Fujifilm invests in inkjet plant

Fujifilm’s Imaging Colorants subsidiary FFIC is to build a new production plant for pigment dispersions for its aqueous inkjet inks to expand its existing ink production facility in Newcastle, Delaware, USA.

The reception at the Fujifilm Imaging Colorants building in Newcastle, Delaware, USA.

The pigment dispersion is used to distribute the colours uniformly throughout the ink, preventing the individual particles – typically around 100 nm – from collecting together and potentially blocking the printhead nozzles. 

Fujifilm uses a type of pigment dispersions known as Reactive Dispersant or RxD, which cross-links polymer dispersants adsorbed on the pigment particles. The dispersant prevents desorption from the pigment, creating a very stable dispersion. 

Fujifilm produces the RxD dispersions both for its own inks and for other ink manufacturers. Ian Wilkinson, president & COO of FFIC Inc, stated: “RxD is a key technology for current and next-generation water-based inkjet inks.”

Up to now, the RxD technology has been developed and manufactured solely from FFIC’s Grangemouth plant in Scotland, in the UK so this new plant is both about expanding capacity and building more resilience into the supply line. The FFIC business, including the Newcastle US and Grangemouth UK plants, was formerly part of biotechnology firm Avecia until it was acquired by Fujifilm for $260 million back in February 2006. 

Wilkinson added: “Expansion of our manufacturing capacity is part of a commitment to ensure we can meet increasing demand to support our global customer base. We are already manufacturing a very high-quality, high-purity product in the UK. In this venture we are using the design and project management expertise of our UK team to execute this project in the US. This, alongside expert knowledge, technology and processes will ensure that we manufacture RxD dispersions to the same exceptional standard across both sites.”

Work will start on the new building in April and should be completed by next year. It’s expected to cost around $19 million. You can find further details on Fujifilm’s inks from fujifilm.com.

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