Screen shows inkjet packaging press

Screen used IGAS to show off its Truepress Pac520P, a single pass inkjet printer that is aimed at the packaging market and that should give everyone currently producing an inkjet document printer some serious cause for thought.

Essentially, Screen has taken its existing single pass paper printer, the Truepress Jet520NX, and repurposed it to print to paper-based packaging materials such as pouches for non-liquid goods. This ties in with the demand from consumers and brands to move away from plastic packaging. As such, it gives Screen a relatively easy way to address a new market area without the time and cost needed to develop a brand new press. This new device also makes for a sensible complement to Screen’s much larger flexible film inkjet press, the Pac830F, which is nearing its commercial launch, as well as to the company’s range of Jet L350 UV inkjet label presses.

The Pac520P uses the same inkset as the 520NX, or to be more accurate, it uses a brand new NP ink, but this same ink will also be offered for use with the 520NX. This is a water-based pigment ink that doesn’t require any primer or inkjet coating for the media. It will enable a new high speed printing mode for the NX to run at up to 180mpm. It’s also said to offer greater density for the black ink, which Screen says will make the 520NX more suitable for printing catalogs and books.

This ink is still under development though it should be available by February 2023. It’s the first ink for the 520NX that’s been given its own name; the current ink is just called pigment ink for 520NX. (Screen also offers a dye ink for the 520NX for high speed printing that’s popular in the US market.) For now, the Pac520P is running the old NX ink, but it will come with the NP ink when it’s launched and existing 520NX users will be able to switch to the NP ink.

Screen has had to make some slight modifications from the 520NX and is still testing the new version with different media but Koji Hatta, manager within Screen’s sales promotion department, says that theoretically it might be possible that customers with existing 520NX machines can also take advantage of this. That said, the 520NX is usually sold as a twin-engined press for duplexing whereas the Pac520P only needs one unit to print on the outside of the packaging.

The main problem that Screen encountered is that some of the intended media are sensitive to heat, such as paper pouches which have a heat-activated seal. The 520NX uses heat to dry the aqueous inks. But Screen found that the temperature of its heated roller could vary quite a bit so the company has added a sensor to control this heat more tightly as too much heat would damage the media, but not enough heat means that the inks won’t dry properly. Hatta says that there is a sweet spot and that the new sensor helps to maintain the temperature in that sweet spot.

For now Screen is researching the different media available. Hatta says they have to be careful to make sure that it works with the most sensitive media to avoid having to adapt the hardware. 

The Pac520P can run at 80mpm at 900 x 600dpi resolution. The print quality seems to be quite appropriate for this market judging by the samples that I saw. This new press should be available in the Spring of 2023 and is likely to be launched in Europe first because that’s where Screen sees the most demand.

In addition, Screen will also introduce a new SC+ ink for its Jet520 HD series press. This improves the black density as well as the colour gamut as well as improved resistance to bleeding and abrasion. and will allow the presses to cope with a wider range of uncoated media. These features should enable users to handle a wider range of applications, including higher quality jobs. Screen will supply a kit to existing customers to wash out the old SC ink and install the new SC+.

You can find further details on the new inks and Screen’s inkjet presses from

…with a little help from my friends

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