The market for digital printing inks is set to grow by 6.6% CAGR to $4.3B by 2026. The pigmented inks segment of this market continues to gain significant market share, with dye-based inks accounting for over 60% of production.
Pigmented inks are complex to filter in terms of balancing premature blockage with good volume throughput and precise classification. They require filters with sophisticated efficiency profiles throughout the depth of media to achieve this.
In contrast, dye-based inks are relatively easy to process. This is because the filter is only required to remove undissolved particulate.
So why do the vast majority of digital ink manufacturers still use expensive membrane filtration for dye-based inks? This is a good question and, if you’re not asking it, you should be. Here are our three recommendations to reduce the cost of your dye-based ink production.
Traditionally, a membrane filter has been synonymous with guaranteed filtrate quality. As the particulate loading is not that high, a membrane is usually able to process the necessary batch volumes. However, many dye-based inks are targeted at applications where permanence is less important and the lowest cost of print is critical. So why use an expensive membrane filter?
At Amazon Filters, we recently worked with a global manufacturer of dye-based inks to see if a depth type filter could provide the necessary filtrate quality while also helping to reduce the overall manufacturing costs.
Extensive laboratory testing resulted in the manufacturer adopting the SupaPleat Plus Ink V grade as a direct replacement for a 0.45 µm Nylon membrane. The SupaPleat Plus Ink range was developed specifically for pigment-based formulations. However, the high-efficiency multi-layer polypropylene media construction has proved a great success for dye-based inks as well. This makes it an effective alternative to membrane filtration and helps to reduce manufacturing costs.
Changing the filtration process of your dye-based inks is an opportunity to look at improving other filtration processes on your site too. For many manufacturers, it's easy to get stuck with a ‘we’ve always done it this way, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!’ attitude. This may be why the same membrane filter has been used for decades in the production of dye-based inks. As a result; no improvements are ever implemented.
When manufacturers try something different, such as a depth type filter, it can improve manufacturing costs. If you're looking for new ways to improve your filtration, an expert filtration manufacturer can work with you to optimise and improve your filtration processes. Supported by years of industry knowledge, they can deliver generic or custom solutions that improve and future-proof your filtration systems. All while reducing the costs of your dye-based ink production.