It’s 3AM, Where Is My Ink?

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Stephen Miller, HMJ tech

Over the past three years converters have had a very challenging time in meeting their production targets, primarily due to this thing called COVID. With severe supply chain disruptions, uncertain market conditions and a very fickle labor force, many companies have been struggling to compensate for these challenges.

Although conditions are slowing improving, printers and converters are still experiencing difficulties especially in the areas of finding (and/or keeping) technical staff and of getting material ready for their press runs, on an as and when needed basis. Over the past 30-40 years one solution has been available to assist with, and in many cases eliminate, these challenges. This can be described in one word as “Automation”. By automating key processes in the production cycle, the need for technical / knowledgeable experienced personnel can be offloaded somewhat onto computerized systems, and the inherent efficiencies of automated machinery can streamline the supply of materiel through “just in time” production.

From a cost perspective, inks, coatings and solvents will typically represent less than 10 % of the total bill for a press run, yet if the ink is not available, or is sub-par, the associated down time costs can lead into the tens of thousands of dollars. To address these issues, the advent of automated ink dispensers in the mid-1980’s has made ink supply much easier and reliable.

This presentation will discuss the key advantages of automated ink dispensers, and more importantly give the audience an understanding of how the ROI of operating a dispenser can improve the converters bottom line. Recent technological advances in the field of dispensing will also be reviewed.

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