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Gapen on UV

Gapen on UV

By Darren Gapen

About Darren

Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.

In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.


Learn Before You Leap into Buying UV Printing Equipment

Most of the other equipment in your facility was purchased on an as-needed basis and considered necessary for the growth and stability of your company. Whether it was a new folder, cutter, round corner machine or even a new press, you gathered information, lined up all of the manufacturers, received proposals and made the decision to purchase based on what you had in front of you.

I have given you some ideas on what adding UV printing to your arsenal could offer but, is it the wisest investment for your business? Unlike adding a new cutter that is a must to eliminate the bottleneck in your bindery production or the new foil stamping machine justified with all of the jobs you currently have to outsource, UV could be considered more of a “value added option” to your business. But as you know, also contains added expenses.

You can speak with your vendors and ask those questions until you're blue in the face, but will this be enough to determine if the investment in UV equipment is right for you? Many of us look to other users to get more of an idea on what the “Real Deal” involves. You can start making a list of UV printers, but how many calls will you have to make before finding someone that has the time to spend on the phone with you? Unfortunately, we all know how busy our days become just trying to keep it all going at our own facilities.

Some of the conferences offered could be a very good resource for you to spend some time with your peers. It’s not only the information given by the conference speakers themselves, but the conversations with your colleagues during the course of the event and also the social time afterward. This makes it possible to speak with the printers that have made the investment and hear their thoughts. Get some answers on how they are using the process to their advantage.

Print UV 2010, held in Las Vegas next month, could be one of those conferences you might want to attend. It will have everyone from the manufacturer reps, vendors and suppliers along with the most important, current UV printers. This would be a small investment for you to make now, that may possibly divert a hefty miscalculation later if UV wasn’t the correct answer for your business. This will give you the time to speak with other printers and see how well they are doing with the investments. I’m certain this will assist with your decision to find out if UV printing is right for you. Try to remember and make a list of questions that you need answered.

I hope to see you all there.

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