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Siegwerk expands its digital ink footprint by opening a new production facility designated for inkjet inks

By investing in the new production facility designated for inkjet inks Siegwerk shows its commitment to get prepared for the markets of tomorrow while laying the tracks for expanding its digital ink offering.

Siegwerk, one of the leading global providers of printing inks for packaging applications and labels, just expanded its Technical Center in Annemasse (France) with a new production facility for inkjet inks. The investment follows the construction of a dedicated inkjet laboratory last year that was built to already extend the company’s R&D capabilities in this area. Siegwerk is committed to further drive the development of inkjet inks that meet all printing process functionality and efficiency requirements and address the specific challenges of the labels and packaging segments.

Annemasse – one of 15 Centers of Excellence worldwide

Today, the site in Annemasse is home for 275 employees and counts as Siegwerk’s European leading plant for water-based printing inks and varnishes. The so-called Center of Excellence produces more than 25,000 tons of printing ink per year. Over the last three years the company invested 3 million euros to specifically build up its development, production and testing capacities in the inkjet technology. “After opening our designated inkjet laboratory last year, we now opened our first designated inkjet production facility in Annemasse – all in line with our vision to become the leading packaging ink provider worldwide”, says Herbert Forker, CEO at Siegwerk. “Going forward we will invest additional 2 million euros in new equipment for the inkjet ink technology over the next five years. Annemasse will be our driving force for future inkjet ink solutions.” On October 13, 2017, the company held an official inauguration ceremony in Annemasse to which selected local and regional authorities as well as all local employees were invited.

Siegwerk has already invested nearly 11 million euros over the last 12 years to build up a sustainable and successful Technical Center in France with high competitiveness in Europe. Next to the investment in the inkjet laboratory, Siegwerk has also opened a brand new Blending Center for the production of water-based inks in 2016 to further strengthen its portfolio as a full-range provider for packaging printers. Today, the Technical Center in France, Siegwerk’s second largest market in the EU, pools profound technical know-how around water-based, UV and inkjet inks as well as best-in-class analytical capabilities. It belongs to the state-of-the-art industrial printing facilities in Europe. “Annemasse always was our nnovation hub. It’s the cradle of our ‘Global Innovation Network’, a global in-house research network, which works on the development of eco-friendly inks with consistent performance, as well as new ink technologies and product packaging innovations for the future”, adds Forker.

Siegwerk’s digital ink offering

Given its unique capability of coping with short print runs and lead times, digital printing takes label and packaging printing to the next level. Short print runs enable brand owners to adjust and customize print designs easily and thereby differentiate their brands from competitors through regionalization and personalization of their product packaging. Shorter lead times allow printers to react fast to the market and customer requirements. Besides, digital printing supports sustainable printing processes while offering printers the reduction of waste and ink stocks. “Overall, we see a growing demand for application-driven ink systems and especially for inkjet ink customization”, says Matthieu Carnie, Business Development Manager at Siegwerk. “From our perspective, the most promising technologies are UV inkjet, suitable for narrow web printing on thick material such as labels & direct-to-pack, and water-based inkjet, suitable for single pass large width printing on corrugated and flexible packaging. Both technologies can also be suitable for printing on folding carton.”

The company’s inkjet offering today focusses on UV technology - covering conventional UV to full LED curing. With Sicura NutriJet, Siegwerk provides an inkjet ink series for sensitive food and pharma packaging that works with different inkjet printing head technologies. With Sicura Jet low-odor the company offers the only non-CMR UV-inkjet inks that are designed for printing labels for household, hygiene and industrial packaging. All inkjet inks comply with relevant legislations, e.g. in terms of product safety requirements for the specific market segments and are suitable for a wide range of label applications like for example self-adhesive labels for cosmetics, wet-glue labels for food and beverages, direct printing on 3D-packaging objects, blister packaging as well as aluminum lids for food products. Furthermore, water-based inkjet inks for packaging applications are currently under development and will follow at a later stage. “We always fully customize our ink solutions to the users’ needs – this means for the final application and not only for a given printing equipment”, explains Matthieu Carni. “For us customization goes beyond classical color matching, it also covers optimization of adhesion, mechanical and chemical resistance properties as well as assessment of migration risk.” Even if Siegwerk is targeting its digital ink R&D efforts on inkjet, the company will also continue to support its customers by providing high-quality primers and lacquers for electrophotographic printing too.

By providing a combination of best-in-class ink performance, optimum product safety and continuous support and guidance, Siegwerk always makes every effort to help its customers address upcoming trends and to meet their specific needs with cutting-edge ink solutions.