The strategic investment boosts Domino’s digital printing inks manufacturing capacity for better supply chain scalability
World-class digital printing technology provider Domino Printing Sciences (Domino) has boosted its digital printing inks capacity with a £6.6 million upgrade to its Liverpool manufacturing plant. The investment will see Domino become one of very few digital printing suppliers to take full end-to-end control of the digital printing process – encompassing design and manufacturing of digital printing presses, printheads, and UV digital printing inks – managing all aspects of end-user deployment to ensure overall print quality.
The investment builds on Domino’s existing 16,000m2 facility in Liverpool, and reflects Domino’s commitment to growing its digital printing solutions division, which services the label and corrugated converter markets.
Owning the process
“We are delighted to be able to announce our new developments, and to be one of only a few digital printing providers to manage the manufacturing process for both inks and printing technology,” says Rachel Hurst, Chief Operating Officer, Domino. “This investment will mean that our customers can trust in a single supplier for all their digital printing needs, with the confidence that inks have been specifically developed and optimised for our digital presses.”
In addition, by controlling the development, design, and manufacturing process for its UV digital printing inks, Domino will be able to adjust more easily to changing requirements, including customer demands for new inks, and reformulations due to materials shortages and reclassification.
“Designing and manufacturing our inks in house gives us much greater levels of flexibility than if we were to rely purely on external providers for our inks, which is of great benefit to our customers,” continues Hurst. “Supply chain challenges, and materials reclassification can prove very challenging when it comes to ink supply – but owning the development process allows us to more easily look ahead to source alternatives, providing greater assurance for customers of continued availability.”
Automated production line
As part of the investment, Domino has installed a new state-of-the-art automated production line to manage materials handling, formulation, processing, filling, inspection, and packaging of Domino’s high-volume UV inks, with the use of vision and robot technology to ensure finished product quality.
The new production line promises to significantly improve capacity, as well as efficiency in the production of inks, with processes designed to give maximum efficient use of raw materials. Dedicated holding vessels and piping for each individual UV ink colour will reduce the need for changeovers between ink batches, increasing capacity, while reducing wastage from cleaning.
“The new line is set up to manage production of the most popular UV inks for our N-Series label presses, with production of smaller-batch and experimental inks taking place on a parallel line,” says Pete Weaver, Group Fluids Operations Director, Domino. “By having the two facilities working in tandem, we have also increased our overall ink development capacity, which will help us to respond more easily to customers’ needs going forward.”
“And it’s not just customers who will benefit from the upgrade,” continues Weaver. “With any development at Domino we always put our people first, with health and safety principles at the heart of our designs. The new plant includes state-of-the-art materials handling technology that lessens the need for manual handling of the raw materials and finished product, reducing risk while improving the process for our workers on site.”
David Ellen, Divisional Director – Digital Printing, Domino, concludes: “Domino is committed to providing innovative solutions that drive success in the digital era, and, as such, we are delighted to announce our investment in this new state-of-the-art facility. This expansion will help us to ensure that we can deliver a consistent, high-quality output to satisfy the demands for our customers, so that they can, in turn, elevate their products and exceed their customer expectations.”
Here’s what QRT Graphique, self-adhesive label converter running Domino’s N610i digital colour label press, based in Saint Martin-de-Valgalgues, France, had to say about Domino’s investment:
“Having a single supplier and a single point of contact for all our label printers provides peace of mind and is of great value when it comes to product quality and service,” says Sébastien Quirantes, General Manager at QRT Graphique. “It means faster, simpler order processing, price stability, and the guarantee of optimum ink quality for our print runs.”
Find out more about Domino’s strategic development process for digital printing inks here.