Darren Gapen

Darren Gapen

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.

Why Not Keep Some Money in Your Own Backyard?

If every family spent just $64 on an American-made product to give as a Christmas gift, more than 200,000 jobs would be saved here in the United States. How many of you will actually take the time to look on the package to see where the product was made?

Print UV 2011 - Day Two

Starting out with the topic of LED UV, Steve Metcalf and Jon Graunke gave an update on where this new technology is currently and where it’s going. They noted that AMS successfully installed its first production unit in Japan on a four-over-four machine last fall, with more units to be installed here in the states this year.

Print UV 2011 Day One

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.

Are You Ready for the Serious Commitment?

Regardless if you’re a veteran printer or new to the UV game, you will quickly realize that if you want to be successful, you must put the necessary time, money and energy into R&D. But when the dust settles, the smoke and chaos clear, you stand back and look at the finished product with admiration.

The Look of Glass: Getting Smooth, Clear UV Coating Again!

Back in the day, two- and three-roller coating systems made UV coating look as deep and smooth as a sheet of glass. Then it all changed with the introduction of the new closed-chamber, anilox style coating units. They were sold by the OEMs as “pressman proof.” They enabled management to have the ability to make sure that all of the pressmen apply the same amount of coating regardless of the individual or knowledge level.

Printing Plastics not a Slam Dunk with UV

The objective is to use a sufficient amount of energy to dry the inks correctly, but not to distort the plastic so it looks like a potato chip. Dyne levels of the plastics along with chemistry compatibility continue to have a large effect on successful adhesion and end result.

Don’t Limit Your Toolbox!

For Anilox rollers, one size doesn’t fit all. There are three factors to take into consideration when determining the proper engraving specifications—the angle of the screen (normally 60°), the LPI (lines per inch) and the cell volume.

Got Lamps?

To achieve the best outcome possible, dry trapping is the secret to UV printing. But remember, having the correct amount of lamps in place is the, “Solution.”

What’s Under Your Blankets?

So if heat affects various plastics in a variety of ways, why use self-adhesive plastic as underlay for your blanket cylinder?

Color Sequence and Lamp Placement is Everything

It's important to know where the lamps were positioned for the previously printed UV job. There should be no reason to struggle with reproducing a printed piece that you have previously run.

Learn Before You Leap into Buying UV Printing Equipment

I have given you some ideas on what adding UV printing to your arsenal could offer but, is it the wisest investment for your business? Most of the other equipment in your facility was purchased on an as-needed basis, but UV could be considered more of a “value added option."