Main Stories

IPEX 2014 to remain a thought leader in the industry

Informa Exhibitions commissioned AMR Research in Q4 2012 to carry out independent global research on the key trends impacting the industry and the events that serve it. The research highlighted that the market wants Ipex to be a thought leader in the industry, with more content and educational input, so they have been working very hard in the background over the past few months to ensure the delivery of an event that is right for the market it represents. A brief Q & A session with Trevor Crawford, event director of Ipex 2014.

Q: Why did you decide to focus on digital technologies for Ipex, rather than the print industry as a whole?

Trevor CrawfordTrevor: Ipex has and always will be technology neutral, and will be showcasing applications covering all aspects of the print production process – from concept right through to the finished product, and how print adds value and complements marketing campaigns.

There might have been a misconception earlier this year that Ipex has turned its back on litho. However, this has never been the case. Although the research has confirmed that the majority investments currently being made is in digital and post press, litho is here to stay and the developments taking place in litho technology are fantastic. The issue is not about the future of litho, but rather how it complements and integrates with the growing inkjet/digital processes.

Litho will therefore be well catered in our various show features and content programme. For instance, we have introduced the Make Ready Challenge at Ipex 2014 for press minders to show off their skills on a proven and trusted press and take part in the competition to become the Ipex 2014 make ready world champion.

Q: So, where are you with Ipex now?

What will the size of the show be? Trevor: Over the past few months, we have reviewed what needed to change to deliver the right shape and size event. At 42,000 sq m area and encompassing 10 halls, Ipex 2014 will still be the largest print focussed event worldwide in 2014. Visitors will be able to see over 500 exhibitors from all areas of the print supply chain showcasing their latest technologies and applications.

Q: What will be the role of Patrick Martell as the new Ipex president?

Trevor: Patrick Martell’s role shall help shape Ipex 2014 and ensure it provides its visitors with the right mixture of ideas, insights and solutions to promote the power of print and its effective integration in the marketing mix. He is a well-respected thought leader in the industry, and has played an integral part in steering St Ives Group to become one of the leading fully-fledged marketing service providers today. We are confident that his and the rest of the Ipex 360 Committee’s expertise will be of great value to ensure Ipex 2014 reflects the fast changing industry it represents.

He will also be chairing the Ipex 360 Committee, which will be a visitor focussed steering group that will see representatives from the whole value chain, including agencies, small to large print service providers and end users of print, meet in the coming months to discuss and advise on the successful delivery of the 2014 show.

Q: What visitor groups do you expect at Ipex 2014 then?

Trevor: Ipex will remain an international event for commercial, digital and specialist printers, print specifiers, distributors and agents – it is an educational and information source for everyone in the print and communications industry. In 2010, we saw a 52/48 percent split between UK and international visitors respectively. And, while it’s still early days, pre-registration figures for Ipex 2014 suggest a similar trend, although we also expect to see a significant growth in numbers from the brand and creative communities.

Q: What will Ipex deliver to ensure it attracts an international visitor audience?

Trevor: Ipex 2014 will be more than just an exhibition – it will deliver a robust content programme, the opportunity to view and discuss future technologies and how best to market them, as well as ideas for brilliant conventional print applications. We know from the market study we commissioned in Q4 2012 that the industry wants Ipex to be a thought leader on the future of print and its role in the multi-channel marketing mix. Ipex 2014 will provide its visitors with a rich mixture of ideas, insights and solutions to help print service providers make informed decisions on how to develop their businesses, strategies and to increase profitability.

The World Print Summit will see a host of international and local thought leaders from the print business and creative industries to share their insights on new markets, technologies and provide business advice. Confirmed speakers to date include St Ives chief executive Patrick Martell; Barry Hibbert, chief executive of Polestar; Frank Romano, professor Emeritus, School of Print Media Rochester; Benny Landa, founder and CEO of Landa; Rory Sutherland, vice president, Ogilvy & Mather; futurologist and trend spotter Richard Watson; and Clive Humby, chief architect of Tesco’s Clubcard programme. More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Visitors should also plan to attend the seminar-style Master Classes, organised by Printfuture’s Neil Falconer, which will take place on the show floor. Divided into two sectors, the sessions will provide practical ways to make money and increase the value of printer’s enterprises. There will be a mix of sales, business growth, production efficiency and technical development themes. The Print Business Publisher, Gareth Ward, will ensure that the Future Innovations showcase provide an insight into the complete workflow to deliver some of the latest cutting-edge applications on islands across the Ipex show floor. This includes 3D printing techniques, photobooks, printed electronics and digital print on packaging. The fantastic content and calibre of speakers will more than justify the journey for long haul visitors to attend Ipex 2014. All indications are that all the major technologies will be showcased at Ipex in a unique and more engaging way.

Newly unveiled VIVID Chem outpours fresh quality in printing chemicals

Bringing a new dynamism in quality of pre-press and press-room chemicals to the Indian printing industry, VIVID Manufacturing Company Pvt Ltd is now opened at Sahibabad. This newly unveiled printing chemical manufacturer boasts of a range of products which are cost-effective and locally attuned. Rakesh Chauhan, marketing manager, VIVID Manufacturing Company Pvt Ltd shared Print & Publishing the way they are accelerating to change the paradigm of printing chemicals in the Indian printing industry.

Delighted to serve their customers with a new standard of printing chemicals which the Indian printing industry has never experienced, Rakesh Chauhan mentioned that VIVID Chem products have a fusion of international technology and Indian requirement produced with respect to the regional context. “Our technocrats know every minute requirement of the Indian printing industry which in turn helps them in taking complete care of what their customers want,” said Rakesh.

The newly opened VIVID Manufacturing Company which caters a range of VIVID Chem printing chemicals occupies an area of 800 sq m. A unique characteristic of VIVID Chem products is the cost effectiveness in India’s ever competitive printing environment where every rupee counts. “Customers are happy with our products which are very stable in high temperature even in a non air-conditioned production setup,” explained Rakesh adding that VIVID Chem chemicals are compatible with all types of printing presses which churn out varieties of commercial prints, books, packaging items, etc.

Product range

Maintaining the world-class standards in production process, VIVID Chem products are designed to give customers a complete satisfaction whether it could be in terms of quality, service and advice. “Of course, we assure quick service and availability of our products through our channel partners across the country,” said Rakesh adding that they will always be there for any sort of technical support or recommendation which their customers desire.

VIVID Chem range of products include: fountain solutions, washes, alcohol, roller & blanket care chemicals, plate cleaner & correction fluids, system care products, silicon emulsions, anti set-off spray powders, plate developers and more. “We believe that the products which have been produced in our unit are some of the best products ever developed in the Indian printing industry,” asserted Rakesh.

He further highlighted VIVID Manufacturing Company’s consciousness about eco-friendliness. “One of our steps towards environment friendliness is that we manufacture total alcohol-free chemicals,” explained Rakesh adding, “The level of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) in our fountain solutions is at zero percent as IPA is a banned substance worldwide. VIVID Manufacturing Company has busted the skepticism on impossibility of complete removal of IPA from printing chemicals.

Quality rules

Emergence of VIVID Manufacturing Company has eventually redefined the quality as well as cost-effectiveness of printing chemicals in the Indian printing market in a finest ever manner. “Our biggest challenge has been the way how VIVID Chem products can be delivered at 15 percent cheaper rates than what our competitors are catering in the current market,” remarked Rakesh. He smilingly conveyed that VIVID Chem products may be in an infant stage but we are capable enough to provide the same quality delivered by those companies which have been present in the industry for more than 30 years.

Channel partner

Profound association with JN Arora Group as its ‘channel partner’ is a big advantage which eventually boosts the business momentum of VIVID Manufacturing Company. JN Arora Group can be reckoned among the oldest firms which have traces in the Indian printing industry over the last 50 years. Though its five branches in Delhi, one each in Noida, Sahibabad, Ludhiana and a broad network of dealers across the country, JN Arora Group is marketing and distributing the VIVID Chem products. The group deals in a wide range of consumables used in offset, flexographic, security, screen graphics, screen textile, digital sublimation printing as well as arrays of adhesives and special tapes for various industries like printing, automotive and lots more.

IPAMA celebrates silver jubilee in the holy city of Golden Temple

The veterans of Indian printing and packaging sector from all India converged recently in Amritsar to commemorate the silver jubilee celebrations of the Indian Printing, Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (IPAMA). The celebrations kicked off with a special address by Mohamed Salim Al Musharrekh, board member, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry and by inaugurating the auspicious event.

The venue (Amritsar) was perfect being a holy city apart from fast becoming the hub of producing printing, packaging and binding machineries which almost fulfil 50 percent of demand of packaging machinery of India, with more than 250 units engaged in the production of such machineries.

KS Khurana, president, IPAMA addressed the audience and conveyed his wish and target to double up the exhibition space in the Printpack India 2015 from 12,500 sq m to 25,000 sq m. He was also happy with IPAMA’s active collaboration with AIFMP, after so many years and coaxed the IPAMA members to take part in the upcoming PAMEX 2013 – organised by the federation. Additionally, he asked the printers’ community to let the manufacturers know their precise requirements so that the specific machineries can be designed and produced accordingly. Khurana also welcomed the dignitaries from the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and called for more co-operations between the two organisations.

On the occasion, a historical publication in a nicely designed format, containing 25 years of glorious journey of IPAMA was formally released.At the occasion, Govind Bhargava, president, AIFMP, congratulated IPAMA on doing a wonderful job. He specially appreciated the label printing and other machineries manufactured by Indian manufacturers. CP Paul, general secretary, IPAMA added, “There is a need to curb the import of second hand machinery which is more than 10 years old.” He also cited the success of Printpack India 2013 and thanked everyone for being part of that.

More recently, IPAMA has tied up with Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to host Print Pack Arabia 2014 (April 07-10, 2014). On the occasion, Mohamed Salim Al Musharrekh said that they are honoured to be associated with IPAMA and hoped that IPAMA can help their region by offering affordable machineries for the print industry. He also said, “This partnership will open up new avenues for the Indian manufacturers and will help in cementing their links further with India.” He wished a bright future for the collaboration of IPAMA and Sharjah Chamber of Commerce.

On the sidelines of the event, talking exclusively with Print & Publishing, Mohamed Salim informed that they also organise watches and jewellery B2C shows every year attracting around 60,000 visitors. World famous Sharjah Book Fair also belongs to their group. For Print Pack Arabia, they are targeting 150 exhibitors in the debut show. They will target GCC (The Gulf Cooperation Council) countries as well as Africa and Asia.

The 12th Printpack India 2015 was also announced by CP Paul, general secretary, IPAMA which will be organised in February 2015 in Delhi NCR.

Water based coating: Guidelines to achieve excellence

Micro Inks has recently introduced a whole new range of emulsion coatings based on proven German technology, which includes products for all requirements like gloss coating, matt coating, foil coating, duct coating, gravure coating and primer coating, etc. Prasanta Sarkar, general manager -technical at Micro Inks Limited provides technical information on the processing, application, drying and other physical characteristics of water-based coatings.

All the water-based coatings are supposed to be stored in a cool but frost-free place. Storage at temperature higher than 40º C will increase the viscosity of the coatings. Though, the shelf life of the coating is six-months from the date of manufacturing if the container is not opened, but after opening the container, the coating should be used up as quickly as possible. If the water based coating is stored over a period of several weeks, it may gain in viscosity due to the formation of temporary structure in the coating. However, the coating may be brought into its original condition simply by vigorous stirring and if necessary the coating could be diluted with water for viscosity reduction. A thumb rule as regards to dilution: one percent addition of water dilutes the coating viscosity by five seconds. The characteristics of the coating are not adversely affected by such dilution (max five percent water). The coating need to be stirred well and its viscosity checked before use.

Film formation

The water based coatings are generally formulated for a minimum film forming temperature (MFT) of between +5º and +10º C. For safety, the coating needs to be allowed to adjust to room temperature (during cold season) before it is applied. Working at a temperature below the MFT usually leads to wetting and adhesion problems.

Processing procedure

If applied too quickly, water-based coating tends to squeeze out at the rear end of the sheet. It is therefore absolutely essential to cut out the board backing under the rubber blanket to the size of the surface being coated, in order to eliminate squeeze beads that might tend to stick. The backing should be cut out to a size little smaller than the sheet format. Coating must not be applied beyond the edge. The installation of appropriate IR radiators and hot-air blades with air extraction is essential.

Coating by indirect systems

The basic difference between indirect and direct applications is the fact that the indirect systems involve a longer transport path for the coating, since it travels via the plate cylinder. The drying speed of coatings for such systems therefore often needs to be reduced in order to prevent paper sticking. If a water-based coating is applied from systems that allow the dampening unit to be converted into the coating device, we recommend to replace the fount roller with a coating application roller having hardness of approx 45 Shore and the fount pan with a coating pan. If the sheet does not occupy the entire width of the press, we recommend attaching suitable squeeze rollers or blades to the fount pan rollers. This counteracts any build-up or drying of coating on rollers, printing plate or the rubber blanket.

Coating by direct systems

In this case, the coating film is transferred directly from the forme roller to the forme cylinder and onto to the stock. It is generally advisable to work with compressible rubber blankets that are not too soft. Make sure that the coating is applied uniformly and at correct rate. Too little coating can lead to piling and inadequate surface protection and gloss, whereas too much coating can lead to splashing and drying problems in the stack.

Coating by means of screen roller and chambered doctor blade

This type of coating with flexographic process, where nothing but the pickup volume and the screening determine the amount of coating transferred, acts as the main type of unit in use. Coating film thickness could only be altered by changing the screen roller. The following guideline gives an idea of the amount of coating transferred: about 30-50 percent of the stated pickup volume of the screen roller is transferred to the substrate, e.g. if the pickup volume is 10 cm3, 3 to 5 gsm of wet coating will be transferred to the substrate.

Cleaning the press

When the coating unit is stopped even for a while, the plate and the rubber blanket must be thoroughly cleaned by washing. Special cleaner should be used along with water for better cleaning efficiency. It should be noted that it becomes very difficult to clean the dried acrylic film; therefore it is recommended to immediately clean the coating unit after every stoppage.

Water based coating and glue-ability

Solvent based system are not recommended for subsequent processing of aqua based coated surface (e.g. solvent-based adhesives for film lamination), because the solvent causes the coating film to swell. This results in poor adhesion of the laminated film with the substrate. Water based coated surfaces are suitable for gluing if appropriate quality water-based adhesive is used. Despite the good glue-ability on water based coating, the folding-carton production sector today always leaves blank areas when coating. The reason for this is that the water based adhesives set considerably faster directly on the uncoated, absorbent stock with the result, to achieve shorter cycle times.

Resistance properties of inks

Generally the water-based coatings are slightly alkaline and in some areas contain small quantity of solvents, mainly alcohols. In this case, the offset inks so used need to be solvent-resistant and also alkali-resistant because the inks could otherwise get affected with an unwanted change in colour when coated. With practical experience it has been observed that the risk of colour change increases with intermixed colours having many components and lower the concentration the higher the risk of colour changes. Whenever coating on such inks, always check the stack for any changes in color after starting the print run because it is not possible to stimulate actual practical conditions during laboratory testing. Alternatively it is suggested that to use fast pigments in colour shade matching. However, one exception is the process magenta, as the low alkali fastness, such inks can be coated with water-based coatings with no problems.

Drying principle of water-based coating

Water-based coating systems dry exclusively by physical process as these contain about 55-70 percent water. The drying speed of the coating will be determined by the rate of absorption of the water into the stock. In stack the drying of the coating will also be facilitated by the absorption capability of the back side of the paper/board. These coatings also dry partially by evaporation of water (30-60 percent) and to the tune of 40-70 percent by absorption. Film formation in water-based coatings is largely complete even while 20-30 percent of the water is still present in the coating immobilization point.

Drying aids

A combination of hot air blade and infrared (IR) radiator is the most reliable way to accelerate drying process. Cold air will not be suitable. The moisture carrying hot air must be extracted for efficient drying of the coating. Flow of the hot air and the output of the IR lamps are optimum when the following temperatures are measured in the delivery stack (assuming an optimum room or stack temperature of 23º C):

For paper: approx. 8-10º C above the temperature in the feeder stack.

For Board: approx. 10-12º C above the temperature in the feeder stack.

At high press speed, an extended delivery will be further beneficial. Though, excessive short-wave length IR radiation can cause blocking in the stack, especially if thick ink films are being printed. In particular, dark inks are heated up a lot and cause sticking in combination with the coating film. As a general rule, the stack temperature should not be allowed to exceed 35º C.


Properties of water-based coatings

Rub resistance

The drying speeds of water-based coatings are set so that the coatings are tack-free in the stack with standard wet film thickness. Nevertheless, light spray powdering – preferably with starch powder is required for very heavy inking jobs with wet-on-wet coating application. The rub resistance of the coated products depends to a great extent on the stock and the coating film thickness. Use of spray powder will reduce the rub resistance.

Heat sealing resistance

Heat sealing resistance depends on many factors

  • Sealing temperature (C)
  • Sealing time (S)
  • Pressure (bar)
  • Film type
  • Number of film plies

Finishing with hot-stamping film

The adhesion of the hot-stamping film depends on the substrate used (paper or board) as well as the type and degree of dryness on the ink printed on the substrate. As a rule most of the high gloss and standard coatings can be finished with hot-stamping film. The quality of the hot-stamping films also plays a very crucial role in their suitability. It is advisable to carry out a test prior to start of the production run.

Group Publications

Coming Events

Label Expo India 2014
Oct 29 - Nov. 01, 2014
Pragati Maidan,
New Delhi, India.

All in Print China 2014
November 11 - 13, 2014
Shanghai, China

Print China 2015
April 07 - 12, 2015
Dongguan, China

12th Printpack India 2015
February 11-15, 2015
India Expo Centre,
Greater Noida, NCR Delhi

Gulf Print & Pack 2015
April 13 - 16, 2015
Dubai, UAE

Pack Print International 2015
August 26 - 29, 2015
BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand

Who's Online

We have 107 guests online