VPK France is a subsidiary of VPK Group – a family-owned business that is now turning into an international privately-owned packaging supplier, with over 65 plants across 20 countries. With a huge focus on sustainability and a strong existing relationship with Sun Chemical, the company recently made a strategic decision to switch ten of its French sites’ printing operations to Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen renewable inks. While the first of VPK France’s site (based in Lille) has already made the switch to Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen range, the remaining sites are planned to be converted sequentially by mid-2021. The inks are being used across many industries, including food, dairy, automotive, e-commerce, cosmetics and wine packaging.
“Sun Chemical have been our trusted supplier for many years.” explains Philippe Tran, Managing Director of VPK France. “After a short break, VPK renewed this partnership in 2019, with the focus on SunVisto AquaGreen ink technology, which we intend to deploy across all of our corrugated packaging applications throughout our French sites. Our previous supplier did an adequate job, but the relationship was not as strong and we did not get the same sense of having such a solid shared vision – particularly around issues of productivity, sustainability and environmental responsibility. With Sun Chemical, we are able to communicate openly and with a high level of trust and transparency to get the best deals, both technically and economically. Working with a market leading company such as Sun Chemical also enables us to collaborate to form innovations that truly meet the specific needs of the market today.”
Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen water-based flexo inks are intended for printing on paper, corrugated, board, polyethylene coated board and treated film. The range of renewable inks is formulated with significantly higher levels of bio-renewable resin content, compared with other previous market offerings, while still exhibiting equal or superior print performance. A full range of pantone standard colours is currently available within the SunVisto AquaGreen range as finished inks or as coloured bases with a technology varnish for in-house blend schemes.
“Sustainability is our company’s core value, and our staff are equally passionate about it. We are always looking for new ways to enhance our environmental credentials further still and Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen ink range was an obvious investment choice for us. With the use of these inks, we will be able to reduce our carbon footprint by up to 30% and through this small step, we hope to influence and encourage our whole market to become greener. Like Sun Chemical, we have our own sustainability goals and we are delighted to say that this partnership is supporting us to reach them, helping to protect the planet for both current and future generations.”
Aside from the sustainability benefits the inks offer, a number of other properties appealed to VPK. “We have found that these inks also ensure maximum freshness of colour and brightness, improved coverage and lay-down of the ink, resulting in a smoother surface, and better dot definition. Although you pay for a premium for the technology varnish, our interest is in value, and the cost is quite easily offset by the better coverage and strength the inks provide. What’s more, with the inks’ good printability, visible stability on press, low foaming and smoother cleaning, we have seen significantly improved quality and efficiency in our print processes. These make the ink cost neutral in use. Overall, we could not be happier with them.” Mr Tran concludes.
Nicolas Betin, Director of Product Strategy EMEA & Global Sustainability Business Leader, Sun Chemical adds “Sun Chemical is committed to contributing to a more circular economy and is dedicated to supporting the paper packaging industry to becoming more sustainable, both in terms of products and processes. This project is the result of an excellent collaborative work between experts and operational teams of both companies, and we’re delighted to continue to partner with VPK to develop innovative solutions for improved functionality and enhanced ecological value within the corrugated market.”