MAR Graphics opened in 1961 with forms-web presses. Since then, they’ve added UV half-web presses, flexographic label printing and digital printing to their shop, primarily operating as a trade printer with a significant amount of their sales generated through distributors and brokers.
One distributor approached them with a particularly complex job: to see if they could help a government agency reduce the cost of printing and fulfilling the stickers required for every vehicle permitted to haul material in the state. But these were no ordinary stickers. Stickers are color coded by year and they needed to remain colorfast throughout their year of issue, stay affixed no matter what weather conditions the hauler encountered, and incorporate authentication and anti-forgery features.
The state’s previous vendor had been printing the stickers on an 8.5x11" vinyl sheet using a different process. This gave print-on-demand flexibility, but was expensive, cumbersome, and lacked a high level of security.
MAR devised a solution combining a customized, offset printed base stock with an affixed decal/sticker, personalized and printed on-demand using a Xerox Nuvera (Booth 1202). With the new process, a shell is preprinted, pre-perforated, and stickers affixed, so it’s ready to go when MAR Graphics receives the data from the government agency weekly. They use the Xerox FreeFlow VIPP solution to streamline and automate personalization.
The 8.5x11" preprinted sheets are run through the Xerox Nuvera to produce an all-in-one document containing a pre-perforated registration document and two stickers that go on the vehicle itself. The registration document features key data including mailing address, registration number and expiration date. A number of security features deter alteration and forgery, such as:
• ThermoInk, which disappears when rubbed. After it cools, it reappears.
•Microprint in the color background.
•A unique certificate border.
•Hidden features right in the sheet.
The two stickers each have a clear fluorescent varnish applied. To verify a truck or trailer’s authenticity, officials can hold a UV light source to the sticker and the clear varnish glows.
The preprinted inks on the stickers are colorfast and lightfast—fading only 2% after hundreds of hours of UV exposure over the course of a year. The stickers must be able to perform in environments fluctuating from minus 40° to over 200°. And the Xerox Nuvera was able achieve these goals.
By creating this all-in-one document, MAR Graphics has helped save the government agency 30-40% in print and fulfillment costs. They are able to quickly turn around the printing and fulfillment of the stickers and cost-effectively produce small to medium runs while quality checking each piece to ensure accuracy. In accordance with the government agency’s requirements, the new process incorporates a number of security features built into the stickers to deter counterfeiting. As a result, the government agency and the distributor are delighted with the solution MAR Graphics has delivered.