Sheetfed UV Printing: UV Provides Cure for Many
“They’ve been a great marketing tool for us,” Schrader notes. “They’re very creative boxes, and each one indicates what kind of paper or substrate was used, as well as the type of ink and coating. Each one has a unique application/metal effect, whether it’s foil board, lenticular or UV on offset showing a very vibrant color. They really help to educate the customer.”
Turn to Your Suppliers
Offering UV is a dream for the technical aficionados at Blanks, who enjoy tinkering with various coatings, different rollers and applications. The challenge provides excitement, but Schrader is also a fan of getting input from those who possess UV expertise.
“If you think you’re going to become an expert UV printer overnight, you’re fooling yourself,” he says. “But when you finally get it, you think, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ Our biggest key is the vendors. They’ve seen what plates, blankets, chemistry, inks and coatings work best. Their R&D departments have seen it all.
“We also try to attend Webinars, and there’s a UV forum we plan to participate in. We’re always going for higher gloss levels and faster speeds. We just try to raise the bar every time.”
Unicorn Graphics, based in Garden City, NY, has been offering UV printing for a little more than two years. A general commercial printer, Unicorn serves print brokers, graphic designers and quick printers, among others. Customers with a particular need for green printing also frequent Unicorn, according to owner Robert Lee.
Unicorn offers UV work courtesy of its KBA Rapida 105 press, and has developed a niche in generating mylar silver foil paperboard product for a major supply chain. In addition to the new substrates, Unicorn finds its shop operating more efficiently and economically.
“It was definitely not easy, but it wasn’t impossible, either,” Lee says. “We could do UV printing from day one, but it took us about a year to gain the knowledge and experience to master UV completely. Most of the problems came from the substrates, which we never printed before on our conventional presses.”