Ricoh has joined hands with American ink pioneer Farbenpunkt to reduce CO2 emissions with waterless and chemical-free solution for textile ink. As part of the collaboration, Ricoh has a robust, environmentally responsible alternative approach for digital textile printers as it combines its broad printhead portfolio with Farbenpunkt’s Peracto Technology.

The collaboration enables OEM clients to compete in the highly attractive digital textile market and enhance their environmental offering. Reducing the environmental impact of global textile production caused by use of dye-based, such as reactive inks in digital and analogue processes, is the driver for this collaboration.

Traditional fabric dyeing and treatment accounts for 20 per cent of worldwide wastewater. The fashion industry generates 10 per cent of annual global carbon emissions. Ricoh now provides a robust, environmentally responsible alternative approach for digital textile printers by pairing its broad printhead portfolio with Farbenpunkt’s unique Peracto Technology.

The optimised combination is ideal for apparel and home furnishing applications. It delivers more than 90 per cent savings in fresh and wastewater use, as well as 50 per cent savings in energy use. This delivers significant reductions in CO2 emissions. Also, no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted.

The combination allows a simplified digital textile print production process which eliminates the need for high water and energy consuming stages of pre-treatment and post-treatment, saving up to €0.9 per sqm. These savings can equal twice the cost of the ink. The process uses hot air fixation at a relatively low temperature of 140 degrees Celsius – 160 degrees Celsius, delivers a quick fixation time of two to four minutes, ensures consistent and reliable results on synthetic, natural, and mixed fibres, and meets or exceeds all industry specifications for strict colour fastness tests for washing, wet and dry rubbing, lightfastness, and ageing.

The ink is also compliant with REACH, the European Union regulation for the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. It also has an Oeko-Tex Eco-Passport, an independent certification for chemicals, colourants and accessories used in textile production.

Graham Kennedy, director, Industrial Print, Ricoh Europe, says: “This collaboration builds on Ricoh’s longstanding history of innovative inkjet head development and allows us to support a production sector looking for ways to address growing questions around sustainability. Digitally producing textiles with vastly reduced water waste and eliminating energy intensive pre and post treatment stages delivers huge environmental benefits. This disruptive ink offering therefore enables more cost-effective production and allows manufacturers to consider establishing local production capabilities through reshoring. This is especially important now when we are seeing a growth in on demand digital production spurred on by the impact of the pandemic on consumer habits and business operations. Our Farbenpunkt partnership is good news for manufacturers and their shareholders, textile printers and consumers.”

Farbenpunkt managing director, Etienne Steveninck, adds: “Working with Ricoh allows us to bring this high performing, versatile ink to a wider audience. It will enable textile manufacturers to produce large volumes, quickly, on a range of materials, meet strict accreditation standards, and contribute to the sustainability of our planet. The two companies are a natural fit as the wellbeing of our environment is part of Ricoh’s DNA too.”