Three major problems lead to limited application of water-based ink for cigarette packages

Although more and more cigarette pack printing companies are paying attention to water-based inks, the application of water-based inks in China's cigarette packs has also improved. However, current water-based inks are mainly used in low-grade cigarettes that do not require high printing quality. On the bag, the application on high-grade cigarette packets is not optimistic, and there are still many cigarette package printing companies that dare not get involved in the field of water-based inks. So, what is the problem that limits the application of the water-based ink for the cigarette pack?

Problem 1: Insufficient ink performance

Zheng Xiaobo, director of the technology research and development department of the ink technology development center of Yunnan Qiaotong Packaging and Printing Co., Ltd., said: "Overall, some properties of water-based inks are not comparable to solvent-based inks. The printing effect is also compared with solvent-based inks. The gap, which is one of the main reasons for the low acceptance of water-based inks by domestic cigarette printing companies."

The first is drying, the water-based ink uses water as the main solvent, and the latent heat of evaporation of water is large, and the volatilization rate is slow at normal temperature, so the leveling property, adhesion and gloss are worse than solvent-based inks, and it is easy to produce. Printing quality problems; followed by solubility, the solubility of water-based inks depends on the compatibility of solubility and dryness between aqueous emulsions and colorants, frequent mixing in production, and different brands of water-based inks, their safe storage period Differently, water-based inks that exceed the safe storage period are prone to precipitation or delamination, and even if the stirring does not take much effect, there is an unavoidable knife line failure or even more serious.

In addition, the current standards have some shortcomings that fail to pay enough attention to and recognize the lack of performance of water-based inks. Taking GB/T26395-2011 "water-based cigarette-concave gravure ink" as an example, the expression of the part of the water-based gravure ink in the standard can still see the shadow of the alcohol-based gravure ink, and it is not outside the ban list but must be Additives are added with a defined limit and are still some distance from the true water-soluble or water-based ink standard. Ma Guangsheng, an engineer of Shandong Luyan Laizhou Printing Co., Ltd. pointed out: "If the new standards introduced in the future can be changed to the entry restriction system for organic solvents, that is, substances other than the prescribed substances should not be used, then the water-based inks will be used. The application in the gravure printing of cigarette packets has played a significant role."

Question 2: Production process needs to be adjusted

In the gravure printing of cigarette packets, if the original solvent-based ink is changed to water-based ink, it must be adjusted and improved in various aspects such as plate making parameters and equipment structure, otherwise the printing effect will be affected. "This requires not only the active cooperation of ink manufacturers and plate suppliers, but also the operational requirements and skills of operators." Liu Fengjie, manager and manufacturing manager of Quanyong Printing Technology Department.

For example, since the drying of the aqueous resin used in the aqueous ink is irreversible, if the engraved gravure of the conventional "reverse diamond"-like cell is still used, the ink dried at the bottom of the cell will become blocked as the use time is prolonged. The version, which results in insufficient ink transfer, which in turn affects the consistency of the printed hue. In this regard, on the one hand, it is necessary to use a laser engraved gravure of a square cell; on the other hand, the operator is required to clean the gravure in a timely and thorough manner, otherwise the entire plate roller after drying will be scrapped.

In addition, in order to compensate for the lack of drying properties of the aqueous ink, it is also necessary to modify the drying device of the existing gravure printing machine, or increase the drying power of the drying device, or change without changing the drying power of the gravure printing machine. The air volume and wind speed of the drying device are used to improve the drying capacity.

Question 3: Concerns about cost

With the development of benchmarking activities in the tobacco industry, various Chinese cigarette companies began to strictly control the cost of cigarette packages, prompting the price of cigarette packets to fall sharply, and even triggered a wave of price cuts. At the same time, the prices of raw and auxiliary materials and energy continue to rise, and the cost of labor continues to rise, making the profits of cigarette-printing companies continue to be diluted, and the cost considerations of cigarette-printing companies have become extremely sensitive and cautious.

As far as the current situation is concerned, the use of water-based inks for the gravure printing of cigarette packs is indeed more expensive than the use of solvent-based inks. On the one hand, water-based inks use water-based resins as binders, and their purchase price is much higher than ordinary solvent prices. On the other hand, in order to adapt to the printing characteristics of water-based inks, more or less need to be done in terms of production energy consumption and equipment modification. Some capital investment. Therefore, for those cigarette printing companies that have not yet entered the field of water-based inks, this will increase their concerns to some extent. .

The above content is selected from the 11th issue of “ Printing Technology·Packaging and Decoration ” of Keyin Media in 2013. For more journal content, please pay attention to the journal channel, and click on the latest journal content to enter the electronic journal channel of Keyin.com.

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