FLEX’EAU : First multipack shrink films, printed with water-based inks

World premiere: Barbier Group is announcing the printing of multipack films with water-based inks. This major innovation is the results of many years of research and the results of its longstanding involvement on the products development, promoting eco-design and environmental friendliness.

This year, Barbier Group has taken a major step forward in order to execute its innovation and environmental friendliness strategy. He announced the launch of its range Flex’eau R: multipack shrink films, printed with water-based inks. This occasion, an astounding first, confirms the spirit of innovation and a constant concern for eco-design of the French group.

Technology transfert

Water-based inks are used since many years now in the cartoon and paper printing and, more recently, in complex and non-shrinkable plastics. They are also used at Barbier since 20 years now, in output extrusion printing (in line printing) on dustbin bags, T-shirt bags, palletisation tubes and agricultural films. But using water based inks for multipack shrink films still have some technical barriers. It took all of the Barbier Group’s perseverance to overcome.

A longstanding project

Its R & D teams have been working since 2006 to adapt the use of water-based inks in one of its know-how: the multipack shrink film. Despite the difficulties encountered, Barbier persisted on this path of development, convinced that the water-based ink would soon be in the process. This fulfilled its commitment to provide a growing range of environmentally friendly products while sticking to the industrials expectations of eco-design and pollutant reduction of end users.

By replacing solvents with water for printing multipack shrink films, the main pollutants disappear from the process and therefore, ultimately, from the environment. In addition, the solvents being potentially flammable products, their elimination dramatically improves the facilities security.

2014, the achievement year

It took eight years of efforts to Barbier Group and its inks and machines suppliers to realise this big innovation: water-based ink printing on multipack shrink films. It had to be solved several problems related to the inks reaction to heat / humidity, to printing quality (line opacity, clarity of small text, colour process fineness) and the adequacy of printing machines to water-based inks (drying rates, cleaning, corrosion).

Thanks to the perseverance he showed with its teams and partners, Barbier Group is proud to be able to offer to its customers this new solution by integrating a new production line for water-based ink printing (off-line). It gives them an appointment this year for the launch of this technology.

Innovation and environmental friendless strategy

This innovation is in keeping with Barbier Group strategy. As proof, since its creation in 1955 the French Group allocates over 10 % of its revenue to R&D and investments.

The development of this family-owned company is based upon innovation which has always been part of its DNA. Since many years now, developing innovative products must meet some other imperatives: sustainable development and environmental friendliness. This is very important for the biggest French independent plastic films producer. Barbier Group contributes to the necessary reduction of packaging due to its technological innovation policy. It offers tinner films but equally strong. To the end of 2013, the company revealed the stretch Multipack, ensuring the consolidation of several containers. With the launch of water-based inks printed multipack films Flex’eau range, Barbier Group confirms its commitment to the development of innovative products that are actively involved in environmental protection.