Epson launches advert with Lewis Hamilton

October 20, 2016


The advert is to promote Epson’s EcoTank printer, and involves drenching the F1 driver in ink.

Hamilton was drenched in 400 litres of ink, reported The Drum, in an advert for the OEM’s EcoTank printer that is said to be “memorable” – you can view the advert and a video showing the making of it at the end of this article. The advert was created in collaboration with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, and makes the public aware that Epson supports the team with “inkjet printers, scanners, 3LCD projectors and wearables, including smart glasses”.

Hamilton was quoted as saying: “During the course of each season, I get to take part in some pretty interesting projects through our work with the team’s partners, however I can say with some certainty that this is one of the more unusual. The shoot with Epson for the EcoTank printer was a lot of fun, I always enjoy doing something a bit different and going out of my comfort zone. Having 400 litres of ink thrown at me was a new experience, so I just went with it and I think the output’s really cool.”

Maria Eagling, Director of Marketing, Epson Europe, commented: “The innovative EcoTank system has turned the world of printing upside down, so we wanted to create a film that was equally surprising and memorable. Epson is known as a brand that represents quality, innovation and performance, so people won’t be expecting a fun, wry and high-action film from us.”


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Epson launches five inkjets in Taiwan

October 20, 2016

The OEM has launched five inkjet MFPs in the country’s market.

Epson's L1455 inkjet printer

Epson’s L1455 inkjet printer

Digitimes reported on the launch of the five inkjet MFPs, which include the L1455, L605, L485, L385 and L380, with the L1455 featuring a monochrome print speed of 18ipm and a colour print speed of 10ipm, while the L605 features respective speeds of 13.7ipm and 7.3ipm, and both of these two models feature a minimum cost per page of NT$0.08 in monochrome and NT$0.2 (US$0.01/€0.006) in colour.

The L485, L385 and L380 meanwhile feature the same monochrome and colour print speeds of 10ipm and five ipm respectively, alongside minimum cost per page of NT$0.06 in monochrome and NT$0.18 (US$0.006/€0.005) in colour. The site noted additionally that the Taiwanese market saw Epson become the “largest inkjet printer vendor” with a share of 49 percent in sales volume and 66 percent in sales value in the second quarter, according to IDC.

The printers are available now, with the L4155 retailing at NT$22,900 (US$725.90/€661.50), the L605 at NT$8,490 (US$269.12/€245.24), the L485 at NT$5,990 (US$189.87/€173.03), the L385 at NT$5,490 (US$174.03/€158.41), and the L380 at NT$4,990 (US$158.18/€144.14).

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South African ink market “threatened” by digital

October 19, 2016

Analysis of the country’s printing ink market found that it is “threatened by [the] rising shift toward digital media”.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Transparency Market Research (TMR) discussed its report on the South African printing ink market, noting that its stability is “threatened” by the “rising shift” towards digital media. The report encompasses a range of inkjet sectors including screen, flexographic, gravure, offset, digital and “speciality” inks, as well as their “end use” in publication and commercial printing, packaging, textiles, “metal cans” and decorative printing.

TMR found that the market was worth $85.89 million (€78.09 million) last year, and estimated that it would reach a value of $155.13 million (€141.04 million) by 2024, seeing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9 percent throughout the next nine years. Its analysis found that offset printing is “offering strong scope for growth”, with the “dominant share” of 40 percent of the market last year, and it is “anticipated to continue” leading the market.

However, the digital printing inks segment is “projected to witness strong growth during the forecast period”, with a CAGR of 8.6 percent. In terms of end use, the packaging sector is “estimated to hold” a share of around 44 percent by the end of this year in value terms, with a CAGR of 7.3 percent through to 2024 allowing it to “emerge as the most rapidly-expanding end-use segment”. Publication and commercial printing are also a “prominent market” offering “several opportunities for growth”.

The packaging sector is also set to see “surging demand” for printing inks, with the sector “one of the major consumers” of ink in the country and “fuelled by a surge in the country’s GDP” or gross domestic product, alongside an increase in “individual disposable income, continuously changing lifestyles of the consumers, and a growing youth population”. TMR believes that “any growth in the demand for packaged consumer goods”, therefore, has a “positive impact” on the country’s ink market.

It added that “various types of printing inks and varnishes are used on a wide range of substrates and surfaces to develop rub-resistant and weather-resistant properties on packaging materials”, noting in turn that “flexographic and gravure printing inks are used extensively for flexible and convertible materials”, while “low migration inks and water-based inks are highly popular in the food packaging industry as these result in lower side-effects”.

The so-called “dual impact” of digitalisation’s “growing popularity” was also referenced, with the global “trend of e-commerce” rising at a “significant pace” increasing the use of “e-books, e-tickets, and online travel and hotel reservations”, resulting in a “substantial decrease in paper-based communication channels” and “obstructing the conventional publication and commercial printing industry”, with South Africa’s market “threatened by this rapidly growing trend”.

TMR’s view however is that the “rising use of digital media” does offer the market “some respite”, as it is “likely to drive the demand for digital printing inks”, used in textiles, fine arts, advertising, desktop publishing and architecture, because it “offers flexibility and speed” compared to traditional printing. The market is also said to be “highly fragmented”, with the top six companies accounting for over 60 percent of the market in 2015, including New Africa Inks, Constantia Printing Inks, Hi-Tech Inks, Flint Group South Africa, Hostmann-Steinberg South Africa, and NUtec Digital Ink.

TMR concluded that the “penetration of global players is likely to create stiff competition for the domestic players”, and that the market “is not dominated by any single manufacturer”, with existing companies “constantly developing new products to expand their consumer base”.

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Renewable inkjet made from cooking oil

October 14, 2016

The inkjet – created by students – won an award in Kuching, Malaysia.

The students with their renewable ink (Credit: Zulazhar Sheblee/The Star)

The students with their renewable ink (Credit: Zulazhar Sheblee/The Star)

The Star reported on the inkjet, created by students from the Petrochemical Engineering Department at the Polytechnic Kuching, and which is “made out of used cooking oil”. The inkjet won the 2016 ‘Creating New Out of Old’ award, “edging 14 other groups in the higher education institutions category”, with the students winning RM700 ($166/€151).

The inkjet uses pigments to create the different colours, including “turmeric for the yellow colour, Rosella flower (red) and Asian pigeon wing flower (blue)”, with each of these “mixed with recycled waste cooking oil that is used for the base”. The team noted that “everything we use to produce this ink is natural, sustainable and environmentally-friendly”, with production costs “very low” and the ink able to be sold “at about 70 percent lower than the market price for normal printer inkjet”.

The team collected cooking oil “from the polytechnic’s cafeteria”, and is currently selling the inkjet for RM20 ($4.76/€4.32) per 50ml bottle to fellow students. The awards event was organised by Malaysia’s Department of Environment (DOE), and “challenged students to design innovative products made out of recyclable materials”, with over 100 students from 20 groups “representing various primary and secondary schools around the city”.

Azuri Azizah Saedon, State Director for the DOE, commented that the competition “was organised to inculcate a deep sense of responsibility and awareness among youths on the importance of taking care of the environment through recycling”, adding that “I hope they will practise what they learned during this competition in their daily lives and share it with their friends and family”.

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Inkjet manufacturers in acquisition deals

October 4, 2016

Flint Group acquired Printec, after the former’s European gravure business was acquired by Sun Chemical.inkjet

Package Printing reported on Flint Group acquiring Printec, with the latter manufacturing and selling “water-based inks for flexo and gravure applications” in North America. Flint Group stated that with the acquisition, it “strengthens its position and support to the paper and board segment” in the market, with the deal effective as of 30 September. Flint also recently acquired Advanced Color Systems (ACS) and American Inks and Coating (AIC), with the latest deal “another step in this strategic journey to support customers in this region”.

Doug Aldred, President of Flint Group’s Packaging and Narrow Web unit, stated: “We warmly welcome the employees of Printec as they join the Flint Group family. We are extremely pleased with this addition to our growing packaging division in North America. As a key supplier of inks and coatings for high-end paper applications, Printec’s technology expertise and products, combined with the infrastructure of Flint Group, will benefit our current and future customers. We admire the business which Printec has built and look forward to working alongside them for further growth.”

Ray Stanley, President and Co-owner of Printec Industries, commented: “This partnership with Flint Group will add significant value for our customers in the long term. Flint Group is focused on reducing overall applied cost and providing solutions which will benefit our loyal customers in the growth and stability of their businesses. Our customers can be assured that they will be working with a world-class company. Flint Group’s products and technical knowhow will be a great complement to Printec’s products and service.”

Packaging Business Review reported in turn that Sun Chemical has acquired Flint Group’s European publication gravure ink business, though “terms of the deal, which was first announced in August, have not been disclosed”. The deal includes the “acquisition of all product portfolios related to Flint Group’s European publication gravure product range”, with Flint Group having “divested the European publication gravure business to focus on its core web offset markets”.

When announcing the deal, Flint Group commented that the customers outside of Europe would “remain unaffected by these changes with business continuing as usual”. Felipe Mellado, CMO and board member at Sun Chemical, added that “we are delighted to confirm the acquisition of Flint Group’s Publication Gravure Ink Business, which reaffirms our commitment to this sector, and enables us to further strengthen and enhance the performance of our own publication gravure plants.

“Now that the acquisition is complete, we are working with Flint Group to deliver a smooth and seamless transition of operations, so that customers remain fully supported with our high levels of quality and customer service”.

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UTec discusses choosing wide-format ink

October 3, 2016

The company stated that choosing wide-format ink is a “crucial decision”.inkjet

On LinkedIn, the company’s Sunny Hope, working in Wide-Format Ink Marketing, wrote a piece entitled How to choose ink for wide-format digital printing, in which she notes that “it is important not to forget about the unsung heroes of the print production process, such as ink, for ensuring the highest quality products. While print machinery may be an important consideration for the production process, so are the consumables used during the process”.

She added that choosing the ink and pigments “has always been a crucial decision, one that is very much related first of all to the selected printing method and secondly to the preferred substrate. Can this or that digital printing device use an ink that you’re familiar with from analogue screen printing? Probably not. So what types of inks are common in inkjet digital printing, and what printing technologies should you consider?”

Hope goes on to note that there are “four main categories” of digital printing inks, including water-based, solvent-based, dye-sublimation and UV-curable, with all having two things “in common”: the two main components “are a colourant, either dye or pigment-based”, and all “use a carrier for the colourant, generally a liquid”. Again, in printhead technology there are two that “dominate”, specifically thermal inkjet and piezoelectric inkjet heads.

She points out that “in reality the press manufacturer will have chosen the inkjet printhead best suited to their preferred type of ink”, so when choosing a “suitable digital printer”, the buyer’s “main concern” is to “identify the types of substrates most likely to be printed”. This makes it “easier to decide which type of ink will be most suitable”, apart from the fact that “you need to take into account the expected operational life span of the printheads, the cost of maintenance, and/or the cost of replacement heads”.

As well as these elements, buyers need to consider the “actual cost of the ink, which you can generally base on the amount used per square metre for a specified density”. With “so many inks to choose” from, Hope then goes on to discuss the “two main carriers” of water or solvent-based inks, with water “generally seen as harmless and sustainable, while solvents are more problematic” because they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The solvents are also available in “many different flavours”, and VOCs “evaporate at low boiling points, so they evaporate quickly at room temperature”, with such vapours “mostly not healthy to inhale”. Machines using solvent-based inks “must have some sort of industrial air extraction mounted at or inside” the machine, and the attraction of using such inks is that they dry “very quickly”, are “durable” and have a “relatively large colour gamut”.

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Teenager designs new technology

October 3, 2016


Credit: Spectrum

A 13-year-old in Oregon designed sensor bandages using an inkjet cartridge.

Anushka Naiknaware has developed a sensor “to monitor the moisture around a wound” to prevent the removing of bandages, which impedes the healing process, reported Spectrum. Using an empty inkjet cartridge, she filled it with “conductive ink” and used this to “print her sensors on bandages”, and then designed a monitor for the patient to wear on their wrist, so that data could be collected from the sensors.

Naiknaware was awarded “the Lego Education Builder Award” which is one of two of the prizes awarded for “the best solutions to difficult engineering challenges”.



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Solar cells printed on plastic

September 28, 2016

Scientists are using inkjet printers to print solar cells which can be used anywhere.


Tech Story reported that there is an increased demand for solar energy in both “developed and developing countries”, and that it is “predicted that the cost of the solar panel will fall 10 percent a year”, according to Oxford University researchers.

Solar cell technology development has now found a way of printing which “enable the production of thin, flexible solar cells” based on “printable solar ink”, and these are called “inkjet solar cells”. Using specialist ink such as Cadmium Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) to print the solar cells is cheaper than “silicone cells” and they are “lightweight [and] portable”.

Australian scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Monash University and the University of Melbourne have been working on the technology for nine years, and have discovered a way of cost-effectively printing “panels onto plastic”. The cells are made by using an “inkjet printer which prints solar ink onto a solar cell substrate”, and this is printed onto “paper thin, flexible plastic” or steel, and if it is made “semi-transparent” it can be used for “building cladding and windows”.

The benefit of these solar cell sheets is that they are light, and can be taken anywhere remote and incorporated into “windows, doors, walls [and] curtains”, in fact wherever sunlight infiltrates. The beauty of this is that the solar cells can be printed onto technology like “smartphones or laptops”, which enables them to “self charge”.

Because these inkjet cells are so flexible, it gives them the lead over the conventional solar panels, which need a flat surface for attachment; whereas printed solar cells can be printed anywhere on building frontages or in windows at a much lower cost, and this could lead to the development of buildings that require no conventional energy.



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Print-Rite subsidiary goes public

September 26, 2016

Zhuhai Print-Rite New Materials Co., Ltd was publicly listed on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ).

Print-Rite 3d h…jpg - small

The subsidiary company, previously known as Zhuhai Free Trade Zone Neojet-Apollojet Imaging Materials Co., Ltd., was recently renamed as Zhuhai Print-Rite New Materials Co., Ltd. The first research and development team was established in 1995, and the company has undergone 20 years of changes since then, evolving from a few employees to a leading enterprise in the industry.

It is said by Print-Rite to be the largest inkjet ink manufacturer in China, and has a vast sales network in more than 100 countries around the world including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Europe, America, Australia and South East Asia. The company has gone from a traditional office supplies subsidiary to a manufacturing one, helping to further inkjet and patented technology to achieve a “steady and healthy growth”. With annual capacity of over 5,000 tonnes, the company produces more than 1,000 types of high-quality, eco-friendly inkjet inks.

Print-Rite said that this is “not only a new milestone achieved by the company but also a new phase of life it entered into”, and that this “feat is also an indicator that our initiatives of scientific management, of aggressive moves towards brand appreciation and being a successful regulator in an enterprise development, has been the right choice made with many years of experience in the industry”.


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KMP launches replacement inkjet cartridges

September 22, 2016

The company has launched replacements for the Canon PGI-570 and 571 as well as the HP Inc 62 and 62XL.kmphp

KMP stated that the inks and cartridges are “developed and manufactured in-house”, and are “optimally suited” for printers to make them “the perfect alternative”. The first launch was replacements for the Canon PGI-570 and CLI-571 cartridges, which KMP stated “offer professional applications” and which includes CMYK, grey and pigmented black, in single and assorted multipack releases.

The replaced cartridges include the PGI-570PGBK XL and CLI-571BKCMY XL, with the cartridges used in the following printers: PIXMA MG 5700; 5750; 5751; 5752; 5753; 6800; 6850; 6851; 6852; 6853; 7700; 7750; 7751; 7752; 7753; TS 5050; 5051; 5053; 5055; 6050; 6051; 6052; 8050; 8051; 8052; 9050; and 9055.

The high-yield black cartridge features a chip and a yield of 500 pages; the high yield pigmented black a chip and a yield of 565 pages; the grey a chip and a yield of 715 pages; the cyan a chip and a yield of 715 pages; the magenta a chip and a yield of 645 pages; and the yellow a chip and a yield of 715 pages.

The second launch meanwhile was “inexpensive alternative inks” for the HP Inc 62 and 62XL, which are used in the following printers: the Envy 5540; 5540 e-AIO; 5542 e-AIO; 5545 e-AIO; 5547 e-AIO; 5548 e-AIO; 5600; 5640 e-AIO; 5642 e-AIO; 5643 e-AIO; 5644 e-AIO; 5646 e-AIO; 5660 e-AIO; 5665 e-AIO; 7600; 7640 e-AIO; 7645 e-AIO; OfficeJet 200; 5740; 5742; 5745; 8000; 8040; and 8045.

Among the products released include a black 62XL cartridge, with a chip and yield of 600 pages; a black 62 cartridge with a chip and yield of 200 pages; and colour three-packs for the 62XL and 62 with chips and respective yields of 415 and 165 pages.

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