Unistar Inks adopted a green business approach in its early days. ‘By developing technologies that are sustainable and eco-friendly, we have reduced not only our carbon footprint but those of partners along the value chain,’ comments MD Dasson Pillay.
With its local manufacturing capabilities, Unistar Inks’ standard product offering includes solvent-based flexographic and gravure inks; water-based flexographic and gravure inks; UV and UV LED curable flexographic, gravure and screen inks, as well as conductive flexographic, gravure and screen inks.
The inks are available in a range of vibrant colours and effects for the best presentation of a brand’s printed and packaged goods. ‘These inks exhibit excellent printability, gloss, adhesion, colour strength, chemical and weather resistance when printing labels, shrink sleeves, pouches, cartons, HDPE and LDPE bottles,’ explains Dasson.
The company’s latest technologies include UV LED, haptic effect and conductive inks. Technologies in development are UV LED scratch-off inks and holographic coatings.
UV LED and haptic inks
The UV LED range offers low-migration UV LED dual curable inks, primers and laminating adhesives. According to Dasson, the UV LED inks provide advanced printing capabilities by enabling printing on heat-sensitive and thin-filmic substrates.
‘The second advantage for converters and printers is a reduction in operating costs as these inks significantly lower energy usage and maintenance costs. UV LED curing has eliminated lamps containing mercury and ozone generation, which is advantageous for the environment and workforce,’ he explains.
Dasson emphasises that Unistar Inks has prioritised innovation and invested decisively behind that ambition. ‘The company’s research and development team has always worked around the clock to create new technologies for the print and packaging industry.’
The haptic effect range includes water-based soft-feel and paper-like coatings to offer customers a competitive edge in engaging with consumers and add value to their packaging.
Although conductive inks have been developed locally for printed electronics, this emerging market has required Unistar Inks to vertically integrate the technology to create new application opportunities.
‘The conductive ink applications we are working on include RFID tags, static to dynamic information display systems and sensor circuits. These technologies will enable brand owners to extend dialogues and enhance relationships with consumers,’ comments commercial director Riasha Naidu.
RFID technology allows for real-time marketing experience and supply chain analytics. Special features of RFID tags include anti-counterfeit and anti-tamper characteristics, asset tracking and inventory control, as well as temperature and humidity control.
‘In addition, we’ve aligned ourselves with leading global universities developing new technologies in the printed electronics arena,’ Riasha states. ‘This is in line with Unistar Inks’ vision to create technologies that are moving in the same direction as the Internet of Things era – following the shift from analogue to digital and from physical to cyber,’ she concludes.