Smith Engineering supplies filters to Eco-Ink Corp, a very small, unique company turning big volume waste ink into an asset while respecting the environment.
Seven years ago, three guys from various backgrounds decided to take over a struggling business and found their niche.
Their company, Eco-Ink Corp, takes waste (used) ink from large volume printers such as book printers and catalog printers (the BIG machines) and turns it back into new, high-quality black ink.
They receive ink in the form of totes, drums and kits. The process begins with a pallet of 4 drums (about 2,000 pounds) of ink that is placed in a big blade/prop mixer and heated up until it is warm. It is then run through screens that take out debris such as gloves, flashlights, putty knives, hair accessories and more! The process continues when the ink is run through Smith Engineering supplied filters and pumped into a second vat. At this point they perform quality checks. They check for tack, moisture absorption, all sorts of numbers that have to do with how thick, or how sticky it is. They run this through their lab. This will determine the additives needed such as carbon black which is a very heavy base to bring the ink back up to color. They also add oils and Teflon that makes the ink equal to or better than the original “virgin” ink. After it is all brought back up to specs, it is placed in the mixer and heated up again. It is then run through a final set of Smith Engineering supplied filters. The 2700 lb of finished product is finally run into a tote, drums or 30 lb kits and finally run to a tote (2700 lb of ink), drums or 30 lb. kits depending on what the customer desires.
Because of their process, 50-gallon drums of ink no longer go into the landfills or get burnt in a waste fuel boilers. Instead, it is reprocessed into quality ink. They can recycle reds, yellows, blues, and blacks. The chemistry is such that once you put them in one pot it all turns black. Their ink can be adjusted to whatever kind of black ink their customers want (i.e. sheet fed, heat set, cold set). As co-owner Mike Loomis says, “We make black ink! And our customers are all very happy with it.”
Eco-Ink is essentially the only company in the US that is doing this process and they ship their ink to customers all across the country.
Office Manager: Bob Reidy firstname.lastname@example.org
Owners: Robert Lundell, Jack Miller, Mike Loomis
Main Number: 651-770-8987
1636 Gervais Ave, Maplewood, Minnesota 55109