With a long history in technology and innovation, DuPont is the manufacturers and innovators for digital printing inks. The Artistri ink jet inks portfolio is printed worldwide in a variety of customer segments and applications ranging from textile printing (apparel, home furnishings, outdoor signage), commercial and packaging printing (such as books, corrugated board, and now packaging film) and, where the portfolio began, in home and office printers.
“The attractiveness of digital printing over analog print (offset, gravure and flexographic) is growing year after year with inks playing a strategic role in this process. Today digital printing is delivering unique benefits to brands and end consumers with customization, personalization, and, to converters with short runs (normally unachievable cost effectively with other printing processes), design flexibility, color brilliance, and doing it sustainably”, says Bernd Daiber, global business leader, commercial inks, DuPont Artistri.
Bernd explains that recently, DuPont has committed to bring the advantages of digital printing into package printing. With more than 45 years of experience in packaging through Cyrel solutions, DuPont is supporting customers in tag and label, corrugated board and flexible packaging on their transition from analog to digital printing. Above all, DuPont is committed to developing digital ink solutions to help the sustainable growth of packaging, including a full range of food compliant ink products for the various customer segments of packaging.
“Flexible packaging needs to deliver more short run orders with increasingly shorter production times, making the combination of digital printing with traditional systems an attractive solution”, Bernd adds. According to Bernd, bringing digital inkjet to this customer segment is not without major challenges. Converters look for high speed solutions on a wide range of substrates (PE, PET, OPP and other) with the appropriate drying rate critical to the quality and durability of the print. In addition, considerations of direct and reverse printing, the use of white ink, the application of very different finishing methods (lamination, cold seal and other methods), and primer considerations, all factor in to the challenges of a water-based ink jet solution.
DuPont’s belief is by combining its print technology experience (inks, dispersions, polymers, primers) with that of the other value chain participants, solutions will be developed and that the digital transition in flexible packaging will increase in the coming years.
Sustainability is a ‘must’
Another dimension that water-based inkjet inks brings to packaging printing is sustainability. Consumers, along with brand owners and retailers, are sensitive to the environmental impact of packaging. Brand owners and printers are focused on lowering the environmental footprint and improving the sustainability of their packaging solutions while keeping high level of printing quality and printing consistency. Aqueous pigment inks, such as the Artistri line of ink products, help provide a key component to address the sustainability demand of digital printing.
DuPont’s relationships along the value chain help with addressing the current and future customer demands and allows the application of product and process features developed from 30+ years of ink jet development. “We understand that success depends on the ability to work collaboratively across printing, including printing press manufacturers, drying technology manufacturers (hot air, IR, NIR), substrate producers, print head suppliers and pigment & chemical suppliers”, emphasizes Bernd.
DuPont Artistri inks are widely used in textiles today (home textile, apparel and garments) with a product range that includes both roll-to-roll and direct to garment (DTG) printing pigment inks. Aqueous pigment inks for textiles are delivering benefits to customers in terms of economics (no post process capital and investment/cost, reduced time to market), application (can be applied to all fabrics and have a better UV fastness than dye-based ink), and lower environmental impact (no or little water usage, lower power consumption and low chemical footprint).
DuPont is confident that working collaboratively with the different packaging value chain participants, inkjet solutions for packaging will yield great benefits, from the consumer to all along the value chain , delivering brilliant, durable colors and a sustainable solution to the toughest printing challenges.
DuPont Electronics & Industrial is a global supplier of new technologies and performance materials serving the semiconductor, circuit board, display, digital and flexographic printing, healthcare, aerospace, industrial and transportation industries. From advanced technology centers worldwide, teams of talented research scientists and application experts work closely with customers, providing solutions, products and technical service to enable next-generation technologies.