Kao Chimigraf has developed the world’s first water-based pigment inkjet ink for printing on film materials used in flexible packaging. What are its USP and advantages?
One of Kao’s latest ink innovations is eco-friendly, water-based pigment ink which produces excellent single-pass CMYKW printing. LUNAJET ink dries fast while also offering durable and dependable results on non-porous flexible packaging. The ink is formulated for Piezo inkjet technology and is often the first choice for industrial printers seeking indirect food-packaging grade ink.
What solutions Kao is offering to Indian OEMs?
Among all our products, we would like to provide the signage market with our two main LED curable inks for wide-format applications. We have been extremely successful in Europe with our ATOMIC and CYCLONE series, being one of the most used UVLED inks for print heads such as Ricoh or Konica Minolta. Also, we would like to help the Indian OEM’s to look for more alternative eco-friendly ink solutions.
What products have maximum market shares of Kao in India? Which are the most prominent segments in the Indian market for Kao?
At the present moment, Kao is present worldwide including India, in the Coding & marking industry. From solvent, oil-based to water-based inks, whether we talk about Piezo or TIJ technology, we have a nice presence in the Indian market. We believe we can grow in the wide-format signage market fast as per our longest and professional experience.
What are some of the major changes that you have seen in the industry and how has Kao developed strategies to overcome the challenges with changing technology?
It is real that the market has been gradually changing its mind to look into more eco-friendly and greener solutions. At KAO, we have been for many years looking into these kinds of solutions. Therefore, our Water-based ink for flexible packaging LUNAJET and our bio-based ink for coding and marking is the latest ink developments launched to the market and, for sure, more new developments will come in the next few years.
What edge does Kao have over competitors in terms of customer satisfaction & Products?
We are a worldwide-based company with three different sites located in Europe, the United States, and Japan. Our knowledge does not only stick to one market or product so we have wide knowledge in all markets where we have a presence (flexible packaging, signage, coding and marking, deco, and textile).
Do you believe ink formulations can be cost-effective and yet of the best quality?
There is always space to improve. Of course, quality will always be more expensive than low-cost inks. However, cost-effectiveness is something all ink companies should target.
What more solutions can Kao offer other than customized inks and digital printing?
Kao is a Chemical company well known for its consumer product business. We deliver to the market cosmetic products, home care products, oleochemicals, surfactants. You can visit www.kaoprint.com/ website for more information.
What was the purpose behind Kao Corporation acquiring Chimigraf Holding?
Kao’s mission was to be the leader in the inkjet market and the best way to achieve it was to acquire a company with enough experience to lead the inkjet business in the EMEA region. So, Chimigraf, as an expert company not only in the flexo industry but the inkjet, was the best candidate.
What is the future of the printing/ink business?
We believe the printing business will be directly linked to finding more industrial niches where we can use inkjet technology and an extreme consciousness about the planet. So, UV and Water base technologies will be the trend.
While providing technical assistance to the companies, do you see a specific question in the majority of them? Any common printing problem that every firm is facing?
Each company has its requirements. It is very interesting to see how each company reacts to certain printing results. What we most commonly see is the fear of damaging the printheads which are normal as it is the most expensive part of the printer. I don’t see any common problem related to an ink firm so I believe each one has its pros and cons.
What strategy, technical knowledge or help will Kao provide to Indian customers?
We are a company that has been in European and American inkjet market for more than 15 years. We know how to print, how to increase the printing output and we understand the customer’s feeling when there is a lack of response from the ink factory they work for. At Kao Chimigraf we did not gain this expertise because we have the best and biggest team in the world, we got this expertise by traveling to the customer site and visiting them. This is what we call in Japanese, Genba-ism.
Can you tell us more about specific products for the graphic arts industry?
We have 2 major UVLED ink series suitable for Ricoh and Konica Minolta printheads. ATOMIC is a hybrid ink to be used in hybrid printers that have superb adhesion in several materials and it has been our major product sold in Europe. We use the most eco-friendly UVLED raw materials and this ink complies with all the European most restrictive regulations.
Secondly, CYCLONE is a flexible ink to be used in roll-to-roll UVLED machines having the same quality standards as ATOMIC.
We believe these two inks are the ones more interesting for the Indian market as we see potential growth in that market.
As the textile is the talk of the town these days, what are the latest solutions Kao is offering customers for its textile solutions?
We are at the end of the development stage for our new pigmented textile inks. This ink is using Kao’s major technology and we believe we will have a good impact on the market. However, it is quite early to talk about that now.