Sicura Waterless: Siegwerk’s new generation of UV waterless offset inks
Earlier this year, Siegwerk, a provider of printing inks for labels and packaging applications, added a new UV waterless offset series to its ink portfolio for narrow web and label printing. Sicura Waterless was especially developed for standard presses as well as Aniflo, Codimag’s technology for short to medium run label printing. The new components selected for this ink series makes them suitable for printing on plastic and paper substrates.
Written by Rolf Montag
According to Siegwerk the Sicura Waterless inks are characterised by good printability, remarkable adhesion and mechanical properties like rub and scratch resistance. They show good flow and transfer properties and do not scum even at increased temperatures. In addition to offering stable density and a high colour strength, Sicura Waterless, in general, responds well to temperature changes and does not pick off light paper materials. The inks work well with hot-foil stamping, a post printing technique used for wine labels, and show good overprintability with UV flexo varnishes.
Waterless printing and its advantages
According to the International Waterless Printing Association, waterless printing is better for the environment, makes press operation more efficient and offers brighter, sharper and more consistent colours and allows more substrate choices. By using special printing plates with only two basic surface properties ink acceptance or ink rejection waterless printing eliminates the need for water or other chemicals in the printing process.
As UV inks are commonly used for non-absorbent substrates, the use of waterless printing makes the UV technology easier and more stable during the printing process. The absence of water helps to eliminate the challenging need to adjust the ink/water balance and therefore reduces setup times and waste. Thanks to these shorter setup times waterless printing is particularly suitable for shorter print runs. In comparison to wet offset printing, colour stability is reached much faster and higher colour consistency can be ensured throughout the press run when using waterless printing.
In general, waterless inks are very similar to conventional offset inks apart from their need to be of a higher viscosity as this is key for the ink rejection or attraction to the waterless plate. This also means that waterless ink viscosity must be predictable and stable for a wide range of operating temperatures.
UV printing is still a growing market driven by its benefits of fast curing speed, surface flexibility, high print quality, durability and no emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC). In addition to time- and cost-efficient benefits UV printing allows higher gloss levels, brilliant colours and coatings adding special value to the printed result. According to Siegwerk, with Sicura Nutriscreen, Sicura Nutriflex, Sicura Nutritube, Sicura Nutriboard and Sicura Nutriplast, the company also offers a UV ink series which specially meets the low migration requirements of food packaging applications.
The new ink series is produced at Siegwerk’s Centre of Excellence for UV printing in Aarberg, Switzerland, and will be distributed through the company’s service network.
This article was first published in NarrowWebTech print issue 2-2018.
BACKGROUND: Siegwerk – Company overview
Headquartered in Siegburg, Germany, the provider of printing inks for labels and packaging applications offers amongst others a range of reliable and user-friendly solutions for narrow web applications covering all printing processes and different special requirements. Siegwerk provides customers with information about components, migration risks and recommended respectively excluded applications of each ink solution.
Its Centre of Excellence for UV printing is based in Aarberg, Switzerland. According to the company, all ink systems and varnishes – UV curing, solvent or water-based – show a high degree of strength and resistance for different packaged products and are suitable for printing at high production speeds.
[Editorial comment: the editorial team of NarrowWebTech already visited Siegwerk Switzerland reporting about it in this post!]