Solidus experiments with reducing offset ink consumption

To meet the sustainable packaging demand, Solidus is exploring innovative ways to reduce ink consumption. The company operates 11 production plants in seven countries, purchasing a lot of offset ink. The Solidus team became intrigued when ECO3 presented the clear benefits of SPIR@L™ screening and SolidTune image treatment.

The ECO3 SPIR@L and SolidTune technologies work well to deliver outstanding image quality while minimising ink usage. SPIR@L employs a straightforward yet highly effective concept; it replaces conventional round or elliptical AM ink dots in offset printing with more efficient shapes, such as spirals. This innovative process reduces ink consumption by up to 12% compared to traditional methods, claims ECO3, resulting in a thinner ink layer that dries faster.

Left to right: Erik Peeters (ECO3) and Filip Peeters, Senior Specialist Digital Prepress, Solidus.

SolidTune follows a similar principle of reducing ink consumption for solid areas, although it can be applied to solids, dots and text. By perforating the solids with imperceptible 30-micron holes in a randomised pattern, SolidTune achieves the desired density with less ink, all without compromising image quality. Thanks to a unique edge protection algorithm, the technology preserves the edges of the dots for a crisper and cleaner print.

“The big difference in SPIR@L screening is that the spiral is not full,” explains Erik Peeters, Worldwide Marketing Manager – Software Solutions, ECO3. “By changing the thickness of the line, we can apply less ink while still maintaining colour density. This innovation not only reduces consumption but also addresses common printing issues, like ink smear. Both SPIR@L and SolidTune take advantage of dot gain to naturally close the holes, imperceptible to the naked eye.”

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