Labels & Packaging
Grapo Technologies, a manufacturer of UV large format roll-to-roll and flatbed UV printers, has entered into an agreement with Orafol Europe GmbH, a manufacturer of self-adhesive substrates, special tape systems and reflective materials in a bid to further develop digital print production applications to produce reflective traffic signs for street and way finding signage applications. Both companies have agreed to develop an application package that uses Grapo’s Octopus UV digital printers and specially developed inks.
According to Grapo, who are based in the Czech Republic, traffic signs are a very specific application with critical specifications and cannot be produced digitally using normal CMYK inks. Until recently these signs have been manufactured using traditional analogue screen processes, but with this new system, traffic sign manufacturers will be able to cost-effectively handle short runs and print signs on demand to meet market needs, especially for signs with variable information, directions and other information that may only require a quantity of one or two.
While Grapo can sell the system under the agreement, Orafol will be the primary coordinator of sales activities. “There are legal and testing procedures required to gain acceptance from each ministry of traffic,” says Radim Kralik, CEO of Grapo Technologies. “Colours must be certified, but more importantly, the entire system must be certified and Orafol will be leading the certification process based on their relationships, reputation and experience in this market.”
Not only must the colours be specific in order to pass certification, but inks also must demonstrate good adhesion to the reflective materials and last a long time under varying light and weather conditions.
Orafol will be demonstrating this new process at the Intertraffic show in Amsterdam on 23-25 March and can be found in Hall 1, Booth 203.
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