Kao Collins Sailing into the Future of Print Packaging with Water-Based Inkjet Inks

Posted 5th April 2018 by Christina Molina

Since 1980, Kao Collins, Inc. has introduced innovative inkjet solutions that enable their customers and OEMS to reduce costs, increase productivity, and expand offerings to various markets like the graphics, commercial print, packaging, labeling and consumer products markets. The company formulates and manufactures innovative inkjet inks for high-speed, single-pass printing, including water-based, oil-based, solvent-based, UV-, LED-, and EB-curable technologies for high-speed industrial printing.

Innovations and Opportunities

With the company’s history in inkjet ink, we asked Kristin Adams, Marketing Manager at Kao Collins how she has seen the technology evolve and what the company is focusing on for future innovation.

“Today’s inkjet inks do more, on more,” Adams said. “Due to innovative raw materials, advanced print delivery systems, and print service providers pushing the envelope, ink chemistries have rapidly advanced in a relatively short amount of time. For example, we have water-based inkjet inks that print onto non-porous films for food packaging. This was something limited to non-digital printing just a few short years ago.”

While the industry is a long way from being able to print anything on everything, Adams does feel like the industry has evolved and there is so much more potential for inkjet printing technology. “When industrial inkjet started, the applications were limited,” she said. “Now, the demand for novel inks and printer design for new applications is endless.”

When asked where this demand for novel inks is coming from, she explained that in addition to the water-based inkjet chemistries for food packaging, Kao Collins is developing EB (electron beam) curable inks.  These energy curable inks allow you to print and cure onto surfaces where health and safety is a concern.

Getting started

As the technology evolves and more and more companies evaluate inkjet printing solutions, we asked Adams what considerations prospective customers should consider before integrating inkjet into their production process.

“Inventory, cost per print, speed limitations, and substrate limitations are all key considerations,” she advised.

She added that companies should be prepared for a longer than expected integration cycle and learning curve. The company selling you an inkjet solution will try to sell you on the ease of use of their solution, but she cautions that there really is no “hit a button and go” solution.  This may eventually be the case, but there are nuances to integrating inkjet printing into your production process and she says you should take those into consideration before jumping in. 

Take advantage of the opportunity to meet with representatives from Kao Collins at the InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference. They will be leading one of the creative application breakout sessions “Advances in Water-Based Inkjet Ink for Flexible Packaging” where they will share how it is possible to achieve high-quality printing on flexible packaging film, while reducing the impact on the environment.

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