Expanded Gamut Printing improves eco-efficiency of packaging printing
There is a great need in the packaging industry to produce increasingly smaller lots in a more cost-effective and sustainable way, where the quality and spot color accuracy of the brand elements are critical. The doctoral dissertation of Kai Lankinenevaluates the transition from spot color printing to Expanded Gamut Printing, EGP, i.e., a multicolor process in solvent-based wide web flexography. The method under investigation reduces the complexity of the printing process and produces spot color simulations in a simpler, more effective, and more sustainable way.
Flexographic printing has been lacking a comprehensive and scientific investigation on EGP and its implementation in practice. This doctoral thesis is the first of a kind in this area and aims to fill the scientific gap and provide data and test results to facilitate the practical transition to EGP in flexography.
The study examines and evaluates the possibilities of color gamut expansion, and a novel EGP calculator was developed to describe and evaluate the potential of the method. Several key findings were made in the study and the calculations show great potential for eco-efficiency in various areas. Linking these calculations with the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and Global Warming Potential (GWP) CO2 values is also new. The EGP calculator estimate of the studied examples shows an improvement in the OEE of 42% to 85% and a CO2 footprint reduction by between 34% and 51% compared to spot color printing, which means greater flexibility, efficiency, and better sustainability.
The results show that the EGP system works in practice and enables accurate spot color simulations in a simplified way, increases sustainability and potentially also offers an improved quality level, as also shown by the brand product studies on Real Snacks OATIS and Fazer Puikula packaging. Therefore, the proposed method provides the basis for the industrial transition of packaging printing from spot colors to multicolor designs on branded packaging, even on a large scale. Based on the results of the study, Kai Lankinen has raised sustainability as a global topic in packaging printing.
Kai Lankinen has over 20 years of experience in the packaging printing field and is Executive Partner at Marvaco Ltd., a leading Nordic prepress supplier and the EGP pioneer in Europe. As a result of this research, Marvaco was able to implement the EGP™ technology together with several packaging printing companies for a large amount of FMCG brand owners. Many of them have also labeled their packaging with the GreenerPrinting™ logo to indicate that the packaging has been printed using this technology to improve sustainability.
The doctoral dissertation of MSc (Tech) Kai Lankinen in the field of materials science and environmental engineering titledEvaluation of Expanded Gamut Printing in Flexography will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Tampere University at 13 o’clock on Thursday 1st of July 2021. The venue is in the auditorium FA032 Pieni Sali 1 of the Festia building, Korkeakoulunkatu 8, Tampere. Professor Jouko Peltonen from Åbo Akademi University and Doctor Kiran Deshpande from Siegwerk (UK) Ltd will be the Opponents. The Custos will be Jurkka Kuusipalo from the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences of Tampere University.
The event can be seen on Youtube:
The dissertation is available online at:
Key words: flexographic printing, flexography, multicolor process printing, MCPP, expanded gamut printing, EGP, expanded / extended color gamut, ECG, fast moving consumer goods, FMCG, fixed color palette, FCP, spot colors, PMS, sustainability, ecoefficiency, global warming potential, GWP, greenhouse gas, GHG, overall equipment effectiveness, OEE
Photo: Aarni Linnas
The EGP™ technology is based on standardized process color palette in which the need for spot color ink changes and the related process cleaning are minimized. This, along with many other qualities of EGP, reduces the printing method’s environmental impact. Marvaco is the European pioneer in EGP and the leading prepress service provider in the Nordic region.
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