Maple-Vail and Amerikal Develop New, Sustainable Book-Printing Process
The Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group and Amerikal Products Corp. have unveiled a process called THINKTech that will allow books to be printed on a heat-set web press without any curing. The companies claim the new, sustainable process will revolutionize how books are printed and manufactured.
The THINKTech process, which was developed after Maple-Vail switched from traditional pressroom chemistry to Amerikal’s Genesis line of sustainable chemistry, utilizes Amerikal’s Thin Ink Film Technology. The new process will be accomplished by turning off gas-fired ovens, chill drums, chill water compressors, electrical pumps, silicone applicators and electrically powered blowers; replacing traditional press cleaners and wash-up chemicals with Genesis BRIGL Wash; and building inks to run with THINKTech Think Ink Film Technology standards.
“Everyone has their version of being ‘green,’” says Steve Brooks, prep/press superintendent at Maple-Vail, “but this goes completely beyond the typical ways to be more eco-conscious. This process will forever change how books are printed. It will allow printers to reduce their energy costs and [volatile organic compounds (VOC)] while increasing quality.”
According to Maple-Vail, by implementing this new process, it will achieve the following results on its web presses:
•complete elimination of natural gas usage for the ovens;
•dramatic reduction in electricity since the chillers are no longer necessary;
•VOC ink levels slashed from 31 percent to 42 percent to just under 3 percent due to the fact that the process is bio-based;
•VOC emissions from the special fountain solution and blanket wash result in a reduction to a fraction of the prior levels;
•increased production efficiency because of the quick-drying nature of the THINKTech process; and
•elimination of all federal and state regulated toxins such as silicone, federal 313 chemicals and hazardous air pollutants.
“We are constantly striving for new ways to improve the printing and manufacturing process,” says Amerikal President Bob Danielson. “What we’ve created with Maple-Vail is a prime example of how we’re committed to helping our customers achieve great results. We not only helped them reduce their carbon footprint; we also reduced their overall costs and improved productivity, and that is imperative in today’s economy.”
The first book to be printed using the new process is the Harvard University Press title, “The Dismal Science,” by Stephen Marglin.