ebeam Technologies, the developer and manufacturer of electron beam (ebeam or EB) solutions and its partners, Uteco Converting and INX Digital International have unveiled GAIA, a collaboratively developed industrial end-to-end inkjet production line. A digital narrow-web solution, GAIA will enable safe mass-personalisation of indirect food contact flexible packaging and labels.
GAIA is making its public debut at Labelexpo, Brussels, September 25-28, Hall 4, Stand A25, where on-stand production demonstrations will run 10 minutes every full hour. Print and converting professionals, and brand owners in the flexible packaging sector who watch the demos will discover the commercial benefits of GAIA, including the proven market opportunities around variable printing such as product personalisation, short run market testing, print-on-demand or print-per-event and local area snap promotions. Because the INX Digital ebeam curable inks are photoinitiator-free, package converters using GAIA will be able to target consumers with personalised indirect food packaging.
In-line ebeam curing has a number of commercial production benefits for package printing including a significantly lower energy requirement compared to thermal curing and a faster time to market thanks to instant ebeam curing, allowing for the elimination of a lengthy drying stage and storage before cutting. ebeam curing produces virtually no VOCs and eliminates the need for solvents and it also produces a higher degree of cure, durability, a higher gloss finish and has the ability to cure all colours.
The new digital production line has been created through combining Uteco’s expertise in web handling, INX Digital’s expertise in the customisation and integration of digital technologies and print engines, and an in-line ebeam Technologies’ ebeam Compact 80/400 curing unit. The four-colour solution uses recently developed photoinitiator-free inkjet ebeam-curable inks from INX Digital, has a resolution up to 720×360 dpi, and a throughput speed of up to 25 metres/minute. With a footprint of only 4.4×1.5 metres, it is a low energy, low pollution solution that will safely and conveniently fit into print room environments.
“GAIA is all about innovation and the combined technical expertise from Uteco, ebeam and INX. In addition to opening up a whole breadth of possibilities for packaging converters and label printers, GAIA offers a new business model for digital printing – no click charge,” said Davide Cucinella, CMO, Uteco.
“In UTECO and ebeam Technologies, we have found partners that embody our desire to bring to market an innovative print customisation solution, without any compromise in quality. Packaging converters are going to be amazed at the output quality from GAIA. Durable, vibrant colour with the possibility of each package or label being a one-off,” says Stefano Rogora, sales and marketing manager, INX Digital International.
Elsa Callini, business development manager at ebeam Technologies, said, “At ebeam, we believe true technological innovation can only be achieved through collaboration, and GAIA is the latest proof point of this. In helping bring this new digital narrow-web solution to market we believe the sky is the limit for package designers and brand owners when it comes to the exciting and differentiating world of personalisation and variable printing.”