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Ink: Third Party Ink Providers

A Spotlight On Available Third Party Inks

Part 2 of 2

By Cassandra Carnes

Third party product providers play an important role in the graphic arts. These companies compete with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for essential—and often expensive—aftermarket parts and consumables. Regarding ink and the graphic arts, a number of third party players offer solutions that promise to perform to or exceed OEM expectations. As we discussed last week, there are both advantages and disadvantages to the third party ink switch.


For print providers considering the change, a thorough investigation of third party providers is key. It is important to develop a trusting and comfortable relationship with your ink supplier. Here, we provide a snapshot of third party ink providers serving the wide format graphic arts.


A.T. Inks is an OEM approved ink manufacturer, a Xaar Ink partner, and Spectra approved ink. The company manufacturers bio-solvent inks, UV inks, and eco-solvent inks for printers with Epson Dx4 and Dx5 printheads as well as solvent inks. A.T. Inks’ partnerships with Xaar and Ink approval from Spectra attests to the point that they manufacture of high-quality inks that meet or exceed OEM requirements.


Afford Industrial, S.A. is a third party ink supplier that provides a complete package of inks and spare parts. For wide format graphics, the company produces solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and water-based inks as well as dye and pigment, and sublimation inks. Afford Inks provides specific solutions for a variety of wide format printers including Epson, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Mimaki, Mutoh, Océ, Seiko, Roland DGA, and Xerox Corporation models.


AlphaChem USA provides a variety of inks for wide format printers. Its range of options include solvent ink and ink cartridges, refill and bulk ink, ink accessories, cartridge and bulk ink for piezo printers, dye sub ink for piezo printers, and textile ink and cartridges.


American Ink Jet Corporation is a manufacturer of inkjet inks, specializing in water-based inks for large format printers. The company also produces mild solvent inks. American Ink Jet’s inks are compatible with most major printer types, including Encad, Epson, HP, Iris, Kodak, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Roland. The company distributes its inks domestically though dealers and private label distributors with some end user sales. Internationally, the ink is sold through master distributors.


AR Monteith Corp provides a variety of digital inks for leading printers including DGI, HP, Mimaki, Mutoh, Seiko, and Roland. The company’s ink systems are complex formulations designed to operate and flawlessly day after day to producing the crisp, bright, and natural colors.


Bordeaux Digital PrintInk Ltd. develops, manufacturers, markets, sells, and supports inkjet ink solutions for the digital printing industry. The company focuses on eco, mild, low, and true solvent inks as well as UV-curable inks. Bordeaux targets its development teams towards the creation of ink solutions that reduce print owner cost, maintains OEM ink performance, and allows for a seamless ink changeover process. The company provides inks suitable for a range of compatible hardware devices including HP, Mutoh, Mimaki, and Roland.


Clarus Imaging partners with InkTec to bring the highest quality and lowest priced wide format inkjet supplies to the U.S. market. InkTec was founded over ten years ago as a R&D-oriented company focused on the production of inkjet ink and related products. The company is a leading supplier in the Korean market, with export sales to more than 100 countries.


Clearstar LP manufactures plug and print ink for solvent and eco-solvent based printers. Its MaraJet DI-LS ink line is fully compatible with most Roland solvent-based printers. The company states that its MaraJet DI-LS is approximately 35 percent less than OEM ink while still providing comparable quality. MaraJet is sold through a value added distribution network.


Collins Ink Corp. formulates, manufactures, and sells inkjet ink. The company supplies water-, oil-, and solvent-based inks to printers utilizing Xaar and Spectra drop on demand (DOD) printheads. In April 2009, Collins acquired Hexion Specialty Chemical’s UV Curable Inkjet and Optical disc coating business. Collins plans to become a leader in UV inkjet technology to improve, expand, and aggressively promote the platforms in the graphic arts and industrial market.


Colorwen International Corporation is headquartered in Taiwan, with additional facilities in China, South East Asia, and Vietnam. The company manufactures organic pigments and its CHROMO INK is compounded from the organic pigments and other raw materials. The company also manufactures different types of media.


DayGlow Color Corp. is the originator of daylight fluorescent color. The company also develops a wide range of special effect colorants and conventional color pigment dispersions for use in the color consuming industries. Its markets consist primarily of plastics, graphic arts, paints and coatings, dyes, and textiles.


Fillink develops and manufacturers high-quality digital imaging inks, including solvent, eco-solvent, and UV ink products specially formulated for most of the wide format digital printers available. Fillink is part of the Sioen Chemicals division of the Belgian stock quoted company Sioen Industries n.v. Fillink.


FUJIFILM Sericol provides inks such as Uvijet and Color+ lines for digital wide format production. Uvijet Digital UV inks are designed for piezo DOD printheads, developed for use on the Acuity and Inca series of wide format printers. Using Sericol’s unique Micro-V dispersion technology to maximize pigment loading, the Uvijet range of inks delivers vibrant colors for a variety of applications. FUJIFILM Sericol’s Color+ range of solvent-based digital inks are developed for most popular roll-to-roll and drum-fed printers. By adapting ink chemistry to precisely fit the characteristics of each inkjet printer, FUJIFILM Sericol established a successful range of solvent-based inks for superwide format printers.


Graphics One offers a wide selection of leading digital imaging products, including wide format digital inks. The company provides its GO Ink line, Mutoh ink, and SEPIAX ink. SEPIAX is a water-based resin ink for direct-to-anything, designed for both indoor and outdoor use. SEPIAX is one of the industry’s first harmless water-based resin inks, which is able to adhere to coated or uncoated materials. The ink is compatible with all eco-solvent printers with pre heaters.


Hilord Chemical Corp. works closely with OEMs for research and development of new products and innovative technology. The company boasts a reputation of making current equipment multifunctional for new applications. Hilord Chemical Corporation’s catalogue of products include a full portfolio of water-, solvent-, dye sub, and UV-curable inks. Hilord begins its process at the molecular level. R&D allows the company to guarantee its products. Quality control and testing are equal factors in product development. Additionally, the company’s manufacturing process and materials make its GEO INKS environmentally friendly.


Image Specialists Inc. emphasizes superior, cutting-edge ink chemistry and production technology to deliver inks that perfectly match OEM printing specifications. The reliability of the company’s research delivers exact compatibility, the precision of its quality control ensures batch consistency, and the efficiency of its manufacturing and engineering process enables a complete line of stock and custom ink solutions for every business application. With experienced chemists and engineers, Image Specialists maintains an advanced analytical and testing facility.

INX Digital International Co. is a leading aftermarket supplier for graphic arts sign and banner print providers. The company has a significant global presence in the market with 180 dealers worldwide. The company produces a range of wide format inks including solvent, water-based textile, and UV-curable inks. In the past year, the company reports an increased interest for its line of UV-curable inks.

Nazdar Inks & Coatings is an ISO-certified ink manufacturer with over 15 years of experience producing digital inks. The company provides wide format aqueous and solvent inkjet ink, as well as grand format solvent and UV-curable ink. Its wide format solvent and eco-solvent inks are compatible with HP Designjet 9000 and 10000; Mimaki JV3, JV33, CJV, and JV5; Mutoh ValueJet Series; Roland VersaCAMM and SolJet Pro II/III; and Seiko ColorPainter 64s and 100s. Nazdar Lyson grand format inks work with many popular printheads including Xaar and Spectra. The company’s UV-curable inks are compatible with a wide range of UV-curable devices.


Sawgrass Technologies Industrial Division offers the wide format printing industry innovative water-based solutions for digital printing, including dye sub ink, pigment inks, and digital textile inks. The company is uniquely positioned to serve the graphic arts with its production solutions tailored for production printing environments. The Sawgrass Industrial Division produces its M-class pigment inks for the digital printing of cotton and synthetic textiles in the apparel, home furnishings, and high-performance fabrics and textiles. Its inks are compatible with wide format digital printers including ATP, Dgen, DuPont, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Roland as well as super wide format printers including EFI, Gandinnovations, Hollander, Keundo, and Reggiani DReAM machine.


Sun Chemical digital offers a broad product line of printing inks based on breakthrough technologies and technical expertise. The Streamline inkjet inks are designed specifically for a variety of wide and superwide format printers. These inks come in solvent-, oil-, and water-based options. Streamline superwide format inks are formulated to have similar color and physical properties to the original inks, so that existing color profiles and printer settings can be applied in most situations. In addition, they boast excellent adhesion, jetting properties, and long printhead life. The Streamline 0519 Series of inks were recently updated to improve performance on Mimaki JV3 printers. The inks also boast superior jetting properties at high speeds. Specifically formulated for use with Seiko ColorPainter S65/S100, Océ 6060/6100, and HP 9000/10000 printers. Streamline Optima Series inks produce colors and physical properties that are similar enough to the original inks that most existing color profiles and printer settings can be used. In addition, the ink’s jetting properties offer reliable long-term printhead stability.


Toyo Ink Mfg. Co. provides digital inkjet LIOJET inks. The inks provide advanced resolution, color, and mechanical properties. The lineup consists of the solvent-based LIOJET SR ink and the UV-cured LIOJET FV and LIOJET NC inks. LIOJET SR features high density and a wide color reproduction range, due to Toyo Ink’s pigment synthesis and dispersion technologies. The enhanced resin system produces superior printing durability. LIOJET SR ensures resistance to friction, chemicals, and weather. LIOJET FV excels at single-pass printing on rigid substrates. It boasts fast curing speeds and high film strength with minimal odor. LIOJET NC inks provide adhesion to polycarbonate and other synthetic base materials with direct printing capability. LIOJET FV is available in cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, and white for enhanced color depth and fidelity. LIOJET NC comes in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.


US Sublimation focuses on dye sub technology, which spans in a wide range of applications from industrial manufacturing to fine art reproductions and signs and displays. The company manufacturers both aqueous- and solvent-based dye sub inks for printers using Epson piezo printheads, such as Epson, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Roland printers. The company features an established dealer network to sell and support its products. Its industrial division handles manufacturing and industrial accounts with specialized needs.


Finding a reputable third party ink provider and compatible ink for equipment is only one part of the puzzle. Before making the switch to third party inks it is important to determine if the provider can meet your delivery requirements and if the changeover will be seamless. Consider post-purchase supplier support and clarify warrant terms for your ink, media, and equipment.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Ink: It's What They Do.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Jul2010, Digital Output DOINK710
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