Uteco Converting, Ebeam Technologies and Inx Digital International have joined forces to develop a new digital packaging line for the mass-personalisation of food packaging.
The three manufacturers will be launching the digital narrow-web solution at Labelexpo, Brussels, taking place from 25 to 28 September. It comprises a Uteco narrow-web digital printer, along with Ebeam’s Compact curing unit, first shown at Drupa 2016, and Inx's Ebeam-curable inks and Inx print engine.
Uteco will be setting the pricing and it will be sold through the Uteco sales channel.
Together, the three manufacturers are aiming to go to market with a solution for the safe mass personalisation of indirect food contact packaging and labels, which Ebeam business development director Ella Callini said will be the first of its kind. It is aimed at brand owners and print and converting professionals looking to take advantage of the promotional benefits of personalisation.
Callini said that the development was the result of a partnership between Ebeam and Uteco that had started “years ago” and covers several markets within the printing industry, including wide-web, narrow-web, analogue and digital.
The unit will run at a throughput speed of 25mpm, printing at a resolution of 720x360dpi.
Ebeam said the photoinitiator-free inks will allow packaging converters to target consumers with personalised food packaging. Even though the unit is intended for indirect packaging, Callini said that the inks used minimise the risk of migration that could be brought about when inks, coatings and adhesives are in close proximity to packaged food.
Callini said: “This solution is all about freedom. From choosing the supplier to producing as many different packages as you like.
“We hope it will be very disruptive. Ebeam curing is almost instantaneous so it significantly helps to speed up production times. Ebeam curing is also sustainable for the environment because it is energy efficient and it eliminates the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).”
Last year, Ebeam and Edale achieved the integration of Ebeam’s curing technology into Edale and AB Graphic International’s co-developed Digicon 3000. The curing unit was initially called the Ebeam Inkjet Dryer (EID) before being rebranded to Compact earlier this year.