The Flint Group and Air Motion Systems have partnered to develop, test and introduce a line of LED-curable low-migration inks for in-mold labels that meet the world’s strictest and most definitive regulations for inks intended for food-packaging applications.
According to officials, the new inks adhere to guidelines put forth in the “Swiss Ordinance” (SR 817.023.21), a piece of legislation introduced by Switzerland in 2010 (and revised multiple times, most recently in June 2015) that outlines substances/components deemed safe for use in the production of printing inks developed for food packaging, and that of similarly sensitive goods.
The Swiss Ordinance guidelines are designed to avoid situations where, if ink were to “migrate” into a product and contaminate it, consumers would potentially be harmed; going a step further, it also mandates the acceptable migratory properties of any elements/substances on the list of approved potential ink ingredients on a PPM level, to ensure that consumers are at no risk.
Because regulations around the world vary greatly, the “Swiss Ordinance” is considered the most stringent and thorough set of rules to specifically address printing inks for such applications.
The LED-curable inks can be used on paper and plastic in-mold label substrates; they recently were tested at Königsdruck in Berlin, Germany, on a KBA Rapida 106 six-color press with coater, equipped with an XP9 LED UV curing module from AMS. Testers chose sheets of 47 micron in-mold stock for the trials, and ran the press at normal speeds (12,000 SPH). Low Migration Plastic Coating, which is water-based, was used to finish the sheets, and both the inks and coating were cured with a single “hit” of LED-UV light from the XP9 module, stationed end-of-press, emitting 385nm UV light evenly across the substrate surface via collimating optics.