Flint introduces food-safe Ancora ink

Flint Group has announced a new addition to its EkoCure range of UV-curable flexo inks, Ancora, a dual cure ink for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic label and flexible packaging applications that cures with both UV LED and mercury UV lamps. 

Flint Group’s EkoCure Ancora ink is a dual cure UV ink that can be used with both LED and mercury lamps.

The advantage of a dual cure ink is that it allows converters to plan a phased transition from conventional to LED curing, minimising the cost and disruption. Flint says that the Ancora ink can produce identical colour quality results under both LED and mercury lamps so that it’s possible to upgrade a press one lamp at a time.

At this stage, switching to LED curing should be a no-brainer for most converters given that most companies should see a significant reduction in energy usage with lower electricity bills. Moreover, there’s no need to wait for LEDs to warm up, and no need to monitor their performance over time.  

The Ancora ink is said to comply with indirect food contact regulations and to offer low migration on both unsupported film and label substrates. The ink satisfies the Nestlé guidance note on packaging inks (2018), current GMP, the Swiss Ordinance on Materials and Articles (SR 817.023.21), and the EuPIA Exclusion policy, The Plastic Regulation (EU) No 10/2011.

In theory, a low migration inkset could allow brands to switch to lighter, easier-to-handle packaging. That might mean, for example, changing from bottles to pouches, which could deliver significant supply chain savings.

Catharina Aaroe, product and continuous improvement manager for Flint’s narrow web inks, commented: “There is no doubt that switching from mercury to UV-LED curing yields cost and production benefits throughout the production process.” She added: “The addition of EkoCure ANCORA Dual Cure inks makes these benefits accessible to food-contact and pharmaceutical value chains, combined with the assurance of compliance to the highest safety standards.”

The Ancora series is made up of a range of flexo shades, including yellow, transparent yellow, orange, red, violet, blue and an opaque white screen ink, as well as the CMYK process colours. There are also gold and silver metallics, as well as gloss and matte varnishes that provide resistance against yellowing.

The Ancora ink is said to offer good dot sharpness and to be suitable for printing at up to 150mpm with consistent high quality results. Flint says that its a low viscosity ink that’s easy to handle on press with good ink duct behaviour, and that it exhibits good chemical resistance properties

The EkoCure Ancora inks are said to be suitable for almost all narrow-web applications. Flint also sells EkoCure F, for printing on almost all film and paper labelstocks, as well as cartons and tags, and EkoCure XS for shrink sleeve labels. You can find further details from flintgrp.com.

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