Sun Chemical’s SunJet division has won the Stationers’ Company overall Innovator of the Year Award for its low-migration inkjet ink, which is safe to use for food packaging.
The firm beat off competition from 32 other finalists in the Innovation Excellence Awards, held at the Stationers' Hall yesterday, to win the top accolade.
Its SunJet EtiJet UV inks for narrow-web and labels, and Amphora range for packaging, only contain materials that are on approved lists and comply with the Swiss Ordinance standard.
The Stationers’ judges praised the formulation for “making food packaging more safe in the digital arena” and for its “novel chemistry to prevent the ingredients in packaging ink migrating into food”.
Peter Saunders, SunJet business director for digital, said: “The breakthrough is we have come up with a way to complete the cure so all the monomers cure together to create a complete plastic.”
The ink is already commercially available and is used by Durst in its Tau inkjet label press. “This is a huge area of potential growth as there is not a lot of digital printing in packaging yet,” Saunders added.
BBC global business correspondent Peter Day, who has presented Radio 4's In Business programme since 1988, said: "In the disruptive 21st century innovation defines business success. Thinking up new ideas and products is the easy bit. Putting them into practice - the execution - is difficult."
The other Innovation Excellence Award winners were:
Heidelberg for the PFX feeder on the Stahlfolder, which reduces feeding issues and improves net output;
Earth Inks for its range of flexo and screen printing inks based on natural and renewable materials;
Imagine Publishing for its ‘bookazine’ book/magazine hybrid;
Clere Design & Print for its software for automating the creation of golf course yardage book illustrations;
Parkside for its duplex laminate for ready meals, which reduces packaging weight and saves costs;
Office Power for its dealer service and support platform;
Ultrachem for its Safe to Touch antibacterial print coatings;
The Copyright Hub for its open-source copyright protection technology;
CyanX for the Eco-seal aqueous pressure-sensitive coating;
Axillium Consulting for its novel digital technology aimed at exploiting ‘the internet of things’;
Foyles Book Search and White October for their in-store mobile web inventory and search software.
The Stationers’ Company also handed out its first set of Warrant Awards yesterday, with recipients able to use the Stationers’ seal of excellence on their products and publicity for the next year.
The Warrants went to: Colop UK for the Colop self-inking stamping system; The Folio Society for The Letterpress Shakespeare; OfficeTeam for its EcoTeam white recycled laser paper; Prima for Prima Cloud ERP system for office products; Tombow Pen & Pencil for the Tombow Airpress pen; Wiles Greenwood for its Court Box document system; and Victor Stationery for its Soft Touch Flexiback Book.
The idea for the Warrants was conceived by Helen Esmonde, who will take over from Ian Locks as the Company’s first female master next month.