Future Links March 24th 2015

Today our news roundup from the printing industry covers a new plastic packaging material made from sugar cane, a 3D printable humanoid robot, antibacterial wraps for food products, ultra-thin printed electronics, a new line of varnishes for digitally printed cartons, the top 20 ink manufacturers in North America and the use of mobile devices in printing companies.

New plastic packaging material made of sugar cane
Amerplast, one of Europe’s largest flexo printers and bag converters, began a supply partnership with Braskem, a global leader in biopolymers, to market Green Polyethylene (Green PE) made from a renewable sugar cane ethanol. For Amerplast’s customers such as retail bags, bakeries, fresh and frozen food, tissue and personal care producers, it offers an environmentally safe alternative for meeting their packaging needs.
More at Sustainable Brands

3D printing meets robotics
Two big trends are crossing paths: 3D printing and robotics. The Japanese company Plen is raising funds for the 3D printable humanoid robot Plen2 that can dance, carry small objects and copy human movements when used in conjunction with an additional sensor suit. The goal is to create educational technology and to humanize robotics.
More at Tech Crunch

Antibacterial wraps for food products
Recent food scandals have drawn attention to food spoilage from bacteria such as E.Coli and Listeria. Now, a team of scientists from University of Guelph has embedded bacteriophages—viruses that eat specific bacteria—in packaging. Phages kill their target bacteria by reproducing inside them and thus make meat and other food products safer for consumption, according to the scientists.
More at Paper Advance

Photonic print process promises ultra-thin devices
The UK-based company Lumejet is working on a photonic print process to deliver ultra-fine features for printed electronic devices. The goal is to print 2-micron features with micro-LEDs. According to the company, the concept has already been proven in conventional print with the firm’s first equipment launch, the S200.
More at +Plastic Electronics

Tresu launches varnish for digitally printed cartons
Tresu DigitalSolutions has launched a range of proprietary water-based and UV-curable overprinted varnishes (OPVs) that offer enhanced protection, aesthetic appeal and converting efficiency, for digitally printed folding carton applications. The new line includes UV-curable and water-based high-gloss, gloss and matte varnishes; additional water-based varnishes with German and Swiss Ordinance-compliant safety properties are available for food and pharmaceutical applications.
More at Graphic Repro Online

The top 20 ink manufacturers in North America
Ink World Magazine published its list of the top 20 ink manufacturers in North American. The list reflects pervasive trends such as the strong growth of packaging inks and digital inks. The list is based on research and interviews with industry executives.
More at Ink World Magazine

Printers start to increasingly employ mobile devices
Even though mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are powerful and have been around for a while, the printing industry is just starting to embrace them to enhance their business operations. A series of apps have been developed in recent months to monitor printing processes and to troubleshoot.
More at Print Monthly