Urmano: UV printing now uses both rigid and flexible inks. White and clear inks have also enhanced the application base to now include switch overlays, membrane switch graphics, labels and labeling, fast proofing and prototyping, dials, and gauges. The industrial printing market is not limited to just enhance the visible attributes of a product, but can be used for printing on glass and mirrors, dark and clear acrylics, and thin films.
White: Digital printing is fast becoming the “go to method” for short-run and variable-data applications with the industry. And UV wide-format inkjet applications such as tradeshow displays, billboards, signs, posters, banners and vehicle graphics are helping sign shops and commercial printers expand their product offerings and develop new profit streams. UV printing will continue to grow due to the reduced production and labor costs as well as the flexibility of substrates associated with UV technology. We are also seeing growth for large-format printing within interior design, home décor and fashion especially with regards to store décor. Technology has provided a more cost effective way to produce wall paper, floor tiles and now even the panels on ceiling fans can be customized all due to large-format printing capability.
Wozny: POP is the UV application that the market most often targets. Since UV prints on a wide range of substrates and the premier printer manufacturers are incorporating the ability to produce a wide range of applications on their presses, the market is realizing double digital growth in segments success as industrial, wall covering, etc.
3. What growth do you foresee in this market?
Barbiero: I see the greatest growth opportunity in the graphics market in products that have the ability to increase productivity while reducing the impact of printing on the environment. UV-curable inks are an example of a technology that will continue to see growth, since they produce dry, ready-to-use prints, print on a wide variety of substrates and emit low levels of VOCs. When used in printers such as the HP Scitex FB7500 and XP5300 printers, UV-curable inks accelerate overall efficiency and productivity and allow PSPs to deliver high-quality applications with the quick turnaround time their customers demand.
Brey: We continue to see the market evolve and its adoption of UV print technology expand. Cost reduction in production continues to be a target area for signage and graphics producers who are looking to establish themselves as market leaders coming out of this recession.
Historically, recovery from a challenging recession will always bring about changes that are unexpected. Often the latest technologies will see a boost of activity as credit capital becomes available for system upgrades and new system purchases.
Brock: I see more growth in the UV market but see it coming from both the flatbed and roll-to-roll printers. Inks and materials are still being improved drastically for the UV market every day. I thought that new rigid substrates for UV flatbed printing would have exhausted after the recent flatbed “boom” but I keep seeing more and more products being introduced that I know our customers would love to print on. Behind every good printer is a quality ink and substrate to complement it and I have only seen positive products in the recent years that leads me to believe that more growth is on the way.
Cich: I foresee tremendous growth for UV printing. It does not release VOC’s into the environment, giving it a “green” advantage over solvent, and its quality is improving to where it is competing with aqueous IJ for quality. The growth will be exponential.
Greene: We expect wide-format UV to grow at a rate of almost 20 percent per year.
Kendle: UV technology is now in use not only for wide format printers at a variety of print speeds, but for label printers, transactional printers and some industrial applications. The technology seems to be very well entrenched, and the ink technology appears applicable for an extremely diverse range of print projects. As the speed and quality continue to increase, applications will move more into the offset print arena, which is currently under pressure from reductions in run length and struggling to deliver a cost- effective solution at these lower quantities.