UV Printing — Horse of a Different Color
Today, with a portfolio of successful high-quality jobs to brag about--as well as some less successful experiments to learn from--Color Ink looks forward to new opportunities to advance its UV expertise.
Results Are Worth It
Cedar Graphics, Hiawatha, IA, is a general commercial printer with a growing specialty in UV. The company had no prior UV experience when it installed a six-color KBA Rapida 105 press with UV coater and full interdeck UV 18 months ago. What the company did have top of mind was differentiation.
"It's not that our customers weren't expressing interest, but our decision to go with a UV press was based on our perception of an emerging market and growth on the UV side in light of an intensely competitive commercial market," explains Pressroom Manager Scott Burnett. Although the company's bread-and-butter is commercial sheetfed and "digital on-demand" printing, UV jobs account for a growing proportion of its annual sales.
In the 18 months it has been printing in-line UV, the company has added gift and phone cards, repositionable vinyl wall graphics, high-gloss book covers and posters to the menu of the services it offers advertising, design and corporate clients. "We're starting to do some spot UV and special effects, like reticulating dull varnish under gloss and textures for contrast, without having to go to special plates or CAD machines for cutting," Burnett says. "It's a major step for us--a totally different way of printing."
Cedar Graphics uses hybrid ink for UV printing on regular paper and full UV for everything synthetic, and has run UV jobs on everything from paper to vinyl, polystyrene, foil and clear plastic, up to 24 pt. Changing from hybrid to UV is not a big deal, he affirms, but switching from conventional to hybrid or UV is more complicated. "You have to put in the lamps, switch blankets and condition the rollers for UV ink. We can get it done in an hour-and-a-half, tops."