The marketing mix for companies is always changing, but in recent times, there has been a marked increase in spending on out-of-home advertising and point of purchase/point of sale displays and signage. As this spending has increased, the demand for applications printed on specialty and recyclable materials, plus the increased focus on environmental impact, have pushed changes in the industry, driving advancements in UV-curable technology.
Not only do UV applications help expand the ways in which marketers reach audiences, but combined with variable-data printing, it provides advertisers with the ability to personalize and localize messages quickly and cost-effectively. With improved speed and quality, printers can provide better, faster and more cost-effective options to their customers and allow them to make an immediate impact their advertising needs as the market changes.
Brey: Traditional UV print technology offers the ability to print directly on a selection of rigid materials. Gerber’s Solara ion cationic UV printers make it possible to print directly on the widest variety of rigid materials in the industry. This application diversity opens numerous opportunities for sign makers and graphics producers to engage new and alternative graphics market segments for their business. These applications may include POP, carpet inlays, backlit, ceramic tile, and many others.
Brock: With UV printing, speed is the best “niche” that shops can capitalize on. Wide-format manufacturers have a printer for just about every speed solution that shops are seeking. Whether shops are seeking high speed or mind blowing speed, the can surely find it. The speed “niche” can really help them complement the rest of their printer line which should also include high quality as well as a lot of versatility.
Cich: Jobs can be run more economically now compared to screen printing, so more bureaus can be competitive with traditional non-digital processes. Other than the traditional applications like POP, signage, tradeshow exhibits, I think it opens up a tremendous amount of specialty applications like tiles, doors, glass, etc. With UV technology, the applications are only limited by your imagination.
Greene: While I think there are applications that will provide growth such as wall coverings, store signage, and vehicle graphics, I think the greatest opportunity lies in developing a more comprehensive approach to meeting customer requirements, partnering with other print service providers to offer the widest range of capabilities and the best service, responding to customer requests for integration with other marketing collateral, installation, management, and measurement services, and even providing design and placement insights to maximize promotional campaigns.
Kendle: With so many digital printers now in the market, there is a need to add value to the proposition. Almost anybody can print the regular short-run work, and the result is that margins are beginning to be squeezed. The applications that seem to be growing in interest most recently are those involving the use of variable data, where the job is very complex. Marketers are using this approach to create more responsive campaigns, and there is genuine value that can be added by the print provider with regionalized messages—in both text and graphics.
Mendelssohn: Our Milano UV Curable hybrid printer is a cost-effective solution with plenty of upside. For a printer who needs to keep costs low given today’s business climate, this is the perfect printer since it’s affordable and won’t sacrifice quality because of the price. The Triangle branded BIL acrylate-based UV curable inks we introduced last summer are intended for jetting high consistency on the HP/Nur XP3500 in billboard mode. We’ve had a very good response since they deliver exceptionally high pigment density and a wide color gamut.
Muhr: From our point of view, we do see many glass printing applications, also wood will grow. Any special application with any very special substrate is printable on our products.
Paar: The flatbeds (particularly the stationary flatbed) have enabled shops to print directly to unique materials such as lenticular lenses. They can also now print to odd-shaped items like pre-manufactured parts much like a screen printer can do. This opens up entirely new business opportunities from variable data short-run items to high-margin products.