Comparing ink consumption in practice for usage in practice
Lower ink consumption with Cellaxy
von Ansgar Wessendorf,
Ink consumption is a key factor for achieving cost savings in gravure printing. At the same time, the print quality must meet the customers’ high standards. Reason enough to take a closer look at two different imaging processes for printing cylinders. Janoschka ran a comparison of consumption of an electro-mechanically engraved and a laser-engraved gravure cylinder (Cellaxy direct laser) under real-life conditions.
The issue of cost savings is particularly relevant when it comes to high ink consumption and the use of expensive inks, such as metallic and other effect inks. The Janoschka experts decided to take a closer look at the consumption of white ink in full coverage. The result of this complex comparison test, conducted in an industrial environment, showed a clear savings potential for white alone with cylinders imaged with Cellaxy of approx. €25,000 at 10 million m² annually.
Plus, the broader use of such cylinders increases the savings potential significantly.
In co-operation with two of its industry partners, Janoschka set up this practical test as part of a real print job. The testing team documented the precise amount of ink and solvent consumed at each print run with electro-mechanical engraved and Cellaxy cylinder. A key aspect of this real-life trial set-up is that measurements are taken when wet since this provides a much more realistic reflection of the actual printing costs than the amount of ink when dry.
Based on the same documentation parameters for both cylinders, Janoschka and its trial partners were able to determine the precise consumption and accurately calculate the ink and solvent costs per square metre.
In addition to significantly lower consumption, the Cellaxy cylinder also showed impressive results in terms of the high opacity (60.5%). Due to its better cell release properties and related ink transfer, the Cellaxy cylinder achieves excellent smooth ink laydown, even at low viscosity (without frog eye effect). This saves ink over and above the test values and further reduces costs. Depending on the production parameters, it is also possible to achieve higher printing speeds with Cellaxy cylinders.
“Ink consumption is a subject that many industry players are engaged in. Some measurements taken under laboratory conditions often show significantly higher savings potential. But we wanted to know for sure.“, explains Rainer Geiger, Director Strategic Business Unit Converters at Janoschka. “Our partners care first and foremost about what savings they can really achieve, meaning in actual industrial production processes.”