Domino upgrades ink factory

Domino Printing Sciences has invested £6.6 million to upgrade its existing 16,000m2 ink manufacturing plant in Liverpool, UK. This facility makes solvent-, oil-, and water-based ink but this investment only applies to the UV inkjet inks for the K-Series and N-Series label presses.

Domino has used this factory to manufacture all the inks, including the white ink, for the K-series and N-series printers since they were first introduced. This upgrade expands the manufacturing capacity of this ink and includes improved controls for handling raw material additions and finished goods. 

This upgrade includes installing a new state-of-the-art automated production line to manage materials handling, formulation, processing, filling, inspection, and packaging of Domino’s high-volume UV inks, with the use of vision and robot technology to ensure finished product quality. The new production line promises to significantly improve capacity, as well as efficiency in the production of inks, with processes designed to give maximum efficient use of raw materials. Dedicated holding vessels and piping for each individual UV ink colour will reduce the need for changeovers between ink batches, increasing capacity, while reducing wastage from cleaning. The new plant includes state-of-the-art materials handling technology that lessens the need for manual handling of the raw materials and finished product, reducing risk while improving the process for our workers on site.”

Pete Weaver, Group Fluids Operations Director for Domino, explained: “The new line is set up to manage production of the most popular UV inks for our N-Series label presses, with production of smaller-batch and experimental inks taking place on a parallel line.”

He added: “By having the two facilities working in tandem, we have also increased our overall ink development capacity, which will help us to respond more easily to customers’ needs going forward.”

The Liverpool factory is certified to ISO standards 9001, 14001 and 45001. It was designed to use green solutions where possible, including roof-mounted photovoltaic cells that generate solar power as well as drains that send rainwater and surface water into attenuation ponds for sustainable drainage. 

Rachel Hurst, Chief Operating Officer for Domino, commented: “Supply chain challenges, and materials reclassification can prove very challenging when it comes to ink supply – but owning the development process allows us to more easily look ahead to source alternatives, providing greater assurance for customers of continued availability.” 

Hurst added: “This investment will mean that our customers can trust in a single supplier for all their digital printing needs, with the confidence that inks have been specifically developed and optimised for our digital presses.”

The press release claims that this makes Domino the first manufacturer to completely control the digital printing process for a UV-inkjet label press including the design of the press, printheads and inks. That would only apply to the N700 series, which uses heads manufactured by Domino’s parent company, Brother, and not the N600-series that’s also referenced in the press release and uses Kyocera printheads. Besides, I’m not sure how accurate this claim is anyway as Epson also claims to make its own label presses, printheads and UV ink. 

You can find further details on the N-series label presses from domino-printing.com.


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