Ultraviolet Printing — Followers of the Light

To handle this work, Shapco relies on two eight-color, 40˝ Komori Lithrone presses equipped with automated plate hangers, interdeck dryers and extended deliveries for aqueous and UV curing abilities. One press has Grafix and the other has Nordson UV equipment.

In Marietta, GA, Color Spectrum Network has been doing off-line UV work since 2003 and in-line UV jobs since February. This is when the company installed a new seven-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 press with in-line interdeck drying, coater, full UV capabilities, axis control and extended delivery. For off-line UV coating, the company uses Sakurai screen coaters. Hostmann-Steinberg inks are used for UV projects.

“Most of the work that we do is for the retail market,” says David Harlan, director of marketing, noting that the move to UV printing was fueled by customer demand. “The competitive nature of this market is such that most companies want their products to be noticed. There is no other process that can give you the high gloss look of UV.”

Between 60 and 70 percent of the company’s work involves UV processes, including folding cartons for business software, PC games and golf ball packaging.

“As the competition for the retail dollar grows, the need for our customers to differentiate their product on the shelf grows,” Harlan explains. “A UV folding carton next to an aqueous coated folding carton will always look much better.”

Excited Customer Base

Harlan points out that once customers are educated on the benefits of UV printing, they typically are enthusiastic about the possibilities. Color Spectrum Network markets the process through traditional marketing literature, the Internet and through its sales representatives.

Another printer ready to trumpet its new UV capabilities is Cincinnati-based Stevenson, the Color Company. Although UV currently makes up a small percentage of the company’s overall sales, Andy Stevenson, executive vice president, is confident the UV business will grow significantly thanks to the addition of a Mitsubishi Diamond 3000 press.

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