UV Printing — Horse of a Different Color
Cedar Graphics relied primarily on its ink, roller and blanket vendors, as well as its KBA press demonstrators, to help its staff learn about UV printing. "You can spend the money up front for a consultant and get there quicker, but we really learned through our Six Sigma initiative, trial-and-error and from our vendors," Burnett says.
"There's a learning curve associated with different ink-water balance, roller prep and lamp placement. But the results are worth the extra time. We were able to get it done with great help from our vendors, and by keeping spec sheets and good notes," a habit now ingrained at Cedar Graphics. "We keep samples of everything. We do a spec sheet on every job, including how many lamps we use and where they are placed." A bonus of this attention to detail is that Cedar Graphics is often able to correct faulty job specifications before a customer incurs the time and expense of rework.
Waukegan, IL-based Lake County Press added an eight-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 UV in 2005 to develop a differentiated product offering for the company's high-end packaging business. The press runs in standard mode using conventional inks and aqueous coating, or UV mode using full UV inks and UV coating. It also features an 11-foot extended Heidelberg Dry-Star infrared/UV dryer unit.
"Designers and ad agencies like the look and feel of uncoated papers, which perform well when subjected to UV processes," notes Peter Douglas, senior vice president of marketing. "We learned that we could solidify our relationships with our customers by showing them samples of what we could do with UV technology."
The company's "show me" strategy seems to be working: UV jobs accounted for roughly 10 percent of Lake County's sales over the past 12 months, a figure that is growing by leaps and bounds, according to Douglas. The company is so pleased with its progress that it will install a Speedmaster XL 105 UV--its second XL press--in early 2008.