The experts from Heidelberg worked closely with European customers over several months to test a broad range of alcohol substitutes. The most suitable turned out to be an additive based on glycols. Heidelberg offers IPA substitutes such as these in its Saphira range, which is specifically geared towards the various requirements of commercial and packaging printing. These substitutes are much more cost-effective and also improve print quality, with colors appearing far more vibrant.
Another important part of the “IPA-free Package” is the provision of specialist consulting during startup. This includes the pulling of a specially developed dampening test form for determining the best setting for the roller frame and dampening solution. The quality of process water and dampening solution is also analyzed and press color and dampening profiles are adjusted accordingly.
Bastian Druck, which is based near Trier, southwest Germany, is one example of a print shop that has switched over production on both its Speedmaster XL 105 presses to zero percent IPA. “We set ourselves up as a climate-neutral print shop and are constantly striving to go one step further, not just for our own sake, but because we feel it is our responsibility to do so for our environmentally conscious customers. But words need to be backed up by deeds. Alcohol-free offset printing was clearly the next step,” explains Gerrit Schneider, production manager at Bastian Druck. “There are no limitations and we are now printing commercial work, packaging, and labels with far more gloss and color fidelity,” says Schneider. By eliminating the use of alcohol, Bastian Druck is not only helping to save the environment, but also save thousands of euros a year.