Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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106 • September 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL awning manufacturers move away from solvent-printing systems," says Derick Tracey, vice president of the company's printing division. Tracey had imple- mented the solvent-printing system 12 years ago. "Larsens is on the front of the coming trend," he adds. " UV printing is also faster to produce and is healthier for our environment." Tracey points out that solvent-based prints are prone to scratching on canopy substrates. His team was able to eliminate that problem with their current UV-cure print system, and they are now betting that many of their competitors will even- tually switch to UV-cure printing for the same reasons. "Scratching issues with solvent- printed canopies obviously creates a problem with the transportation and installation of a job," Tracey says. "Our new UV printer gives us better adhe- sion than we had with our solvent-based printing system. The printed graphics don't get damaged as easily." Larsons Inc. acquired the new UV printer in 2012 with some consulting assistance from EFI, the company also gained the ability to print onto a wider range of affordable substrates without compromising quality. The benefits didn't stop there. They spilled over into the working conditions of their printing environment as well. "With U V , there's no more gas- sing like we had with solvent printing," Derick says. "Employees no longer have to suffer through the smell of evaporat- ing ink fumes." Business travels at the speed of sales. I say that all the time, and I remind our staff of this fact. So when anything can provide a positive boost in production it helps the health of the organization. The change from solvent to UV printing for Larsen has made their production faster and increased their volume capacity as the prints are now generated at higher rates of speed and can be turned around more quickly. Most of the prints are dry almost instantly after printing, and are ready for finishing right from the printer. The range of printable substrates has grown as well, allowing them to be more creative—the key to building those valu- able impressions. The primary beneficiaries of Larsens printed trailer awnings are their cus- tomers—including outdoor event ven- ues, racetracks, trailer manufacturers

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