At Labelexpo Europe 2023, GSE’s ink dispensing systems and management software attracted great interest from both label and packaging converters from around the world as well as ink manufacturers – as suppliers increasingly recognise the importance of these technologies for controlling costs, meeting sustainability targets and assuring quality in the retail goods value chain.
A total system for efficiently managing process, expanded gamut and spot colour inks
The GSE stand offerings represent a complete solution for efficiently managing all inks – whether for process colours or spot colour printing – under one roof, at every step in the workflow.
Highlights of the stand included a new single-ingredient dispenser for preparing UV and water-based inks that require no blending. These can include CMYK process colours, or orange, green and violet for expanded gamut printing, as well as white, varnishes and coatings. Stored in connected bulk containers, the ink is dispensed, without splashing, into a dedicated bucket and supplied directly to the press.
Also exhibited was the Colorsat Switch dispenser for blending spot colours on-demand and suited for label and narrow-web applications, with a new, versatile ‘backbone’ for connecting base components. The dispenser’s modular ‘waterfall’ frame facilitates various pump and agitator configurations. The exhibited systems were equipped with the latest GSE Ink manager software, with its programs for returning inks, traceability, inventory control and automatic purchasing. It also included GSE Hazard symbol printing, a new software module for tracing and labelling hazardous inks – thereby promoting safe handling in the print room.
Maarten Hummelen, marketing director of ink logistics provider GSE, comments: “At the GSE stand, there was significant interest in ink dispensing and software solutions for improving sustainability, process efficiency and colour quality from label and packaging converters worldwide.
How ink dispensing contributes to sustainable package printing
“The enquiries, from printing businesses in over 40 countries, revealed three strong trends that are driving the need for professionalized ink handling throughout the converting workflow. The most prominent trend was sustainability, which remains a top priority for brand owners and printers alike. At Labelexpo Europe, we advised visitors how well-organized ink logistics reduces the carbon footprint in many ways – from purchasing inks and colour ingredients in bulk to reduce shipping journeys, to reusing inks returned from the press, for example.
Single-ingredient dispenser for clean, efficient process colour / expanded gamut printing
“Second, we noted the growing demand for managing non-blended inks, varnishes and coatings – including inks for process colour and ‘expanded gamut’ printing – often in addition to spot colours,” Maarten said.
For converters regularly scheduling process or expanded gamut colour jobs, for instance, the single ingredient dispenser not only enables inks to be purchased economically in bulk; with its weighing scale and the inclusion of optional Ink manager software programs, the dispenser acts as a single point for automatically controlling inventory and tracing ink ingredients to orders – as needed in food and pharmaceutical packaging.
“Converters using fixed palette printing are also under pressure from brand-owners and legislation to minimize their carbon footprint and costs,” says Maarten. “This explains the enthusiasm for GSE’s new single-ingredient dispenser on the stand, as well as our GSE Ink manager software, as a means of centralizing all ink-related data and processes, reducing waste, and tracing of ink ingredients to job orders.”
Software integration drives efficiency and responsiveness
A third trend was the need for integrating software programs in order to drive automation and efficiency across the entire production process.
“GSE Ink manager software has the optional capability to exchange data with other software systems,” Maarten said. “So, for example, it’s possible to import ink recipes, or export inventory data, immediately, without human input, costly administration, or risks of error. This ease of information exchange makes an important contribution to improving process efficiency and responsiveness.
“Labelexpo also gave us the opportunity to hold discussions with more supplier partners including ink suppliers, MIS and colour formulation software providers, about solutions for integrating our software with different stages of label and packaging printing workflow.”
Here’s a short video with the highlights of our stand: