Sun Chemical making digital inroads with LabelExpo debuts

By Rhys Handley, Friday 06 October 2017

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Sun Chemical has expanded its portfolio with new UV-LED flexo inks and digital coatings, which were both debuted at LabelExpo Europe last week.

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Sun Chemical showcased its latest developments at LabelExpo Europe

The company showcased a variety of its inks, coatings and supplies at the show in Brussels. One of the headlining products was the SolarFlex LED flexo ink, intended for migration-compliant food packaging.

European sales and marketing director Jonathan Sexton said the inks, developed as a four-colour process set, would be available in full to customers in the next six months.

“There aren’t that many LED flexo presses in the market so far, so we are trying to get ahead of the game,” he said. “There is an interest across the industry to get mercury out of the process so it is more environmentally friendly. We can now provide the alternative technology to help companies make the transition.

“We realise that there has always been a worry that converting from UV flexo technology would lead to a drop in application quality but, using our SolarVerse system, we use the same concentrates at the same levels so there is no drop-off.”

SolarFlex LED features low viscosity and “unparalleled flow”, and can be used on a wide range of plastic substrates with high holdout for increased quality, according to the manufacturer. The process inks are complemented by an LED-curing opaque white for use on transparent labels.

Also launched at LabelExpo was Sun Chemical’s new SunEvo digital coatings. Global business development manager Marcos Valdezate said the company – which has its UK base in Slough – was revealing the tech as part of a bid to move packaging applications into the digital realm.

“We are aiming to close the gap between digital printing and packaging applications,” he said. “Most applications are done through analogue processes but digital is now disrupting the market. We hope to help enable packaging specialists in their transition to digital.

“Digital printing for packaging offers a number of benefits for converters including short runs and quick turnaround times and provides an effective tool for brands to communicate with customers in a personalised manner.

“It can also potentially open up new windows of possibilities for both traditional retailers and e-commerce channels by transforming packaging into more interactive and meaningful media.”

By enhancing surface treatments, SunEvo coatings allow converters to print on a wide range of substrates, including non-porous filmic and paper-based substrates and complementing digital inks to deliver functionality, protection, productivity and finishing.

Sun Chemical is a member of the DIC group, and has a turnover of more than $7.5bn with a team of 20,000 staff based all around the world.

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