Inks & Concepts 101

It doesn't hurt to know a little bit about the solutions we create. In fact, it helps a lot. Not only does it inform you to make better decisions for your business, but it helps us speak the same language and, in the process, helps us create better, together. Our best ideas are spawned from the challenges our clients present to us; that's why we call them solutions!

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Four Basic Components

Binders

Binders are usually referred to as resin types. They are the main carriers that will determine the properties of an ink. (Acrylic Solutions, Polyesters, Epoxies, Urethanes.)

Additives & Modifiers

Additives and modifiers enhance the properties of the binder and in many cases allow the product to function. The list of modifiers is infinite, and combinations of agents are being developed every day.

Diluents or Carriers

For water-based inks, e.g., water amine blend, co-solvents, alcohols or glycols.

Pigments

Pigments are by far the most critical portion of any printing ink. Without pigment, there would be no reason to print. Pigments are also the most expensive part of the ink formula and will determine the final properties of the ink.

The Ink Formula

The ink formula will determine the amount of maintenance on press; the less maintenance required from inks, the less need for troubleshooting.

With that said, inks are formulated to achieve specific results.

Cost

Formulating for lower cost affects print quality and ease of use.

Web Tension

Formulating for best print performance.

Resistance

Formulating to increase resistance, affects print quality and ease of use

Resources

Help Guides

Tech Data Sheets

Troubleshooting

The ink formula will determine the amount of maintenance on press; the less maintenance required from inks, the less need for troubleshooting. With that said, inks are formulated to achieve specific results. To lower the cost of an ink, the formulators options are limited. To increase resistance properties the formulators need to add more resistance products.

Pick Your Trouble:

Formulating & Estimating Ink

The amout of ink coverage is determined by several different factors: press conditions, anilox volumes, the strength and viscosity of the ink and most importantly, the substrate. The best way to measure mileage from run to run is to chart the actual job. Example: If 100 lb of ink goes out to press, and 20 lb are returned, it is safe to assume the 80 lb were used. You can divide the 80 lb by the number of labels printed and get your answer. Write this number in the job jacket if all conditions remain the same.

If printing the job for the first time, ink can be estimated by the determining the following:

  1. Anilov Volume (Example: 4.5BCM)
  2. Substrate: Porous or Nonporous
  3. Total square inches of coverage needed for the color
  4. Pounds needed for setup
  5. Weight per gallon is usually 9 lb, 10.5 to 11 lb for white

Anilox Volume

BCM

Porous

Coverage/Pound

Non Porous

Coverage/Pound

2-3

350,000 sq. in.

370,000 sq. in.

3-4

232,000 sq. in.

270,000 sq. in.

4-5

155,000 sq. in.

180,000 sq. in.

5-6

132,000 sq. in.

155,000 sq. in.

6-7

115,000 sq. in.

135,000 sq. in.

Example:

Anilov Volume
5 BCM
Substrate: Coated 1 side, High Gloss Paper (Non Porous)
180,000
Total square inches of coverage needed for job
1,000,000 sq. in.
Divide 1,000,000 by 180,000
5.5 lb
3 lb for the pan and .5 lb for set up
3.5 lb
5.5 lb + 3 lb + .5 lb =
9 lb

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