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Excel Eco-friendly inks hit Australia

Friday, 09 March 2012
By Print 21 Online Article

Already claiming approval from five independent environmental agencies in Europe and internationally, and with ISO eco-friendly certification, Heidelberg’s new Saphira Excel ink range’s reputation has preceded itself, with at least one big contract in Australia already signed as the ink is released into the local market.

The soy and vegetable oil-based ink, which has been certified as environmentally responsible under ISO 9001/14001, only contains around one per cent mineral content, meaning it is sourced almost entirely from renewable products.

Preliminary trials of the Excel range in Europe and locally have shown the ink to provide up to ten per cent better coverage than comparable inks in the market, due to its density.

“We’re finding it’s a stronger [colour] in some instances, and compared to cheaper inks in the market we’re getting 10 per cent better coverage,” says Heidelberg Australia’s general manager of consumables, Bill Wall (pictured). “Because of the density we’re not using as much water and the sheets and plates are dryer. There’s not as much water coverage and that’s really attracting a lot of customers.”

According to Wall, unlike many other eco-friendly inks, the Excel inks do not struggle with colour and pigment vibrancy. In fact, the vegetable-based ink is reportedly on par with many mineral inks in the market, a trait that has seen some local industry players keen to get their hands on the new range.

“We’ve signed a big contract already with a company that uses about a tonne a month,” says Wall. “There’s no better endorsement for a new product than a major player wanting to commit to it before stocks are even in our warehouse.”

With the industry increasingly on the lookout for well-priced and reliable eco-friendly inks, Wall believes Heidelberg is on to a good thing with the Saphira range, and expects the local market to reward environmentally conscious ink products with growing interest and sales.

“We’ve been looking for a product like this for five years, and as our consumables business continues to grow, we’re getting more and more requests from the market for this type of product,” says Wall.

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