Ink Prices - What are you TRULY getting?

D Ink Man

Well-known member
Great people of the printing industry, I would like to pose a well thought out question to you please. Is there value in paying more for your ink products from one company versus another?

In these times of a pull back in the technical services that the ink companies are offering, can you see the value of a partnership between your production personnel and an experienced ink, lithographic expert working together for the improvements in your process?

It may be difficult to actually put a monetary value on this given some of the handy work done by your accountants. But what is the real cost to your operations in using that low priced ink with no dedicated service behind it? That is probably a more difficult calculation for one to come up with.

With so many bundled consumable deals in the marketplace, as well as cheap ink, it certainly sets the trap that you could fall prey to.

Recognizing this can be something that can easily be overlooked because of the alluring glitter of the up front deals. Please take the time to think about this and I greatly appreciate your responses in kind. Thank you.

D Ink Man
 

saso777

Active member
I like your post D Ink Man. You know what i think price is not the real value we pay for quality ink. We print a lot with ink from famous manufactures (Flint,Sun Chemical...),and all they are good in quality and price of course.We buy some quantity of ink from Chinese producer just to test and the price was very,very low. You know what this ink is above all we had use before in quality and price and this quality is constant in the past 2 years since we work with them. So there is the difference.
 
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Lukew

Well-known member
If I have a consumables rep come in and try to sell me a product & base the fact we should switch to that product due to price, I tell them I'm not interested.
I feel if a print shop is purchasing their consumables & ink solely focused on price they are behind the 8 ball before the products even make it to the press.

On the other hand, The highest price consumable or ink doesn't automatically mean its the highest quality product.
We ran a particular ink set that was touted as the highest quality set that particular company made for a period of time as a trial & it's price was premium at least $3.50 per kilo dearer then most other ink sets. Honestly we had more issues with that ink set then any other ink we have ran & the sales guys offered no better/higher level of service to solve the issues

We are now running an ink set on trial and it's price is the cheapest out of any ink we have purchased.
I feel chances are it's an extremely high quality ink being offered at such a price due to buying power & to take market share.

Did we purchase it due to price: NO
Does it run like a cheap ink: NO
Does it tick all the environmental boxes: YES
Is it duct fresh: Yes
Can it be cut & despatched same day: Yes
Will technical service be offered if needed: Don't know if this exists in the industry anymore - would be good to be proven wrong if and when the need arises.
 

D Ink Man

Well-known member
Lukew,

I would say that you are running a relatively low pigmented ink process series with an economy wax package in it. Pigment and wax are the most expensive materials in an ink formula.

Your ink runs good because it can accommodate varying coverages job to job. Thicker ink films will have less of an impact in your print units for problems, particulary the ink roller train and light coverage. It sounds to be a well formulated ink that can run on many types of presses and conditions.

For higher end work and producing Picasso's this set may not be the ultimate printabilty series. And that is OK, if you are pleased with it for your genre of work.

Your ink is below 5% voc which is the ticker for the environmental boxes.

Duct fresh, no doubt, every ink supplier has that type ink today. Twenty years ago you wouldn't have had it. And that was a good thing. Ink companies have chased this stay open property, mostly improperly, by jamming ink formulas with reduced drier amounts and a myriad of potent anti-oxidants. Your ink does not dry. Personally, I like inks that dry, skin in 8hours or less. Your ink operates on a setting mechanism, not drying. The only reason these inks are in the market today is because the press operators demanded them. I'll call it lazy, may like that or not. But these inks would not be used today to the extent that they are if it wasn't for one factor. Aqueous coatings have allowed their presence.

Cut, bound and shipped same day. If this is true for all jobs in your plant, than I am a monkeys uncle. Thick ink films, non drying stay open inks, really?

And as far as technical service goes, it sounds like the major ink companies have gotten what they wanted. You have raised the white flag and surrendered to the notion of no no service.

Ink Company 1
John Doe Printer 0

The ink companies have beaten and outsmarted the printers. No technical service, just run your ink. Call this 800# is you need any ASSistance. Bottom line, the inks have failed the print industry to the good of their own greed, not to survive.

Lukew I have to finally go back to your posted thread of 6/26, "Ink & Fountain solution Designed & Developed to work together".

This has been a remarkable turn around for your press room in less than 2 weeks! Wow! You are starting to draw conclusions that your problems are behind you and it will be sunny sailing here on out. I can promise you there are storms on the horizon. And that is the whole point of this thread. Ink Prices, what are you getting. The service aspect is the most important ingredient in your ink suppliers doctor bag. No doctor bag and you are in for stormy seas as time goes by. Partner with a professional and safeguard your voyages. These people do stll exist. Get 'em on board. You'll thank me someday. D
 
D Ink Man

Your ink operates on a setting mechanism, not drying.

Could you please explain this? What is the difference between a setting mechanism and drying?
 

Lukew

Well-known member
That fount additive has transformed the press "so -far" a complete different animal now.


This ink set may not be the greatest out there, but hey, we use poly plates so what can you expect out of your work... It doesnt have the highest level of gloss compared to some inks we have used, but it is extremely stable and comes up to colour quickly, very important when you have 4col jobs as small as 12 sheets....

I would say that no it isn't a weak ink carrying a thick ink film... Proof will be in the pudding when we do our longer run repeat style work.

We are trying to cut our ink set to one maybe two...

We have used Sunlit Titan (not the ink I was previously referring to) this is duct fresh extreme fast setting...
Silk stocks heavy coverage dry to back up in under 5 mins, we have cut heavy coverage full bleed in under 20 mins, and no set off...
The downside is the ink sits rather flat and doesn't exhibit a high gloss also contains a higher level of petrolium solvents...

The ink I'm testing now, is duct fresh yes and near zero voc... We have cut high coverage jobs on silk around 4 hours off the press... it is work and turn similar to most other inks, around 10 mins - 15 mins depending on coverage and stock.

Here is different to USA, we don't have many or any in house specialist ink manufacturers.. they are all multi national giants, who ship the ink in and sell it through their chosen supply chains....
As I stated in the other thread, the size of our shop, it wouldn't matter what company we chose to run with there would be minimal technical service to go with the ink....

Getting back to your ink prices and what you get for it...
We have paid a premium for an ink and received zero technical help to solve the issues... Just another ink set in their line thrown at us... ( why you ask - Because they ship the ink in and ship it out)
 

D Ink Man

Well-known member
D Ink Man

Your ink operates on a setting mechanism, not drying.

Could you please explain this? What is the difference between a setting mechanism and drying?
There are actually 3 phases that the ink film goes through once it makes contact with the substrate.

1) Setting> This is where the ink oils, vegetable or petroleum solvent, begin their transport into the substrate. The capillary action that is the transport, enables the ink film to partially be interlaced with the paper stock. However, about 60- 70% of the ink film is still sitting up on the paper's surface. The setting mechanism takes place upon printing into about the first hour after printing. Most ink formulas, especially stay open types, rely on this setting property as the most important of the 3 phases. If aqueous coating printing did not exist in the commercial shops today, it would not work. The coating creates a breathing barrier that allows a longer time before the start of the 2nd phase.

2) Drying> Today's oxidative type of inks rely much less on this mechanism. Before stay open inks, the drying process normally began 1 hour after printing. Today, the drying can take as long as 4 hours just to start. The drying is completely in your printing, in direct relation to the amount of stay open time in your bulk ink film, 'skinning'. Again, this can be prolonged mainly due to the water based coatings. It will allow some print forms, especially light coverage and offset stock, to leave the print plant, before the ink film has completed the drying process.

3) Polymerization> This is the final phase and again like drying, has been prolonged, due to the stay open nature of today's inks. This phase is when you have reached the maximum solid state for the ink film. It will not proceed any further for the solid and hardness of the printed ink. All chemical bonds, single and double bounding of the ink oils with the drier portion of the ink formula is completed. This can take as long as 2 weeks in some cases to reach this state.

My recommendation whether you coat or not is to use an ink that will skin in 8 hours, and certainly no longer than 24 hours. This may seem like an inconvenience nowadays; however the cost of just 1 job rejection will make you and your management understand that an ounce of prevention, is worth much more than a pound of cure. D
 

D Ink Man

Well-known member
That fount additive has transformed the press "so -far" a complete different animal now.


This ink set may not be the greatest out there, but hey, we use poly plates so what can you expect out of your work... It doesnt have the highest level of gloss compared to some inks we have used, but it is extremely stable and comes up to colour quickly, very important when you have 4col jobs as small as 12 sheets....

I would say that no it isn't a weak ink carrying a thick ink film... Proof will be in the pudding when we do our longer run repeat style work.

We are trying to cut our ink set to one maybe two...

We have used Sunlit Titan (not the ink I was previously referring to) this is duct fresh extreme fast setting...
Silk stocks heavy coverage dry to back up in under 5 mins, we have cut heavy coverage full bleed in under 20 mins, and no set off...
The downside is the ink sits rather flat and doesn't exhibit a high gloss also contains a higher level of petrolium solvents...

The ink I'm testing now, is duct fresh yes and near zero voc... We have cut high coverage jobs on silk around 4 hours off the press... it is work and turn similar to most other inks, around 10 mins - 15 mins depending on coverage and stock.

Here is different to USA, we don't have many or any in house specialist ink manufacturers.. they are all multi national giants, who ship the ink in and sell it through their chosen supply chains....
As I stated in the other thread, the size of our shop, it wouldn't matter what company we chose to run with there would be minimal technical service to go with the ink....

Getting back to your ink prices and what you get for it...
We have paid a premium for an ink and received zero technical help to solve the issues... Just another ink set in their line thrown at us... ( why you ask - Because they ship the ink in and ship it out)
A tear has just rolled down my face. D
 

mazengh

Well-known member
Here is different to USA, we don't have many or any in house specialist ink manufacturers.. they are all multi national giants, who ship the ink in and sell it through their chosen supply chains....
As I stated in the other thread, the size of our shop, it wouldn't matter what company we chose to run with there would be minimal technical service to go with the ink....

Getting back to your ink prices and what you get for it...
We have paid a premium for an ink and received zero technical help to solve the issues... Just another ink set in their line thrown at us... ( why you ask - Because they ship the ink in and ship it out)
I am in the same boat... same issue for service... it doesn't exist... we tried a cheap chinese ink that runs Extremely well with 4% ipa, but the water levels are in the 60s... once we put in an expensive flint ink, water levels drop to 40s.
 

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