Star product: Mirri foil laminated media

By Simon Eccles, Friday 13 September 2013

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New substrate options for creating glitzy metallic effects.

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What is it?

Mirri is a range of speciality metallic foil laminated media for commercial printing using offset, screen, UV inkjet and HP Indigo digital presses. The best-known Mirri H material comprises a metallised foil laminated to a board or paper substrate, protected by a high-gloss polyester top layer. This gives a near mirror finish.

What’s new?
The range has just been extended with a version of the Holographic ‘Rainbow’ effect that’s now certified for HP Indigo presses; Mirri Glitz, with a glittering finish for conventional print processes or UV inkjets; and new Mirri Nor, which has a choice of finishes laminated to Smurfit Kappa’s T-Flute microflute corrugated board.

The Indigo-certified Mirri Pak Rainbow is only available in gloss silver, with a choice of three weights. Mirri Nor Pak on T-Flute corrugated board is FSC-/PEFC-certified and recyclable and biodegradable options are available. It is available with a choice of silver matt and gloss film, gold matt and gloss and a rainbow film.

Celloglas has also recently introduced a sheeting service where printers can supply their own grade of paper or board, which is then laminated with the Mirri foil. The service can accept sheets from 320x450mm (SRA3) to 1,000x1,400mm.

A high-profile example of this was Car Magazine’s August issue, which used the lamination service on its normal cover stock, producing a choice of seven different images and metallic background colours to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911. The covers were printed by UV offset specialist Colour Five in Perivale.

What markets and applications are these new additions intended for?
The Indigo-certified grades are typically used for event invitations, short-run booklet covers, greetings cards, direct mail, packaging and photobooks. Mirri Glitz might be used for packaging, event tickets, book covers, craft products and POS materials. Mirri Nor is intended for packaging for high-end consumer goods in the drinks sector, cosmetics and gift packs.

What else can be achieved with the range?
Within the range there’s a wide choice of sizes, thicknesses and finishes, including silk (plain metallic with a matt top layer), Holographic (various pattern and diffraction effects), iridescent and pastel. The plain finishes mostly have a choice of colours, though you can also achieve your own by overprinting the silver media with process tints. You can buy a double-sided 280gsm board too.

Color-Logic’s Process Metallic Color System software can be used to create metallic sample palettes that can be given as references to clients.

By using opaque white ink as a base layer, full-colour printing can be applied over the metallic effect. An overall white with ‘holes’ left for the effect to show through can simulate foil stamping without the cost of dies and, if you use a digital press, can allow for variable imaging.

How are the various substrates printed?
The standard materials can be printed by conventional offset with oxidising inks, or by UV offset, plus screen or various UV-curing large format inkjets. Mirri Nor can be printed by UV-cured offset or on a UV flatbed inkjets. Mirri Pak and Mirri Holographic for HP Indigo can be used with any HP Indigo press, although the ability to print white ink is confined to the 5600, 7600, and W6000P presses.

Where is it made?
Mirri products are made at the Celloglas plant in Theale, Reading. Smurfit Kappa T-Flute is made at its plant in Norwich.

How is it sold?
The Mirri Pak range of boards is available off the shelf, supplied directly by its manufacturer Celloglas, although the certified Mirri Pak for HP Indigo is sold through a distributor, Premier Paper. The minimum order is 100 sheets.

What support is available to users?
Celloglas offers technical guides to printing on the materials, available on request via its website.  

"Anyone with an HP Indigo can use Mirri, but you really need the white ink option to go with it. We use maybe 100 sheets per day. There’s a cost to it, but there’s really nothing else like it." 4/5    
Lawrence Dalton Managing director, 1st Byte, London


SPECIFICATIONS
Mirri Holographic
Finishes Rainbow, Hazy Days, Pillars of Light, Neon, Blast, Sparks and Magma
Sizes 640x450mm, 700x1,000mm
Weight 240gsm

Mirri Nor Pak/Bio
Finishes Silver matt and gloss film, gold matt and gloss and Rainbow holographic. Special orders available
Size 720x1,010mm
Weight 435gsm

Mirri Glitz
Size 1,000x700mm
Weight 220gsm

Contact Celloglas 0118 930 3656 www.mirri.co.uk


ALTERNATIVES
API Laminates metallised substrates
One of several other makers of metallised laminate papers and boards. These are said to be suitable for printing by offset, flexo, gravure, letterpress or screen, and presumably UV inkjet too.  
Contact API Laminates 01625 650500 www.apigroup.com

Hot foil blocking Foil blocking uses a thin transfer layer of metal and heat-activated adhesive on rolls of carrier film. It is applied to the substrate by pressing down with a heated metal die, often by a modified letterpress platen or flatbed cylinder presses.

Cold foiling A less common process for pattern foiling, where a glue or varnish image is applied by either a dedicated inline unit or by two standard offset units. A roll of foil is brought into contact with the glue/varnish and the carrier is peeled away.

MGI iFoil
MGI has been selling B2 JetVarnish digital UV varnishing inkjets for several years. In June it showed a prototype cold foiling system to fit on current 3D raised-varnish models, due to go into production soon.
Process Cold foiling on digital UV varnisher
Format B2 sheetfed
Contact MGI 01442 446446 www.mgitechnology.co.uk

Metallic inks are available for most conventional processes, plus a handful of large-format inkjets. Kodak recently introduced a gold toner for NexPress five-unit digital presses, as well as a pearlescent clear toner.

Scodix Metallic
Scodix can achieve a realistic metallic effect on most substrates with simulated embossing by applying its varnish over a special laminate film. The high gloss coating turns the metallic base layer into a near-mirror finish. End users can apply the laminate using a standard thermal lamination machine. Another decorative option with Scodix presses is the Rainbow unit that adds a glitter material to the spot coating.
Process Specialist inkjet
Format B3 or B2+ sheetfed
Price from £220,000
Contact Scodix 01923 693716 www.conversion-uk.com


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