“Business has been good,” said Jack Baarends of Bloit Ink and green4print. “There has been a lot of interest in environmentally friendly inks, and now we are getting a lot of interest in Europe. ISO 16759 is the new sustainable standard for printers, and we are seeing a lot of print buyers who are interested in this. If you don’t put a green ink with FSC paper, what’s the point? We also work with fountain solutions that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Eco-Fount is 100% biologically green solution. We also offer PCO fountain solutions. These are as bio-based as possible, up to 82% BRC.

“To print with healthier inks, we took out eight typical ingredients, including mineral oil and cobalt, and eliminated formaldehyde, tin and alkyl phenols from resins,” Mr. Baarends added. “We also use the best environmental practices for manufacturing. Green is not for free; our Forest line is the most economical, while Emerald is our highest performing line.”

“We make solvent-, water- and UV-based inks for flexo,” said Steve Fisher, managing director, Miracle Inks. “ Our specialty is that we develop and manufacture both UV technologies, cationic and free radical. Food packaging is the key market. We put a great emphasis on making sure our inks are compliant. We have to ensure that all of the components we use to manufacture inks are in keeping with the Swiss and German ordinances, and there needs to be a tightening of low migration standards.”

Ink Industry Suppliers

drupa also features some key ink industry suppliers as well. For example, the ALTANA booth featured ECKART Effect Pigments, which showcased a number of innovations.

“The biggest thing we are showing here are food grade packaging inks, as well as more environmentally friendly products that are mineral oil- and cobalt-free,” said Joe Perdue, marketing manager – North America for Eckart America Corp.. “Ferricon is a magnetic iron pigment for screen printing that is drawn into a magnetic field. We also have Luxan, a new glass flake pearlescent pigment. The demand for metallic inkjet is starting to develop, and we now have UV as well as solvent-based metallic inkjet inks.”

IGT Testing Systems also was on hand to show its latest products.

“It’s been crazy, a really good show,” said Wilco de Groot, general manager of IGT. “After unifying Testprint and IGT, there is wide interest in our new technologies. We are getting a lot of attention from the paper and ink industries. Our printability testers have a higher degree of automation at speeds comparable to a printing press, and our Tackoscope is much improved and easier to use.”

LED curing received much attention at drupa 2012, and Phoseon introduced three new products. FireJet FJ200 is an air-cooled lamp, ideal for coating lines and wide format scanning. FireEdge FE200 is a UV LED pinning lamp. FirePower is used for flexo. It is water-cooled, high-powered and compact.

Chad Taggard, Phoseon’s vice president of marketing and business development, said the company saw great interest in the technology.

“drupa has been very good,” Mr. Taggard said. “The uptake on LED continues to grow. FirePower has been particularly popular here. Flexo LED is coming this year, and offset LED will be coming. We supply to OEMs, and we are seeing them here. We are also getting lots of questions on retrofitting. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to supply ink that works on both LED and UV.”