Technology Report

Print gets some new material

Paper’s environmental credentials are central to the sustainability of commercial print jobs, but what about other print applications and the media they use? In the signage and display sectors, plastics are as likely to be used as paper and board and the provenance and disposal of those plastics is becoming as important to those markets as  those of paper in general print.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, is a ubiquitous material, but its use is under threat in many applications due to questions about its environmental credentials.

The argument against PVC is that it’s difficult to dispose of. The options are re-use, recycle, landfill or incinerate. Re-use and recycling show promise (see box) but problems remain

New era for consumables

Superior solutions and environmental considerations have put a huge premium on consumables, but it still pays not to go cheap

On-press consumables for offset presses have changed almost beyond recognition in the past 10 years. The general formulas of fount solution, inks and washes, together with the materials used to make blankets and roller coverings, have undergone dramatic changes to cope with developments in both press technology and the new, more exacting

One stop printer's shop

Historically, if you wanted to buy a printing press you would go to a printing press manufacturer or licensed dealer; if you wanted to purchase consumables for that same press then you would strike a deal with the company who sold you the machine or alternatively you would set up an account with a consumables specialist; and if you wanted to buy paper then you would go to a paper merchant.
You could drill down even further into these sectors and separate digital press dealers from

The Lesser of Two Evils

While international trends are leaning more and more towards the use of environmentally-products, printers and print buyers in the Middle East are also starting to see its relevance - making the shift to the use of recycled paper and now, environmentally-friendly inks.

 But to what extent is this trend paying off?

 Are vegetable oil-based inks finally getting ahead of the more hazardous mineral oil-based inks?

 “Our customers have been asking for vegetable-based