Duplo has become the sole UK distributor for the Ultra Printflood range of UV, aqueous and soft-touch flood coaters. The line ranges from entry-level to high speed, duplex and inline versions for certain B2 HP Indigo models.

The coaters are being promoted to digital printers as a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternative to lamination in applications such as greeting cards, business and postcards, with the aqueous options also certified for inside and outside use on food packaging.

Réginald de Ghellinck, managing director of Mark Hunting SRL, the Belgian owner of the Ultra brand, explained, ‘For many digital printers, lamination has historically been the standard way to enhance and protect digitally printed substrates. In comparison, UV and aqueous coating has been very common in the conventional offset market. With the evolution of digital printing, new manufacturers’ technologies, new types of varnish have now been manufactured making UV and aqueous more accessible and easier to use. 

‘For cost, practical and ecological reasons, some of our customers have moved away from lamination as our solutions are easily 30% cheaper to run, minimise the use of plastic, contain fully recyclable substrates, [have] no need for stocks of different films sizes and thickness, and no more need to trim after lamination. There is a growing trend of people are moving towards the aqueous versions of our solutions as water-base coating is environmentally friendlier than UV and lamination.’

The range includes the 100Pro which accepts sheets up to 356 x 510mm and runs at up to 13 m/min, the 200Pro supporting 530 x 750mm at up to 34m/min and the 300A with the same B2+ format but running at up 45m/min. The most recent addition is the Ultra 1000A which can run B2+ with long edge feeding up to 730mm, giving a further 25% throughput boost compared to short edge feeding. This model can be used inline with HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 models and has been installed at a Dutch printer in a duplexing configuration.

A feature called Auto-Gap ensures that the application and pressure rollers never touch between sheets, preventing smearing on the reverse of the sheet, rather than using scraper blades to remove excess coating.

Duplo UK managing director Martyn Train commented, ‘Duplo has been successful in selling the Ultra UV coaters in the past. Now that Ultra have extended the range and the fact that they now offer eco-friendly aqueous coating solutions, we realised the potential of such proven technology for UK customers would be an exciting proposition.’