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Keys to ‘Greener’ printing

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There’s more to environmentally friendly printing solutions than just reducing the impact on the environment. Jamie Wade writes for Packaging.

Heidelberg Australia & New Zealand general manager product management and marketing Glenn Plummer says environmental solutions are not only about reducing waste they are also about environmentally friendly consumables, a cleaner, healthier and safer working environment, energy saving solutions and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) reduction.

“Safety and ease of operation are the main considerations in seeking an environmentally-friendly solution,” Glenn told Packaging.

Other considerations include technology to reduce the amount of waste per make-ready, and maximizing energy savings and recycling.

“For instance, the development of water cooled peripherals has removed waste heat from the press room and saving in energy use where the waste heat can be used to heat water or heat buildings in cold country climates,” Glenn said.

“Look at what the product has to offer in terms of environmental value and potential savings rather than a low initial investment cost i.e. look at the total cost of ownership, and the ROI assessment.”

Reduction and replacement of non-friendly and hazardous consumables, and the recycling of waste and reuse of cleaned fluids from the pre-press and printing processes, says Glenn, are also important considerations.


Some of the latest trends and developments in environmentally-friendly solutions for printing and packaging operations include water-cooled peripheral systems to reduce waste heat, improved press room climates and powder extraction systems, UV odour extraction systems, and automated and programmable wash-up systems which can be connected to Eco-recycle systems reducing solvent use up to 90%.

Glenn also highlights solutions in ink equipment such as a cartridge system that reduces ink waste (no tin disposal), recyclable cartridges.

Another system supplies ink in bulk from drums to ink duct.

“Improvements in automated paper and board handling and logistics systems have reduced the manual handling of stock,” Glenn said.

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