UV Printing — Horse of a Different Color
For the time being, Lake County flexes its UV muscle on high-end design pieces and packaging projects (cosmetics, liquor, POP, etc.) that combine vibrant color and superior ink holdout on substrates from uncoated paper to SPF board to plastics.
Lake County's original intention was to run UV and conventional interchangeably on the CD 102, but the company quickly found it was doing so much UV to meet growing demand that it wound up dedicating the CD 102 exclusively to UV projects. Douglas acknowledges that the learning process was a long one, "but once we got going, the experience was very positive. Our people really have the aptitude to print UV. We expect our UV work to triple in volume once the new XL 105 UV is installed next year."
Marrs Printing, City of Industry, CA, latched onto UV printing eight years ago, just as its packaging and folding carton business began to grow. That business now represents between 60 percent and 70 percent of its overall job mix, and a significant portion involves high-end UV and foil embossing for clients in the cosmetics and healthcare industries. Until it acquired a six-color MAN Roland 700 2/4 perfector with full interstation UV earlier this year, however, the company had been jobbing out its UV work.
"Demand had grown to where we no longer were comfortable outsourcing our UV work," says company President Walt Marrs. "Bringing it in-house enables us to maintain better control over our scheduling and the quality of the work." Marrs prints short-to-medium run lengths on substrates from conventional paper to foil to 30-pt. board or plastic, PVC, polypropylene and APET. While the company utilizes mixed-mode, conventional/UV blankets for all of its work, it uses no hybrid inks whatsoever. Marrs also tries to schedule its UV work back-to-back to minimize the loss of time, due to more frequent changeovers.