It's easy to see why printing companies have made flexography their printing method of choice for colorful retail packaging and other products.
"Flexography is without peer when it comes to substrate versatility," observed John Copeland, division president of the printing ink division of Toyo Ink America. "No other process can print words and images on such a wide range of foil, film, paperboard, cellophane, envelopes and tissue paper, and produce excellent results."
Advances in automation, plate imaging technologies and printing inks have further solidified flexography's standing as a sophisticated, high-quality printing platform.
Toyo Ink America's participation in InfoFlex 2011 as an exhibitor is directly tied to the ink manufacturer's enhanced product offerings for flexographic printing.
"Packaging, especially flexible packaging, has been among the fastest-growing printing segments over the past decade," Copeland noted. "We recognized several years ago that this sector will continue growing for the foreseeable future. We are focusing very heavily on the packaging industry as a long-term business strategy."
A far-reaching product line includes sheetfed and web offset inks, ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) inks, waterless inks, solvent- and water-based flexo
and gravure inks, inkjet inks and special function coatings. Ink sales in general and sales of flexographic inks in particular improved in 2010 compared with the previous year. Conventional sheetfed inks, UV inks and special effect inks have been proven sales performers, but Copeland regards packaging inks for wide- and narrow-web applications as a definite growth area.
Last year, Toyo Ink America expanded its capabilities in the packaging market with the addition of formulas, brands and equipment belonging to Fluid Ink Technology, Inc. of Moorpark, Calif. Toyo Ink America's paste and liquid inks divisions also merged.
A manufacturer of flexographic, gravure and UV inks for the packaging and label printing markets, Fluid Ink Technology had earned an outstanding reputation for product reliability and unparalleled customer support.
"Fluid Ink's products are terrific from a technical standpoint," Copeland said. "They satisfy today's packaging requirements. They dry fast, adhere to different substrates, exhibit great color fidelity, have excellent mileage — all the features customers want in inks."
The marriage of Toyo Ink's existing packaging capabilities and expertise in developing such highly engineered products as water-based laminate inks with Fluid Ink's technology, service and sales gives flexo printers access to a full complement of solutions, according to Copeland.
"Toyo Ink is well positioned to deliver a broader, more comprehensive line of high-tech products to the packaging printing market," Copeland said. "We are geared up to better meet local demand for valued-added and customized inks."
Toyo Ink America will showcase its line of inks, adhesive and film products for flexo and gravure printing in booth #1037/1039 at InfoFlex 2011, May 2-3 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.