Mutoh Europe and CGS Oris have brought to market a new end-to-end digital print technology specially developed for direct-to-substrate proofing for packaging.

The technology is based on CGS Oris’ packaging proofing and mock-up software, Flex Pack. It now supports Mutoh’s ValueJet 628 MP, a 630mm-wide digital piezo inkjet printer. In combination with newly developed multi-resin inks (C, M, Y, K, Lc, Lm, White), this hardware and software ecosystem has been developed to provide a direct-to-substrate proofing option where previous technologies have not been best suited. Specifically, where transfer film and the use of traditional water-based and eco-solvent inks are not the best alternative. CGS Oris and Mutoh Europe example shrink sleeves, uncoated labels and corrugated board as such applications.

The Mutoh ValueJet 628MP engine is based on Mutoh’s existing ValueJet 628 eco-solvent printer chassis. To cover the specific requirements of packaging designers and to adapt the printer chassis to the unique characteristics of the CGS Oris XG inks, the printer works with a mild temperature, low pressure hot air knife system, which, in combination with the integrated contact heaters, allows the inks to dry on uncoated substrates without exposing them to excessive heat. Additionally, the media transport system has been optimised to allow loading of a wide variety of substrates including very thin PE shrink film and the pressure rollers transporting the substrate can be individually disabled.

To specifically handle the white CGS Oris XG ink, Mutoh integrated an internal ink circulation system. ValueJet 628MP printer is also equipped with a 10kg roll take-up system and has a sheet off mechanism to sheet off individual prints.

Heiner Mueller, sales director, packaging at CGS Oris, commented, ‘We see a huge potential for our common solution for specific niche applications, which are complementary to our existing business of proofing via transfer film in combination with eco-solvent inks. The first niche we have addressed is companies specialising in shrink sleeve production.

This combination of Mutoh hardware and CGS Oris software has already been adopted and well received in Japan. It is now available to the European market.

Mr Mueller continued, ‘Everyone was excited, already after just a few days of use. The results have contract proof quality and thanks to the motorised take-up unit, the system is suitable for unattended operation and therefore even for ultra-short runs.’

The multi-resin XG series inks used also give packaging professionals the opportunity to check the correct distortion of a shrink sleeve prototype owing to their stretch and shrink capabilities. For proofing on uncoated labelstock and corrugated board, these inks are claimed to retain the look and feel as well as all other physical properties of the target substrate.

Mr Mueller adds, ‘It is not possible to cover these applications with regular transfer film and water-based or eco-solvent inks. Looking ahead, we are also exploring additional opportunities for the VJ-628MP/Flex Pack /CGS Oris XG inks solution, such as non-woven fabrics, garment tags or PE plastic bags.’

Read more about colour management in digital package printing environments in the September/October issue of Digital Labels & Packaging; register here to receive the magazine