September 22, 2018

Staying ahead of market – How Paragon Inks matches changing conditions with customer requirements

Paragon Inks claims it new LUNA, AURA and AURA LED formulations offer converters a degree of future proofing in today’s market of constantly changing regulations

In today’s highly competitive and volatile markets, manufacturing and manufacturing processes face relentless challenges and pressure to change because of influences on the supply chain.  Nowhere is this more true than with UV ink manufacturing, and 2018 will definitely stand out as an ‘annus horribilis’.

Manufacturing, by way of a proven formulation or recipe and method, is one of the most effective processes. However, when recipes are subject to enforced change, this can have catastrophic internal effects on the manufacturer, whose primary objective is to supply a consistent product to its customers.

According to Business Development and Marketing Director, Amanda Jones: “In the first four months of this year, the industry has seen two major industry game changers that have affected UV ink and coating manufacturers around the world and created something of a perfect storm.”

The first is the exponential increase in short notice key raw material force majeures, influenced by China’s environmental clean-up campaign.  This has led to plant closures, plant relocations, and successive raw material shortages and removals, imparting price increases, product allocation, restrictions and withdrawals.

The second is the impact of chemical substance reclassifications and exclusions of fundamental raw materials, including Omnirad 369 (Cas No. 119313-12-1), one of the most commonly used photo-initiators globally, especially in coloured UV curable inks.  This is being driven by various official bodies and associations, including ECHA, Swiss ordinance and EuPIA, from information and data supplied by REACH.

“Overnight, these two factors have effectively re-written the UV inks and coatings formulation rule book,” she added.

Paragon Inks, with its creative innovation team, bespoke technology solutions, and proactive relationships with raw material suppliers and associations, such as EuPIA and the BCF, has turned this chaos into a positive for business and embraced the new rule book.

Using its unique expertise, the company has opened new horizons for UV and LED inks and coatings for label and packaging applications by introducing its LUNA, AURA and AURA LED ranges. These offer the printer and up-stream supply chain, a pre-emptive solution and piece-of-mind in the current turbulent conditions within the print and packaging markets.

“The new products have been designed to combine the major requirements of press and print performance, colour strength, fluidity, stability, quality, and value for money in today’s and future markets. Manufactured using GMP and state-of-the-art dispersion techniques, they conform to exacting quality standards and the new rule book,” she explained.

The Pantone digital library is the foundation for these ranges, giving a greater consistency and accuracy to the bespoke mixing guides and crossover between ranges, utilising the latest technology to create a perfect platform for digital colour synergy.

The LUNA range is a core UV flexo system for all label and packaging applications that do not require inks and coatings to comply with indirect food packaging guidelines. The AURA range is a dedicated UV flexo low migration system, for all label and packaging applications that require inks and coatings to comply with indirect food packaging guidelines. Finally, the AURA LED range is a bespoke flexo system of low migration inks and coatings that are cured by the latest LED/UV technology.

Paragon Inks understands that change impacts the whole supply chain, so with the support of its global distributors and customer service teams, it will ensure that these current market transformations are explained, facilitated, and integrated with customers and within the upstream supply chain.

“Future changes within the UV inks and coatings market are an unknown quantity, but we at Paragon Inks are committed to being proactive on behalf of our existing and potential customers, with the aim of turning 2018 into an annus mirabilis!” she concluded.