Domino has implemented a £6.6 million upgrade to its Liverpool manufacturing plant, specifically targeted at the production of UV inkjet inks and giving it full end-to-end control of the digital printing process.

The investment builds on Domino’s existing 16,000sqm facility in Liverpool and is said to ‘reflect Domino’s commitment to growing its digital printing solutions division’, which services the label and corrugated converting markets.

By controlling the development, design and manufacturing process for its UV inkjet digital printing inks, Domino will be able to adjust more easily to changing requirements, including customer demands for new inks and reformulations due to materials shortages and reclassification. More specifically, the investment sees Domino become one of very few digital printing suppliers to take full end-to-end control of the digital printing process – encompassing design and manufacturing of digital printing presses, printheads and UV digital printing inks, and managing all aspects of end user deployment to ensure overall print quality.

Rachel Hurst, chief operating officer at Domino, commented, ‘Designing and manufacturing our inks in-house gives us much greater levels of flexibility than if we were to rely purely on external providers for our inks, which is of great benefit to our customers. Supply chain challenges and materials reclassification can prove very challenging when it comes to ink supply; owning the development process allows us to more easily look ahead to source alternatives, providing greater assurance for customers of continued availability.

‘This investment will mean that our customers can trust in a single supplier for all their digital printing needs, with the confidence that inks have been specifically developed and optimised for our digital presses,’ she concluded.

One such customer is France’s QRT Graphique, a self-adhesive label converter using a Domin0 N610i. The company’s general manager, Sébastien Quirantes, said, ‘Having a single supplier and a single point of contact for all our label printers provides peace of mind and is of great value when it comes to product quality and service. It means faster, simpler order processing, price stability and the guarantee of optimum ink quality for our print runs.’

As part of the investment, Domino has installed a new state-of-the-art automated production line to manage material handling, formulation, processing, filling, inspection and packaging of high-volume UV inks, with the use of vision and robot technology to ensure finished product quality. This is set to ‘significantly’ improve capacity, as well as efficiency in the production of inks. Dedicated holding vessels and piping for each individual UV ink colour will reduce the need for changeovers between ink batches, increasing capacity, while reducing wastage from cleaning.

‘The new line is set up to manage production of the most popular UV inks for our N-Series label presses, with production of smaller batches and experimental inks taking place on a parallel line,’ explained Pete Weaver, group fluids operations director at Domino. ‘By having the two facilities working in tandem, we have also increased our overall ink development capacity, which will help us to respond more easily to customers’ needs going forward.’

David Ellen, divisional director, digital printing at Domino, concluded, ‘Domino is committed to providing innovative solutions that drive success in the digital era and, as such, we are delighted to announce our investment in this new state-of-the-art facility. This expansion will help us to ensure that we can deliver a consistent, high-quality output to satisfy the demands for our customers, so that they can, in turn, elevate their products and exceed their customer expectations.’