Latest on pollution-into-ink technology

August 23, 2016

A screenshot of the technology in action

A screenshot of the technology in action

Anirudh Sharma’s technology recycles pollution for “printing, painting and art needs”.

Sharma’s “Kaala” device, reported on by The Recycler last October, takes in harmful pollutants and instantly repurposes them into black printer ink, by means of alcohol and oil. He hoped at the time to commercialise the device eventually, so every home around the world can benefit from it. Inspired by smog-filled trips to his home country of India, Sharma created the device, which works by a suction pump pulling in the surrounding air into a mechanism that separates the carbon black from the rest of the air.

The soot is then trapped in a small chamber and mixed with alcohol, such as vodka, and a drop of olive oil. The liquid can then be injected into a cartridge for printing. The scientist says the ink could be blacker and needs to be held up against formal toxicity standards before it hits the market. He estimates a chimney would take only 10 minutes to fill a HP Inc cartridge.

Now, The Creators Project has checked in with Sharma’s Graviky Labs company, which has begun repurposing the collected carbon into Air-Ink, with the company said to have been “fusing technology and design to aid in tackling environmental issues”. The company has been collaborating with designers, artists, scientists and automotive experts, Sharma stating that “the thought behind this is to have air pollution end up as art/illustrations/murals, than in our lungs.

“It’s like an art movement where people want to express more about the environment safety with these inks”. Pens using Air-Ink capture 40 to 50 minutes of air pollution from cars, and the company partnered with Tiger Beer to launch the product in Hong Kong. Sharma added that the company’s goal is to take our inks anywhere people want to use it and do our bit towards reducing pollution. By using our inks for day-to-day needs, he/she has the power to reduce our carbon-footprint”.

The previously-developed Kaala technology is now used in the KAALINK contraption, fitted to exhaust pipes to “capture the outgoing pollutants”, with the unit turning on when the car starts and catching pollutants. The soot collected “undergoes various proprietary processes to remove heavy metals and carcinogens”, before the end product – “purified carbon pigment” – is used to “make different types of inks and paints”.

The inks are aimed at being permanent, with “seven different grades” of Air-Ink developed for different applications, and Sharma noted that the company aims to “add printer cartridge refills to our portfolio”, with that development allowing it to “reduce the carbon footprint in business/offices too”.

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Global printing inks market growing

August 23, 2016

inkjetTransparency Market Research analysis shows large growth forecast, with the market to be worth $20.17 billion (€17.7 billion) by 2020.

Digital Journal reported that the volume of printing inks being made is expected to rise to a “total of 4,180.2 kilotonnes by the end of 2016” according to the analysis, and rise to “4,989.7 kilotonnes by 2020” said the market research report, Printing Inks Market-Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014-2020.

Lithographic printing “dominates the printing ink markets” and the volume of ink used by the end of 2016 is expected to be 1,690.8 kilotonnes, expected to retain its “lead in the coming years”. Water-based inks are “expected to exhibit the highest growth rate [of] 5.5 percent from 2014 to 2016” and the total “volume” of this segment is expected to be “684.4 kilotonnes by the end of 2016 and rise further to 817 kilotonnes by 2020”.

The leading contributor to the global printing inks market is North America, with the “market’s total volume expected to reach 1,659.1 kilotonnes” by the end of 2020. However, the “online retail industry” in countries like China and India is “expected to drive the Asia Pacific printing ink markets”, in the next few years becoming a contender with North America.

The report noted that the printing inks market is “driven primarily by the booming global packaging industry”, and has been boosted by “booming online retail industry”. It was also reported that the “steady growth of the online retail sector and its ongoing transition from desktops to smartphones is likely to ensure steady demand for printing inks in the coming years”.

Digital printing and the increase of household printers is “another key driver” for the market, although the “popularity of e-books could restrict the printing inks market”. The reason for this was cited as “awareness about the hazards of deforestation” and the ease of using online content with smartphones and tablets.

“Environmental regulations to minimise the impact of the manufacture and use of printing inks on the environment” are a key factor of the effect on the printing inks market. Many companies are diversifying into the “field of bio-based printing inks” because of the legal issues in the industry, and “implementation of environmental standards is thus crucial for the sustainability of the industry”.

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Kodak to sell inkjet press business

August 17, 2016

The OEM is said to be set to complete its sale of the business.


Graphicrepro reported that the company was helped by “strong interest in Prosper and Ultrastream” at Drupa and “secured three orders” for the former as well as “eight partners” to work with the new “Ultrastream technology”. Although it had this success, the company is on target to sell its inkjet sector and Jeff Clarke, CEO of Kodak reported that the sale was ready for conclusion at the end of this year.

He stated: “We launched 20 new products and technologies at Drupa which were well received by our customers and we exceeded our sales targets. We made a significant investment in the show which will benefit us for years to come.”

The report also said that “cost-cutting and productivity measures are producing benefits” and that revenues “without Prosper” were $397 million (€352 million), with cost control measures leading to an income of $16 million (€14 million), a “ $31 million (€27 million) improvement on last year. Clarke added that “we want to maintain market share, mitigating the negative impact of price erosion through productivity improvements”.

Kodak is closely watching the UK post-referendum (LINK!!!) as this will have a $3 million (€2.6 million) impact on the end-of-year results due to the fall in value of the pound. The company has $90 million (€79.8 million) of revenues in the UK, which amount to 60 percent from its print services and the rest divided between “consumer inkjet and film and the enterprise inkjet division”. Kodak said that it remains “on course for revenues of $1.5 to $1.7 billion (€1.3 to $1.5 billion) for the year, with operation EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) of $135 million to $150 million (€119 to €133 million).



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Researchers develop inkjet-printed holograms

August 11, 2016

SSAPC_on_bottleouth Korean scientists have designed the so-called covert hologram to be produced on inkjet printers. 

Securing Industry reported that the anti-counterfeiting hologram can be produced on inkjet printers and the technology is known as “self assembled photonic crystals (SAPCs)”, which are undetectable against a “white background in daylight” but can be seen under “strong light” like a flashlight or smartphone torch, or when they are “against a dark background”.

The team of scientists are from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, and stated that the SAPCs demonstrate “remarkable potential for anti-counterfeit techniques” and that “they can be designed to display different colours depending on the angle of viewing”. Researchers found that they could attain “optical encryption and decryption” by using 2D nanogratings and “colourful images” combining red, green and blue “histograms that can be read” using a smartphone. SAPCs can be made with inkjet printers, and the report noted that they “should be cheaper to produce than those made using other nanofabrication techniques”.

The scientists commented in Nature Scientific Reports that “the structural colorations designed by inkjet printers would not only produce optical holograms for the simple authentication of many items and products but also enable a high-secure anti-counterfeit technique”.





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EU printing ink market falling

August 11, 2016

inkjetExports from the region “decelerated in the last year”, despite having grown “steadily over the past six years”.

In a press release, IndexBox Marketing’s new report, EU: Printing Ink – Market Report, Analysis and Forecast to 2020, found that the total number of exports of printing inks from EU member states “grew steadily over the past six years”, but that this growth “decelerated in the last year”, totalling €3.135 billion ($3.493 billion) in 2015. Its data also showed that “EU trade with non-EU countries” has grown, with the EU “remain[ing] a net exporter of printing ink”.

On a nation-by-nation basis, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK were said to be the “main suppliers” in the EU, with respective shares of total exports of 33 percent, 18 percent and 13 percent for a combined share of 64 percent. The Netherlands had seen a 6.1 percent increase per year from 2007 to 2015, making it the “fastest growing supplier among the leaders”, while the UK saw “more modest growth” and Germany “displayed negative dynamics” with a fall of 3.4 percent.

In terms of European exports, the Netherlands and the UK saw respective growth of seven and two percent, with the analysts noting that the countries have “strengthened their positions”, while Germany again saw its share “reduced” from 41 percent in 2007 to 33 percent in 2015. EU member states “engaged in the majority of the printing ink trade”, while “extra-EU exports” accounted for 32 percent of the total last year, for a value of $1.018 billion ($1.134 billion), an increase of six percent year-over-year.

In terms of extra-EU exports share of the total EU printing ink output last year, the analysts commented that the EU industry “is sensitive to the environment [in] the foreign markets”, with “stable demand” providing “significant support to [its] recovery”. Russia, the USA and Turkey have been “the main foreign markets […] for many years”, with shares of 13 percent, nine percent and eight percent respectively, and shipments making up around 30 percent of the whole market.

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Marketing tips shared

August 8, 2016

colorfulcharts105936206Eduard Mirchev, International Sales Director at IQDEMY Holding, discussed “why distributors can’t sell your product” in relation to inkjet.

On LinkedIn, Mirchev stated that the “main problem is in marketing [or] rather in its complete lack of”, noting that “you may spend a lot of money and resources, hire [a] large team of marketing specialists” and make a “great-amazing-awesome” set of materials alongside research of your target audience, but this is all for “one goal” – to “find [a] distributor who will sell your equipment in [a] faraway country”.

Joking that by the 90th marketing strategy, you would “sit and wait […] may be one call on Friday”, Mirchev added that this “reveal[s] a problem of understanding – are you sure your new dealer really know[s] to whom and how he will sell your printers?”. He states that while you may have done a “great job” to “present your super-fast printheads”, ultimately you’ve “sold him instruments but not [an] end-user product – he may not know what he has to do to sell your machine to [a] real client”.

He highlighted that printing “lives in a new post-industrial reality of internet marketing, hipsters and Pokemon Go”, and while brochures discuss printer information and features, companies should “think a little”, because this approach “helps you to sell one machine […] but it will not bring you closer to your real goal”, which is to “capture market share of [the] end-user printing service’s productions”.

After signing a contract and installing a demo unit, companies “expect some results […] you think you’ve done well, and you [are] right”, but most resellers work on that 90th marketing strategy, while consumers live in the “new post-industrial reality”, where “speed, causality, design and fun” are important. Mirchev’s belief is that “to increase sales and dealer efficiency in marketing activity ,you must to aim at end-users”, specifically the “final client of [the] printing services”.

This client “must [be] ready to explain” who will buy a printer, how to sell more services, and “how to use your machine to make modern products in the world of changing trends”. Dealers in turn “must be trained to know” how to work with “clients of his client”, because “only that way [will he] finally understand the customer’s needs and [the] importance of marketing”. He then concludes with six tips to follow to make sure this all happens.

First is to research end-user customers of services “your machines can provide”, and learn what services and “in what share [the] printing market may accept”, as this “will teach you what training materials to create” for dealers and clients. Second is to find or hire marketing specialists “who will work only with [the] dealer’s market” in the sales department, to “help [the] dealer to understand and learn” about the “real client”, though this means there is a “lot of work to do”.

Third is to “create good, modern marketing materials”, from brochures to websites”, and make sure all “meet and satisfy market trends and needs of all client groups”, including for a potential dealer, print service manufacturers, and “the most reliable audience” found in research. This will also help avoid dealers wanting to hear about manager proposals “because he think[s] he know[s] everything”.

Fourth is training sales managers “with all information above” and combine this with marketing specialist initiatives, while fifth is to “give your dealer marketing and technological support” while maintaining “full-time contact” with a marketing specialist at the dealer. Finally, he recommends an organised training programme for dealer staff, as it’s “very important to know that not only your contact person” but “every sales manager” knows “every letter of [your marketing materials and proposals”.

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KMP launches compatible and remanufactured inkjets

August 5, 2016

The company has launched a range of Epson replacements, for what it called “alarm clock inks” produced by the OEM.kmpreman2

The first launch is compatible colour inkjet cartridges replacing the 27XL original, available in both single ink cartridge packs or as a multipack, with each of the cartridges featuring a yield of 1,100 pages. The cartridges are designed for use in a range of the WorkForce printers, including: the WF-3600; 3620 DWF; 3640 DTWF; 7110 DTW; 7600; 7610 DWF; 7620 DTWF; and 3620 WF.

The two remanufactured releases meanwhile concern CMYK replacements for the 27XL and 27XXL, with single cartridges, a double pack of black and multipacks released for the 27XL and used in the same printers as mentioned above. The 27XL replacement in black features a chip and a yield of 1,100 pages, as do the colours, while the 27XXL replacement features a chip and a yield of 2,200 pages.

All the inks used in the cartridges are “pigmented inks specifically developed by KMP as alternatives”, and the company added that the “inks as well as the cartridges have been perfectly suited to the corresponding printers”.

For more information, visit

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3D holograms created on inkjet printer

August 4, 2016

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created an inkjet-printable 3D hologram.

An anti-counterfeiting hologram

An anti-counterfeiting hologram

Gizmodo reported on the work of the Lumii team, noting that “creating the type of 3D holograms that are used to authenticate products or currency usually requires very expensive, very complex printers”, but that this is “what makes them so hard to counterfeit”. Lumii’s hologram however “can be printed on the inkjet printer you probably already have sitting on your desk”, using “true 3D parallax movement in all directions” rather than “lenticular lenses to create a 2D motion effect”.

This also removes the need for “finding a ‘sweet spot’ to really see the effect”, the site adds, and the holograms were devised through using a “custom image-processing algorithm” as well as “work and research” the team did at MIT. Breaking down a 3D model “into multiple layers” with the algorithm, this can then be “individually printed using an off-the-shelf inkjet printer”, and when stacked “with a small gap between the two”, a “convincing 3D effect” is created.

This can be “examined from multiple angles”, with Gizmodo pointing out that “using clever computer imaging techniques to produce holograms on the cheap is a fun trick”, with several smartphone apps allowing 3D models “to be captured and generated for those who don’t know how to use complex modelling software”. The Lumii work needs a backlight to “create the 3D effect”, but the company believes “advertisers would benefit most from its cheaper approach to holograms”.

You can view a video from Lumii’s construction of the holograms below.

YouTube Preview Image



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Epson adds to EcoTank range

August 2, 2016

The two newest devices in the range are “enhanced cartridge-free” devices, which are said to include “up to two years of ink in the box”.

Epson's Expression ET-3600

Epson’s Expression ET-3600

In a press release, Epson America revealed that the WorkForce ET-16500 and Expression ET-3600 machines are the newest additions to the Supertank category of EcoTank inkjet printers, with the WorkForce device a wide-format machine. The OEM calls the machines “revolutionary in design” due to their “cartridge-free printing with easy-to-fill supersized ink tanks and up to two years of ink in the box”.

In turn, the printers are said to “not only expand the Epson portfolio of Supertank printers”, but also “serve as proof points for the success of this category in the North American printer market”, through Epson’s “commitment to delivering printing solutions that meet a range of customer needs”. The two AIO machines are also said to feature ink “equivalent to about 50 ink cartridge sets”, or 11,00 pages, “compared to traditional cartridge printers”.

Replacement bottles of ink are stated by Epson to be “low-cost” and able to save users “up to 80 percent on ink”, and on a technological level, the two newest printers “boast an entirely new printing system unique to the Supertank category” for “laser-quality performance”, while other features include Wi-Fi Direct capability and Epson Connect compatibility.

In more detail, the WorkForce ET-16500 wide-format is the first in the Supertank category, and features PrecisionCor printheads, ink yields of 10,500 pages in black and 11,000 pages in colour, as well as prints of up to 13 inches by 19 inches, and copies and scans of up to 11 inches by 17 inches. It also has a paper capacity of 500 sheets, a 4.3-inch colour touchscreen and a cost of $1,199 (€1,070) on release in mid-September.

In turn, the Expression ET-3600 machine features a yield of 11,000 pages in black and 8,500 pages in colour, print speeds of 13.7 ISO ppm in black and 7.3 ISO ppm in colour, automatic duplexing, a 150-sheet paper capacity and wireless and mobile printing compatibility. This printer will also go on sale in mid-September, and will cost $399 (€356).

Nils Madden, Marketing Director for Epson America’s Desktop Imaging and Printing division, commented: “The Supertank category was designed to enhance the customer printing experience. EcoTank printers provide customers with convenience and value, offering the freedom to print in color without worrying about cost or running out of ink.

“Since introducing cartridge-free printing in North America last year, feedback has been incredibly positive and sales have exceeded our expectations. The new ET-16500 and ET-3600 deliver enhanced performance and features to reach a wider range of users. Expanding the EcoTank portfolio underscores our commitment to transforming the way people think about colour printing in business and in the home.”

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CIG launches remanufactured Epson inkjet cartridges

July 29, 2016

ciginkjetsClover Imaging Group (CIG) launched remanufactured alternatives for the Epson T273 series of originals.

The inkjet cartridges are able to be used in the OEM’s Expression Premium XP-600, 610, 800 and 810 printers, with five cartridges released including CMYK and a photo black. The black has a yield of 250 pages, while the photo black has a yield of 200 4×6 prints, and the three colours have yields of 300 pages each.

CIG added that the cartridges feature “the Clover advantage”, in that they utilise “Rigorous Advanced Lifecycle Testing”, including “environmental chamber testing, product testing, and OEM benchmarking” in order to “ensure our cartridges meet or exceed OEM performance”. Other areas of the “advantage” include “increased dealer margins with savings of up to 30 percent over the OEM”, and that “all products are IP cleared – all resellers are indemnified against OEM litigation”.

In turn, the group offers a “100 percent performance guarantee”, and utilises “proprietary robotics and process automation for remanufacturing”, which “equates to a higher success rate”.

For more information, visit

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