Made a shift to the environmentally conscious aqueous gravure printing. The establishment of color management system was the key.
■Chukyokagaku Co., Ltd.（Inazawa city, Aichi）
Industry: Production and processing of the soft packaging material and its sales
Installed printer: UV inkjet printer "UJF-605C" and "UJF-605R"
Mr. Tanzawa (Assistant manager of Sales department)
【Embarked on the aqueous gravure printing ahead of the industry】
Since the company was founded in 1964, they have developed and produced new products and high quality packages which meet the several kinds of demands, by making use of "Integrated manufacturing system" which supports the whole process between planning and production.
The pillar of the printing operation is the gravure printing of soft package, and it is devided in "Food section" and "Sundry goods section". The former covers retort pouch, fried snack, delicacy, and dry food. The latter includes the packages of bath additive, ball point pen, and ice pack. All of these products are familiar to consumer as those can be seen at the supermarket.
Of particular note in their effort is they have taken advantage of the aqueous gravure printing ahead of the industry about three years ago. Mr. Tanzawa talked about this as below.
"With the awareness of improving the working envirionment in the gravure printing industry and with the strengthen regulation on evironment thourough out Japan, we have dealt with environmental problem fast to achieve the goal of the 'Alcohol content of less than 25%' leading to the prevention of air pollution during printing. This is because we thought it would be expedient to introduce the aqueous with sectional drive method than keep using solvent gravure printing by installing solvent managing machine which price is 200 million to 300 million yen with the running cost of 2 million to 3 million per month."
【Technology development which changes disadvantage into advantage】
Solvent to aqueous. It was easy to say "Let's use aqueous ink instead of solvent ink." but there were several problems for them to introduce printing with aqueous ink. While the conventional solvent ink (toluene ink) includes more than 80% of organic solvent, aqueous ink includes about 20% of organic solvent. Little alcohol is contained and the major ingredient is water. This type of ink has problems in drying, hydrophilic property, and gliding characteristics between doctor blade and plate (cylinder). All of these shows that aqueous ink is not suitable for gravure printing, but they solved these problems one by one, and achieved aqueous gravure printing in the end.
【Client convincing color proof was required】
Color management system, how to obtain a good match across color devices, was the bane of the printing industry. Or it is still a big issue. When introducing aqueous gravure printing, it was an urgent need to introduce a new printer which produces client convincing color proof.
"The color reproducibility of aqueous ink is better than solvent ink, and it has advantage in the expression of the light color. We were in under the necessity of creating color proof which is appropriate for aqueous ink. Then, we found Mimaki when we were looking for color management system which we can have the near-aqueous ink color, and printer which can print on the several films."
They introduced UJF-605C which can print on the several material such as PET, PP, and PVC to coincide with its release. After one year, they introduced roll to roll printer, UJF-605R, which can directly print on soft package film on the day it was released. "We made some requests which were needed to aqueous gravure priting to Mimaki, and we were able to establish satisfying system at last." When developing the printer above, they gave feedbacks to Mimaki from the perspective of manufacturing, and kept supporting Mimaki. Especially, in developing Mimaki's color management system (RIP), 'the local opinion' was included.
As a part of color management system, they created "Process color chip (color swatch book)" which reproduced 1275 colors only with the process color (CMYK+White) to promote aqueous gravure printing. This was the first attempt in the printing industry, and they made the color printing (picture) and package design with 1275 colors possible only by using 5 colors.
When introduced new machine, it is natural to be impressed only with the quality, but there were another merits on the printers. Since the color proof and the color of the printed material became close, the invisible advantage, "Saving time", was gained.
"Before the large amount production, there is a step, 'the attendance of client', which purpose is to check the color. Normally, it takes half a day or a whole day to check the printed color. When clients come to our office from a long distance, we must serve the client with a generous hospitality. In that case, it was difficult to manage the time and expense. Althought 'the attendance of client' is not wholly spared, our own color management system often allows for passing the client's check of the color proof in one time. Not only the cost of the working process is reduced but also the efficiency in the operataion is improved in terms of the time."
- NameChukyokagaku Co., Ltd.
- IndustryProduction and processing of the soft packaging material and its sales
- Address90 Kugatatakabata-cho, Inazawa-shi, Aichi, Japan
Postal code, 492-8031
- Phone numberTEL：81-587-32-6311 / FAX：81-587-23-1541・1563