David Corona
March 28, 2024
Twitter Linkedin Facebook
Exploring The Benefits of Inplant Ink Operations

Exploring The Benefits of Inplant Ink Operations

Is an inplant ink room solution is right for you?

Effective management of an ink room presents a multifaceted challenge. By incorporating inplant operations onsite, printers can optimize production, increase print quality, reduce expenses and gain a competitive edge. While large printers typically have inplants, smaller printing firms may encounter challenges managing their own ink blending operation, highlighting the importance of stringent process control and meticulous management to meet customer demands. Our comprehensive guide to assessing inplant ink room solutions outlines benefits of this personalized operation and demonstrates how it streamlines printing operations.

Optimize your print production

Gaining greater control over printing processes not only optimizes print production but also fosters self-sufficiency. As one technician puts it, running an inplant means “keeping pace with the presses,” ensuring precise ink color requirements, adequate ink supply, and optimal color for mixing. However, the value surpasses these aspects. Many large printers recognize the strategic advantage of an inplant when challenges arise, such as maintaining print quality, and managing ink and substrate costs. Serving as your trusted ink and color management partner, the inplant technician provides solid troubleshooting on press that guarantees the ink performs at peak efficiency on every substrate you print, a mastery that could be lacking in a printing operation sourcing inks from a local branch. Those with an inplant also need no outsourcing when demand increases or customers need unusual blends.

Ink room benefits

  • INX inplants offer comprehensive training for printer staff, customer service teams, and sales personnel
  • By implementing inplants, companies can streamline operations, reduce inventories, cut costs with onsite ink mixing and thereby minimize waste.
  • Equipped with mixing and dispensing equipment, flow meters, computers, related software, INX inplants provide essential tools and resources for efficient ink management
  • Inplant ink specialists oversee ink inventory management, ensuring precise amounts are available for every printing job.
  • An INX inplant handles ink quantity estimating, scheduling, and efficiency standards, allowing press operators to focus on their core tasks without interruption.
  • From color management and technical services, to ensuring quality control and external support, INX inplants are designed to enhance printer productivity, efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

Shorter job lead times. Less downtime.

Every customer values prompt service. However, when tasks like ink management are delegated to a local branch of an ink manufacturer delays in communication, logistics and coordination can occur. Purchasing ink products from an external source inevitably involves lead times. Integrating an ink room into a high-volume plant fosters closer collaboration between press teams and the inplant, streamlining the handling of issues resolution and expediting project completion. By mixing ink onsite, instead of waiting for a special color to be shipped in, mixing ink onsite lowers the cost of the ink itself and speeds up the job.

Having round-the-clock support from an inplant significantly reduces downtime. Less downtime ensures that second and third shifts can continue production without needing to pull a job or shut down a press down due to the ink supplier being closed or the absence of shift workers. By consistently delivering high-performing ink for every job, every time, the inplant maximizes its return on investment and contributes to a seamless operation.

Accurate ink use with minimized waste

Ensuring accurate color is an essential part of the printing business. INX’s mixing and dispensing equipment provides accuracy, and consistent color over mixing and matching standard inks because the experienced INX technician has precise control over color quality. Ink systems managed by an inplant often result in increased ink mileage, typically 15-20% or more. With setup, dispensing equipment, ongoing maintenance, raw material procurement, and labor processes all handled onsite, printers receive more precise estimates on ink blending needs for each job. Onsite ink technicians can conduct a comprehensive total cost analysis of ink factoring in reduced down-time, increased color quality, and improved throughput. Additionally conducting an on-press, “mileage check” ensures that only the necessary amount of ink is used, minimizing over-ordering.

Minimizing waste and cutting costs is critical for all printers, regardless of the size of the printing operation or what product is running. Producing ink onsite significantly reduces costs and dramatically reduces inventories. Inplant teams can swiftly reduce ink inventories, sometimes by as much as 60%, within months of implementation. Using INX Manager Software, INX inplants effectively reduce waste and spoilage while maintaining tighter inventory control, resulting in substantial reductions in both waste and ink cost reductions.


Reduce and Reuse in Action

The INX Technical Services & Inplants Liquid Ink Group recently worked with a new packaging printer customer that never had a vendor-managed inplant. In one instance, the printer accumulated 3,000 buckets of old ink. After taking over management duties of the ink operations, INX began to repurpose the old material, rather than disposing of it. An inplant enables accurate determination of inks costs for individual print jobs, with specific job data that can then be stored for future reference. Any surplus ink can be utilized in subsequent jobs, contributing to improved ink quantity estimates, cutting material costs, and minimizing waste and clutter in the ink room.


Valuable ink expertise

Today, individuals in press rooms often lack comprehensive ink or color management training compared to previous years, leading to inconsistent treatment of inks. Factors such as maintaining proper pH or viscosity or handling specialty inks under appropriate conditions may be overlooked. Without an inplant, printers risk producing multi-pigmented final mixes, resulting in color shifts and subtle variations that are challenging to replicate when necessary. Additionally, crews may dispense ink directly from a bucket for longer than optimal mixing times, impacting performance and longevity, particularly for solid inks and solvent blends. A dedicated ink mixing and management facility possesses the expertise to produce formulate ink formulations tailored to specific job requirements, substrates, and color profiles.

INX specialists annually conduct audits of ink performance, equipment, and technical services at each inplant location, ensuring adherence to our global process standard. This guarantees that the ink room maintains safe, clean, and uncluttered operations aligned with the printer’s production standards. In the event of an ink emergency or the 24/7 pressroom requires assistance, the inplant manager provides prompt resolution, eliminating uncertainty and ensuring smooth operations.


Inplant ink rooms offer significant benefits to larger-volume printers, enabling them to optimize production, enhance efficiencies, gain color expertise, increase print quality, and reduce costs. For printers considering the advantages and meticulous management required to operate an ink room successfully, INX provides proven solutions. Our INX ink room management solutions deliver:

  • Increased efficiencies, reduced inventories, and lower costs.
  • Minimized inventory, reduced downtimes, and an organized ink room.
  • Improved ink quality, performance, and custom color matching.
  • A safer, cleaner working environment.
  • Comprehensive support including pre-job planning, training, immediate press-side troubleshooting, scheduling, and estimate preparation.
  • Reduction in make-ready and production-running waste.
  • Enhancement of skill sets within the organization through specialized ink expertise.

For printers looking to enhance their operations and product offerings, we invite you to explore - INX In-plant Ink Room Management to see how we can help bring your ink operation to the next level.

  • Share

    Twitter Linkedin Facebook