Fujifilm’s role in the development of UV inks began in 2005, with the acquisition of Sericol Limited, now known as Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems
Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems is a long-standing technology leader that commercialised the inks that fuelled the world’s first UV flatbed inkjet printers. The history behind this evolution is given below:
Pioneering ink development for over sixty years
1950 Sericol business founded, supplying early screen print consumables
1978 Launched the first UV-curing screen inks
1999 Commercialised the first UV digital inkjet inks
2005 Sericol acquired by Fujifilm
2007 Launched Onset, the world’s fastest wide-format flatbed inkjet printer
2013 Invested €5m in the expansion of UV digital ink production facilities
Fujifilm Micro-V dispersion technology
Micro-V is a unique Fujifilm technology that breaks down pigment particles and ensures they are held in stable dispersion in the ink. It enables high concentrations of colour pigment to be effectively dispersed and stabilised, resulting in an ink with high colour intensity that resists both agglomeration and gravitational settling – so the ink has high colour strength as well as being stable and reliable.
The benefits of Micro-V dispersion are:
- Improved and standardised colour management
- High impact prints with vibrant colours
- Easier to achieve difficult spot colours
- Perfect colour consistency between each container of ink
- High pigment strength enables printing of a thinner ink film so using less ink and saving money
- Inks have a longer shelf-life
- High quality pigments provide outdoor durability
A core skill of Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems is ink design, with an unmatched understanding of ink chemistry, print applications, media, printheads and UV curing. Fujifilm’s design capability encompasses R&D resources, a legacy of ink formulation and vast manufacturing experience.
When designing an ink, Fujifilm ensures that the inks perform perfectly every time and so formulations must meet precise specifications.
When Fujifilm designs an ink, it starts with the colour – the pigment dispersion. In UV ink, this combined with polymers, oligomers, and other liquid components to impart the finished ink properties and enable it to be cured by UV light. A wide colour gamut is critical to enable a printer to accurately reproduce the intended colours in the printed output. Graphics need to be vibrant for visual appeal and impact.
Inks must jet reliably, printing high quality work for long periods with minimal intervention.
Inks must be totally consistent, producing the same high quality images and colours in every print and between every manufactured batch.
Inks must be durable, with properties such as light-fastness and physical adhesion tailored to the specific application of the finished print.
Inks must allow printers to run their operations in an efficient and cost effective manner, providing their customers with high quality print at a reasonable price.
High quality UV inks
Fujifilm’s Uvijet UV ink portfolio has been developed to deliver excellent performance across an extensive range of applications – from thermoforming, where flexibility is crucial, to outdoor banners where durability and impact are important. The best quality pigments are used to create high density inks that are durable and impressively vibrant whilst also being 100% solvent free.
Uvijet inks have a wide colour gamut and adhere to a large range of rigid and flexible materials. They are certified as safe for applications like wall coverings in environments where solvents are not acceptable.
Award-winning ink manufacture
In 1999, Fujifilm commercialised UV curing inkjet inks that fuelled the world’s first UV flatbed inkjet printers created by Inca Digital. Marrying the well-known UV benefits with flatbed inkjet technology opened a whole new market, one that grew so rapidly that it won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its role in commercialising the technology.
UV and hybrid inks are manufactured by Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems at a state-of-the-art facility in Broadstairs, UK. This multi-award winning facility has won the ‘Best Process Plant’ award several times in recent years. This independent assessment, judged by Cranfield School of Management, is testament to the process controls that enable the production of Fujifilm’s high-quality inkjet inks.
The value of over 60 years of experience in the development and manufacture of high-performance ink is now proving its worth for a growing range of businesses transitioning from analogue to digital print production, with Fujifilm the number one global patent holder in UV inkjet ink, and the acknowledged world leader in UV-cured inkjet ink technology.
At Fujifilm, we’re committed to supporting a healthy and safe environment, which is why we’ve formulated our Uvijet UV inks so they not only deliver outstanding image quality and durability, but also have a minimal environmental impact.
Fujifilm’s Uvijet inks meet some of the most stringent product emissions standards in the world, making them an exceptionally safe, high-quality UV ink suitable for a vast array of industries and uses – and meet the exacting demands of GREENGUARD GOLD accreditation.