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FLEXO Magazine : April 2013
a comprehensive analysis of a particular food packaging project and dictate what inks will work best. For food packaging pressruns, converters are advised to install extra controls to prevent the occurrence of visible set- off, while maintaining the lowest possible levels of residual solvents and other volatile substances. Such controls should also be employed to ensure sufficient dying occurs to meet requirements. Low odor and the elimination of any taint potential are important. Technical instructions from your consumable and equipment suppliers should be followed in full. If slow or low evaporating solvents are used for improved printability of solvent-based and water-based inks, care must be taken. Slow solvents have a high potential to be retained in the printed product and could subsequently migrate to the packaged food. CONTAMINATION PREVENTION It is always important to assess all materials that are used over the complete food packaging manufacturing cycle. When printing with low migration printing inks, be sure that only specially selected low migration ink additives are used, including adhesion promoters and foam suppressors. To prevent accidents, no other general ink additives should be anywhere near the press. To ensure that migration from inks or coatings in the finished pack remains within legislative limits, additional graphic features that might be printed on top of the low migration ink design, must also consist of materials that have proven low migration tendencies. When converting a press from conventional printing ink to a low migration ink, the press must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid any contamination from those previously used high migration materials. MINIMIZING UV/EB MIGRATION To meet UV and EB curing needs for food packaging and labels, proper curing is absolutely critical. There can be no short cuts. Careful management of lamp power, print speed and ink film thickness are critical for proper curing to occur. It is essential that all UV lamps be on and fully functioning. It’s imperative to use lamps within their specified lifespan or a successful cure will not be achieved. Ink migration can happen several ways during the printing process. 26 FLEXO aprIl 2013 www.flexography.org Booth #38