ebeam Technologies & GM Deliver OPV Curing

FLAMATT, SWITZERLAND | ebeam Technologies and Grafisk Maskinfabrik (GM), developers and manufacturers of electron beam (EB) curing and coating solutions, report that ePac Flexible Packaging will install an ebeam Core 100/760 EB curing unit, mounted on a GM EB30 coating line at its Madison, WI, site in Q3 2018. With the ebeam Core 100/760, the GM EB30 reportedly will enable ePac to achieve instantaneous curing and a high-performance finish to overprint varnish (OPV) onto surface web printed materials from an HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press.

“At ePac, one of our key differentiators is our industry leading time to market. The addition of ebeam curing fits well into our business model and will enable us to create enhanced and high-performance finishes for our packaging,” says Jack Knott, CEO, ePac Flexible Packaging. “ePac is built on the premise that emerging innovative technologies, when properly deployed, will cause disruption within the flexible packaging market. We were the first flexible packaging business in North America to rely exclusively on the latest wide-web digital printing technology from HP—the Indigo 20000. We’re excited by the possibilities offered by ebeam Technologies and look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership over the coming years.”

The GM EB30 with an integrated ebeam Core 100/760 is optimized for OPV curing of material printed on an HP Indigo 20000 and is said to deliver numerous competitive advantages to HP Indigo digital press users. Instantaneous ebeam curing of OPV means that lamination, with its lengthy drying times to ensure bonding, can be eliminated from the finishing stage. With ebeam, ePac will be able to send fully cured, OPV-coated material directly onto the next stage of production, cutting finishing times to hours instead of days. Company says this will greatly improve production throughput speeds and process flow and enable an overall faster time to market for ePac’s customers.

ebeam Technologies says that in addition to improving turnaround time, ebeam curing produces a high-performance finish with an outstanding look and feel. High-gloss, matte, and soft-touch finishes that are scratch, tear, puncture and fade resistant, result in substantially increased package and label durability and abrasion resistance. Protection of printed graphics is improved, providing increased heat resistance to reduce damage during heat-sealing or when adding zippers.

The new solution will also enable ePac to realize additional market opportunities by opening up a route to indirect food contact packaging. Company says that traditional personalized printing processes have been unable to expand into this market due to concerns around the use of photoinitiators in traditional packaging inks to facilitate curing. With ebeam-curable OPVs from GM, there are no photoinitiators, thereby providing an FDA-approved solution for personalized indirect food contact packaging applications. Also important is the low energy nature of the ebeam curing process which, combined with a lack of chemicals such as photoinitiators, increases sustainability whilst lowering production costs.

Karl Swanson, VP Global Sales, ebeam Technologies, says, “The ebeam Core 100/760 and GM EB30 provide a game-changing solution for flexible packaging finishers and converters, so we are delighted that ePac will be trailblazing its use in the US. Printers interested in the production and business benefits of ebeam are invited to visit the ebeam Core 100/760 and GM EB30 at ePac Madison, where our expert team will help them use the finishing line to test different substrates and materials.”

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