GERMANY – Koenig & Bauer, a printing press manufacturer based in Würzburg, has recently conducted a trial to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing MGA inks for packaging printing on a commercial web press.

The MGA series of inks used for this trial has been manufactured and provided by Hubergroup while Koenig & Bauer provided its 16-page C217 commercial web press.

Hubergroup’s mineral oil-free and low-migration MGA ink series has been specifically designed for printing food packaging.

Such inks are also a crucial prerequisite for heatset printers that are being considered for packaging printing applications, Koenig & Bauer noted.

The latest trial was conducted at a site in Ottersweier, Germany, by B&K Offsetdruck, a print company that was one of the businesses participating in the test.

Koenig & Bauer’s print technology expert, Georg Zitterbart, stated, “The conclusion drawn from this test series is that, when the web speed is reduced, MGA inks perform similarly to conventional heatset inks and yield impressive results.”

In addition, the test helped the companies gain insight into the potential future use of MGA inks for a variety of printing applications, including packaging.

Koenig & Bauer noted that a ministerial decree related to the use of mineral-oil-free processes for production in the French print market has already come into effect as of January 1, 2023.

New Flexo Press

Earlier this month, Koenig & Bauer launched the new XD Pro CI Flexo press to meet the just-in-time market demands for short-run production agility and added-value sustainable flexible packaging.

A new addition to the CI-Flexo product portfolio, this press caters to the primary markets of flexible packaging, as well as synthetic and fiber-based packaging applications, according to the manufacturer.

It is designed for cost-efficient premium print quality on a wide range of printing widths from 1,000-1,400mm and substrate thicknesses, using solvent and water-based inks at speeds of up to 500m/min.

The press can be configured with eight or 10 colour printing decks while additional downstream units can provide coating, laminating, or patterned lacquering. All processes are completed in a single pass.

Typical printing substrates for the press include film, breathable materials, stretchable materials, shrinkable materials, laminates, and paper. These substrates are available in a variety of print lengths, ranging from 330mm to 850mm.

“With the trend towards packaging recyclability gaining momentum, there is a growing emphasis on designing and producing original packages in a more sustainable manner, using thinner and more easily recyclable materials,” said Christoph Müller, CEO of Koenig & Bauer’s Digital & Webfed division.