Label converter Barcom Industries, of Vasai, India, has significantly reduced ink-related waste and has improved quality consistency after installing a Colorsat Match automated ink dispensing system from GSE Dispensing along with a Perfect Proofer table-top ink proofing system from Print Proof Solutions.
Barcom manufactures self-adhesivelabels, tags, pouches and specialty products including barcodes, QR and security labels, and re-closures. Its markets include pharmaceuticals, chemicals, industrial lubricants, textiles, spirits, beverages, and other retail products. The company handles production runs from 5,000 to 10 million labels, using eight Mark Andy flexo presses, a Mark Andy Digital One press and extensive finishing capabilities.
Barcom had relied on a manual method, using Pantone Formula Guides and ink suppliers’ databases for preparing colors, but this led to significant waste. Meeting customers’ quality expectations was time-consuming and labour intensive, and it was virtually impossible to reuse ink left over after each job. The company therefore chose to automate its ink logistics to eliminate waste and handle more and longer jobs precisely, without any delay.
‘On average, we mix 2,000 to 2,500kg of ink each month,’ Prasanna Sahu, chairman, Barcom Industries, explained. ‘Since installing Colorsat Match from GSE Dispensing and Perfect Proofer, we have better control of waste and have cut our ink waste from five percent to about one percent. That’s an 80 per cent reduction.
‘Other advantages include ease of use for the operator, user-friendly software, barcoded job tickets, increased control of ink use and inventory, and automatic cleaning. Color matching repeat formulations is easy and accurate.’
The Colorsat Match dispensing system can be used for flexo, gravure and screen inks and will automatically mix precise formulations and quantities, from up to 20 base components, in minutes. The easy re-use of press-return inks improves ink yields, and the system contributes to a cleaner ink kitchen and improved stock management.
Color formulation software, the dispenser and proofer together form an efficient closed-loop for achieving color quality. The color formulation software generates the recipe, then a small quantity of ink is dispensed by the Colorsat Match. A draw-down is then taken on the Perfect Proofer, a table-top system that replicates the conditions of the flexo press. If color and tonal results conform to the job card, the formula is saved to the system. Otherwise, ink formula adjustments are made, finally checked with the proofer, and stored for easy recall on the database.
‘Using the Perfect Proofer, we can mimic the characteristics of individual presses: anilox, plate characteristics and pressure,’ Sahu explained. ‘We can proof jobs before printing without having to ink-up the press and use press time. This is especially good for long runs, and we can also proof jobs in advance, saving time and money.’
Sahu believes it was the right decision to adopt Colorsat Match and the Perfect Proofer together, as they complement each other. ‘We are seeing tremendous monthly ink savings and have significantly reduced ink preparation time. Our ink kitchen is clean and well-organized and we have reduced the storage space. At the same time, we have increased press capacities, and experienced easy repeatability of accurate formulations,’ he concluded.
GSE Dispensing is represented in India by Arcadia Associates, based in Mumbai