Food packaging safe: Fujifilm Jet Press 720S

Fujifilm has significantly extended the application versatility of the Jet Press 720S, for packaging production, with the launch of a new food-safe ink that enables the press to print on primary food packaging.

The company says the market continues to see a growing increase in the number of packaging brand owners and specifiers looking to achieve greater shelf stand out and to differentiate their products from their competitors. In addition, they are looking to reduce stockholdings and to optimise supply chains. Importantly, they want to find digital press solutions that will allow them to more profitably print offset quality, customised packaging in much shorter and more frequent runs.

Fujifilm says that its Jet Press 720S folding carton solution already satisfies these requirements. The company says the solution delivers exceptionally consistent, high quality output ready for finishing on carton board or synthetic media up to 600 microns thick.

In fact, around one third of all European customers already produce some form of packaging on the Jet Press 720S. German print house Straub Druck & Medien is one such customer. Francisco Martinez, chief executive at Straub Druck & Medien, says, “Packaging buyers want consistency and solid and bright colours, and the Jet Press presses are delivering all of this. We believe packaging will grow in tandem with our commercial printing operation over the next few years, and the Fujifilm machines are essential to our success in this sector.”

Food safety

The Fujifilm Jet Press 720S is the first B2 digital press approved for primary food packaging.

The new food safe ink forms a key additional component of the Jet Press folding carton solution and enables the solution to meet the growing requirement for a reliable digital solution to produce high quality folding cartons for the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household, and personal care markets.

The new, low migration, aqueous food safe ink complies with stringent primary food contact regulations, including Swiss Ordinance 817.023.21 and European Commission Regulation 1935/2004. The company has specially formulated the ink to work with inline (via a bridge) and nearline UV or aqueous coating.

Belgium-based company Packaging for Professionals is among a number of Jet Press 720S customers currently using the press only for printing packaging, including secondary food packaging. Established to fill a gap in the European packaging market for high quality, low volume packaging produced on demand, it has built its business around the Jet Press 720S., Mohamed Toual, co-founder and chief executive at Packaging for Professionals, says, “Traditionally, clients in the packaging industry have doubted the ability of a digital press to match the quality of litho or flexo printing. However, our customers have been hugely impressed with the quality of the products we have produced on the Jet Press 720S. The feedback we have received has been universally positive and we are very confident that this will continue.”

Software optimisation

For companies looking to diversify into packaging, the Jet Press folding carton solution can also incorporate Phoenix imposition and planning software from Tilia Labs. This software optimises the way jobs are collated, or ganged, for printing based on minimising waste or maximising printing speed. This ganging function supports true shape nesting and automatically provides users with different options to arrange jobs.

The Jet Press 720S features new Samba printheads. Each B2 width print bar containing 17 individually replaceable modular printheads and each of those has 2048 nozzles, ensuring the press can achieve native resolutions of 1200 x 1200 dpi. The print bar also takes advantage of VersaDrop technology, allowing precise control and paper placement for the size and shape of each ink drop. The replaceable modular printheads also significantly reduce the necessity for system downtime and minimise breaks in production for press maintenance, with a traditional offset fed paper feed mechanism providing high registration accuracy and reliable operation.

Taro Aoki, Head of Digital Press Solutions in EMEA for Fujifilm, says, “The introduction of a new food safe ink further demonstrates Fujifilm’s commitment to developing the Jet Press platform and to bringing new solutions to market in response to customer feedback.

“With the ongoing trend towards more creative, personalised and shorter run packaging, forward-thinking converters are increasingly looking for digital printing technologies that offer the reliability and print quality their existing systems have delivered, but with the ability to profitably print short runs.

“The Jet Press 720S has already proved itself to be a high-performance and highly versatile press for both commercial and folding carton applications. The introduction of our new, food-safe ink, together with options for inline and nearline coating and specialist pre-press software, takes that versatility to a new level and will appeal to many folding carton converters.”

This article was authored by NZP’s Bruce Craig

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