Ink Dispensing: Mix to Match

With supermarkets taking an ever-greater share of the groceries market, high-impact decorative packaging, which attracts consumers' attention at the point of sale, plays an important role in making a brand successful. As a result, there are more colors on a label, and unique, brand-specific colors increasingly are used as a means of differentiating a product on the crowded shelf. Furthermore, there is less room for error. Customers demand exactly the same look and feel for their products around the world.

“All these factors have made ink preparation a very complex, precision affair, which can no longer be carried out manually,” says Flavio Campagnola, general manager of Uniflexo Industria Gráfica. “It is too slow and too prone to error, and that can prove extremely costly.”

But Uniflexo, a manufacturer of self-adhesive labels and polyvinyl chloride shrinkwrap packaging, is set to improve quality consistency, reduce ink waste, and cut makeready times with its investment in a Colorsat Match gravimetric ink dispensing system from GSE Dispensing.

The arrival of the new system means Uniflexo no longer needs to rely on external suppliers for special recipes, which sometimes took many days to arrive. The problem of waste, due to unusable leftover inks from previous jobs, has been eliminated. Individual ink raw materials can be traced clearly to each job. And in the case of repeat orders, when an identical recipe is simply recalled, the company can assure its customers of absolute quality consistency, time and time again.

Minimal Manual Input

Uniflexo supplies a range of narrow web packaging solutions to a host of leading names in the food and beverage, healthcare, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries, including Colgate, L'Oreal, and Merck & Co. The company has six flexo presses, from Nilpeter and Omet, that feature added-value printing technologies, including rotary screen and hot-stamping. The Colorsat Match provides the recipes for all flexo printing requirements.

The Match is designed specifically to help narrow web converters prepare faster the required PMS and spot colors with total precision and with minimal manual input. With a dispensing range between 1 and 5 kg, ultraviolet-curable and water-based flexographic inks having up to 20 components reportedly are prepared, with precision, in only 4 minute.

Says Campagnola, “The new dispensing system offers many benefits that will help boost our competitiveness. It creates a fully automated, ink logistics operation, giving us absolute control of a workflow in which our inks are ready, virtually instantaneously, without delay.”

Thanks to proprietary software called IMS (Ink Management Software), the dispensing system calculates the exact dosage requirements for the print run. Moreover, any surplus inks remaining from a previous job easily can be calculated into new recipes, an arduous task if calculated manually.

Other benefits of IMS include a database facility logging all recipe-components against each job, real-time ink stock availability, and bar coding of surplus inks after a production run for efficient stockholding.

“The Colorsat Match brings our ink preparation procedures up to the same high standard of professionalism that we offer at all other stages of our manufacturing process,” says Campagnola. “This will enable us to meet the uncompromising packaging and label quality expectations of our global brand-owner customers.”

Supplier Info

Converting Info

Uniflexo Industria Gráfica Ltda. | Rua Doutor Humberto Giannella, 210, Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil |

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