The biggest name in branding
Steve Richardson (CEO, PigmentInc) explains why UV-LED printers are key to branded services for printers.
Personalisation is a well-known buzzword for printers worldwide. The need for custom printed, high-quality items is growing year-on-year. As such, the graphics world is a completely different industry to what it was a few years ago. Everything from speciality merchandise to signage, cards to apparel has fresh new appeal. So it makes sense that printing businesses need to ride that personalisation wave to stay on top. When it comes to branching out to meet that exciting new demand, what type of printing equipment is worth the investment? Large-format printing for signage fits a certain niche but one specific area of printing has taken off beyond anything else and that is UV-LED printing. UV-LED provides flexibility and versatility in ways other printing methods cannot match. Adding the capability to print on a larger range of surfaces, UV-LED is a practical addition to any printing shop.
If you’re looking to expand the range of products you can decorate for clients, small and mid-format UV-LED is a great fit because it can tackle a wide range of applications on a single printing platform. UV-LED makes it possible to print on a multitude of products including ID cards, packaging and pre-assembled products. With UV-LED technology, printing onto items made of plastics, metal, wood and even glass is effortless. This direct form of printing is undoubtedly versatile and has the potential to help transform a print shop’s capacity by expanding its product decoration offering. Expanding a print shop’s capacity can undoubtedly lead to new business opportunities and growth.
The benefits of UV-LED
Is UV-LED printing the right technology fit for your business? To know the answer, you need to look at the benefits this technology has to offer and especially if your current set-up consists of analogue printing processes. Compared to conventional methods, digital presses force you to make a choice – speed, materials or handling? You can’t have all three, and you’ll find one area lacking no matter what. UV-LED mitigates these issues before they arise. Unlike other digital printing processes, UV-LED allows you to print directly onto a broader range of surfaces with no additional treatment. Our Compress range of LED UV Printers have been developed precisely for printing onto such substrates. Our most compact entry level version being the iUV-350s which takes up a small footprint and has a maximum printable area of 575mm x 350mm. This machine can print onto items up to 150mm in thickness in full colour on opaque or transparent substrates when configured with up to 6 colours of CMYK, White and Clear inks. Print results are colourful and sharp due to the 3.5Ng picoliter ink droplet size and print resolution options available. If you are looking to step up production and media versatility the iUV-600s and iUV-1200s models deliver expanded printable areas up to 1150mm and thicker substrate options up to 300mm in thickness which it the largest media thickness of any printer in this category. The iUV-LED Compress range are designed for those looking to expand or bring production in-house to meet evolving customer requirements.
UV-LED vs conventional printing
Colour reproduction is one of the main advantages of UV-LED printing. It eliminates the laborious one-at-a-time process to print in full colour using conventional methods. For analogue print processes, the more colours required the higher the cost is for setup fees and labour. In comparison to analogue print processes like screen or pad printing, the digital process is completely streamlined. Typical analogue print issues including saturation of printing plates or ink levels in ink cups are eliminated. This equates to streamlined production processes, efficiency gains and less waste overall. A single-colour print job with a conventional setup may be quick and easy but there are still further costs to consider. Films, plate, and ink prices increase with every colour. A semi-automatic process may allow you to print 1,000 impressions in a single colour however the more colours you add, the longer and more involved that process becomes. With UV-LED, the issue of more time for each colour isn’t a factor. Items such as USB drives, pens or golf balls can be printed in full colour with up to 120 items in one printing pass. That means as many as 500-1,000 pieces per hour, with no laborious setup processes. Complex graphics can be reproduced with ease and the options for endless fonts, colours, sizes and data allows you to open up your services to a far wider audience. The printing process itself is largely automated allowing you to get on with other work in the meantime. If you want to offer a digital service with unlimited variability, UV-LED is a solid choice.
Summarising the benefits of UV LED
With the right hardware, taking your first steps into the world of digital branding is easier than ever before. UV-LED is a great fit if you find your customers often need items quickly because it enables you to print hundreds of items with matching or similar designs in a time efficient manner. UV-LED produces high-quality results across a broad range of substrates. If you have the right software to accompany your hardware, you can even print for different customers in the same print run, further saving on time and costs overall. Flatbed options like the Compress iUV-600s or the 1200 in your print shop can instantly add versatility to your services. Even better, you can fit UV-LED presses with rotary attachments for printing onto flasks, bottles, candles, and similar items which adds an extra layer of flexibility to the services you can offer. If adding versatility to your business is one of your goals, a UV-LED printer is worth consideration. You may find that these pieces of technology are more profitable and practical than you might think.
Steve Richardson (CEO, PigmentInc)