Labels & Packaging
Jonathan Sexton, Sun Chemical’s Sales and Marketing Director for Screen & Narrow Web Europe looks at the key trends in the screen printing market for producing POP displays.
Choosing the right product or service that meets our needs can be a challenge in today’s consumer driven society. Across the board consumers are overwhelmed with options and variety, so having clarity on the real needs is key to success.
As the world’s largest manufacturer of inks and coatings, Sun Chemical is able to identify specific market needs which in turn allow us to present solutions to the market and engage with our customers.
In-store and short-term advertising displays increasingly use substrates that are perceived to be recyclable (due to the lower environmental impact), which has resulted in a shift away from PVC to Polypropylene. Promotional campaigns often involve printing similar graphics on a range of different materials such as paper, display board and sheet polypropylene. The ability to print all these different substrates and get a good match for colour and appearance is crucial. Printers can benefit from using only one ink system, minimising the amount of colour matching and ink adjustment work required, which helps to reduce overall costs.
Due to the increasing use of large format offset to produce POP graphics, screen printing is being used more for rigid plastic displays, since these materials cannot always be decorated by offset. To maximise the future utility of large format screen presses, the ability to decorate a very wide range of plastics using a single ink system is also beneficial.
We are also seeing an increasing requirement for screen printed four colour process work, which closely matches ISO12647 compliant contract proofs and offset prints. Selecting an ink that has highly transparent process colours which are matched for shade to the ISO12647 colour coordinates and which prints consistently sharp images with minimal dot gain, is essential to achieving this standard.
Efficient recovery and reuse of stretched screens is also important for the large format screen printing process. For printing UV cured inks, fine screen printing fabrics with relatively low open surface area are used in conjunction with relatively hard and rigid squeegee blades. Colour staining of the mesh is a common problem and stain removal requires the use of an extra processing step.
Due to the aggressive nature of the chemicals used, this tends to increase surface damage to the mesh fibres which in turn makes the fabric more susceptible to future staining. In this situation, printers will benefit from using an ink that is designed to have a relatively low mesh staining potential and therefore allow them to better maintain the quality of stretched screens, extending the operating life.
Sun Chemical’s SunPromo Universal ink range is designed for adjustment free running on large-format multi-station UV presses, delivering efficient drying and adhesion at the relatively low lamp power output experienced on many machines.
This UV-curing screen ink system is a dedicated solution for printing indoor and short term outdoor displays, particularly large format in-store point-of-sale promotions. It is designed to optimise colour consistency across a wide range of substrates, including pre-treated sheet polypropylenes, delivering high quality graphics with maximum efficiency in use. This also allows compliance to process printing standards now widely requested by print buyers.
Sun Chemical Europe
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