BELGIUM • Uteco Converting, ebeam Technologies and Inx Digital International collaboratively developed the Gaia industrial end-to-end EB inkjet production line. This digital narrow-web solution will enable safe mass-personalization of indirect food contact flexible packaging and labels. The new press made its public debut at Labelexpo Europe 2017 with on-stand production demonstrations.Because the Inx Digital EB curable inks are photoinitiator-free, package converters using Gaia will be able to target consumers with personalized indirect food packaging. In-line EB curing has a number of commercial production benefits for package printing including a significantly lower energy requirement compared to thermal curing and a faster time to market thanks to instant EB curing, allowing for the elimination of a lengthy drying stage and storage before cutting. EB curing produces virtually no VOCs and eliminates the need for solvents and it also produces a higher degree of cure, durability, a higher gloss finish and has the ability to cure all colours.
The new digital production line has been created through combining Uteco’s expertise in web handling, Inx Digital’s expertise in the customization and integration of digital technologies and print engines, and an in-line ebeam Technologies’ ebeam Compact 80/400 curing unit. The four-colour solution uses recently developed photoinitiator-free inkjet ebeam-curable inks from Inx Digital, has a resolution up to 720 x 360 dpi, and a throughput speed of up to 25 m/min (82 fpm). With a footprint of only 4.4 x 1.5 m (14 ft x 5”), it is a low energy/low pollution solution that will fit into print room environments.