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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.

 

Print UV 2011 Day One

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With yet another sold-out conference last week, Print UV 2011 opened with a record audience count. The attendee list included almost 170 participants with representatives from more than 60 individual printing companies, along with some of the leading vendors within our industry. These UV users were not only from the United States, but also five additional countries around the globe.

Printers had come from all over to listen to the speakers ranging from OEM and supplier representatives to the printers using ultraviolet drying technology on a daily basis. The participants heard updates on new technology offered in the marketplace, along with testimonials from witnesses that have lived through the good and bad experiences with UV technology.

Following the kick off speech from Air Motions Systems—the producing sponsor of Print UV—was a presentation by a UV printer from Canada who gave a truly lived account of his past two years experiences starting out in UV printing. Sharing his testimony helped attendees realize they were not alone in the trials and tribulations of starting up new equipment and technology after it’s installed within an organization.

The remainder of the day was spent listening to various speakers discussing subjects from hybrid UV technology to the applications for and printability of specialty substrates, then finishing up the afternoon on the topic of cast and cure innovation.

One of the topics raised throughout day one that intrigued me was introduction of a new PET (polyethylene terephthalate) that is manufactured using recycled water bottles. With a variety of over 2 million plastic bottles used in the world every hour, this process could have a huge effect to the green side of our industry.

MicroGreen Polymers takes the recycled, melted material and uses a process of what it calls Ad-Air technology (rather than foam) to expand the plastic substrate to a lightweight and recyclable PET sheet. It touts the fact that using tiny air bubbles provides additional manufacturing control over the thickness and surface of the sheet. The product is also lighter than a normal extruded PET, which would translate into less shipping costs before and after use.

I did ask the important question about the dyne level sustainability of this product and was told that due to its process, the sheet holds numbers without the decrease seen with other manufacturers. I am very curious to see what printers’ experience as more of this new material is used in our marketplace. Please feel free to Comment with your thoughts and experiences.

So with the conclusion of day one, the goal of offering a variety of options and solutions for the ultraviolet printing industry was again achieved.

Read about day two in my next blog.

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