Fujifilm have launched a new thermo forming UV-cured inkjet ink, Uvijet KV, aimed at light industrial applications. Continual investment in research and development at its ink manufacturing plant in Broadstairs, has enabled the company to act on the recognised need for a high quality digital ink targeted at these applications.
With a heritage in screen printing ink, and as the 'pioneer' of wide format digital UV inkjet ink, Fujifilm was able to use its expertise to develop Uvijet KV. This new ink system has been designed specifically for use with the company's mid-range flatbed printers, the Acuity Advance Select and Acuity Advance Select HS. The new formulation maintains the 'high quality, vivid colours and excellent performance' expected from a Fujifilm ink, with no affect on print speed. Once the printing of a flat plastic sheet is completed, it is removed to a mould where it is heated up to take on the shape of the mould, and then cooled. The ink has outstanding elongation properties of 300-400 per cent when heated, returning to a 'normal' state when cool.
"The Acuity is a platform that has become established as the industry benchmark for print quality in its category, and now with the addition of Uvijet KV to the ink range, we are able to help our customers take advantage of profitable new applications," says Mike Battersby, marketing manager, Large Format at Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems.
He continues: "Large format printing has for some time been expanding away from the 'traditional' graphics markets, so we've been using our extensive ink and application knowledge to develop solutions which allow these systems to be used for different light industrial applications. The use of inkjet printing in thermo forming is not well established, but there is an opportunity for early adopters to use their creativity and innovation to open up and develop exciting new markets.
"Uvijet KV ink is extremely flexible so that it can heat and cool without cracking or flaking. Other UV-cured digital inks simply would not be able to achieve this level of flexibility. Thermo forming is an ever more popular process in industrial applications, with a variety of plastics being used. Typical substrates that could be printed include polystyrene and PETG, both of which mould easily into new shapes when hot. We are very excited about the new ink, as it opens up new business opportunities for our prospects and customers."
Tismo Products BV in The Netherlands has been one of the early adopters of this technology. Co-owner, Mr Jeroen Maessen says: "I have been particularly impressed by the print quality that we have been able to achieve with the Acuity Select 4006 and the thermo forming properties of Uvijet KV. We have plans to bring these benefits to market in a new concept based around the personalisation characteristics of a digital solution."