A short Q&A with Iñaki Llona, global business leader, Metal Deco Inks, at Sun Chemical

What are the latest developments with regard to inks and coatings?

The market wants UV inks to be more robust and polyvalent. Because of this, we have developed a range of inks, Uviflex, which is suitable for applications such as ring pull cans. We’re also seeing demand for better or faster curing and which uses less energy, which is why we’ve launched a range of inks called Fastcure.

In the beverage can business, we have upgraded our inks with a new range, 4CCQ, which improves the strength and transparency, improves the consistency and is more resistant to the pasteurisation process with low over-varnish film weight.

How far have things advanced in the last five years?

Product stewardship has improved a lot. Regulation is much more demanding today than it was five years ago and although we are in a very global market, each country has its own inventory and requisites for the use of chemical products.

What factors have led to improvements in inks and coatings?

The improvement of inks has been driven by efficiency and effectiveness. Printing and can-making processes are getting tighter, with less margin for error. For this reason, better products with narrower tolerances are needed.

What do you expect to see emerging in this area over the coming years?

Digital colour communication is a reality and is already being utilised in the industry. In a few years it will be the only way of working in our industry.

If you could implement one thing with regard to inks and coatings tomorrow, what would it be?
Definitely a good digital colour communication system for the metal packaging industry. We are already working on it, PantoneLive. We believe it will change the way the industry works.

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