Archive

Archive for the ‘uv ink’ Category

Benefits using UV technology in Screen Printing

August 1, 2011 10 comments

Indian screen printing industry is now waking up to the reality of UV-age. More and more screen printers are now adopting UV and dumping the foul smelling solvent which many feel a curse to the screen printing. That’s because it is not only it requires lot of space for drying but also environmentally hazard and wastage is rampant. In some areas such as decals and industrial printing UV has not made successful inroads and still they have to use only solvent inks. However, screen printers, wherever applicable, should consider UV because of its immense benefits. Screen printers should also note that other processes such as offset and digital are also roaring with UV. And I feel UV will soon become the norm for all printing.

Based on my continued experiments and R&D at DMI institute and feedback from customers, I can vouch for UV technology. The future of UV is bright that’s because it offers screen printers with great production advantages over solvent.

Screen printing, though a most versatile printing process, requires different types of drying system, viz, UV curing, IR drying, Hot air drying and most commonly screen printers use whole floor of their printing unit to dry the printed stuffs on racks. Now-a-days, most advanced wicket dryers are available as an online racking-cum-drying system.

With UV technology (UV inks and UV curing system), screen printers can now expect to achieve great deal of efficiency in their work and higher productivity and why not profitability!

The biggest nightmare for screen printers is ink choking in screen during small intervals and even during printing which restricts screen printers to deliver finer details. But now with UV Inks the problem of ink choking up in screens is never a issue.

Interestingly, one of our customers, dealing in industrial printing revealed that he has recovered his investment on table top UV system within one month. In another case, amazingly one of my dealers has stopped his 3-4 decade old business of dealing in solvent inks and screen printing consumables and focussed on promoting and marketing UV inks in a big way along with our Nano-Print and Nano-UV curing machine. That’s because even as a supplier he felt UV is the future.

With UV, benefits unbound:

– Sharp and finer print details

– Environment-friendly than hazardous solvent

– Clean work environment

– Economic print solution

– No ink drying on screen, no choke up hence saves lot of time

– Faster job turn around

– Waste reduction

Faster job turn around: Curing of UV ink happens almost instantly as compared to solvent inks which requires lot of time to dry.

Space saving: Since drying (curing) takes place instantly lot of space otherwise required for putting up drying racks can be saved and use it for other productive use. And UV curing system as such requires less space to position it along with printing machine.

Fine print quality: Vibrant print quality in process color screen printing.

UV – an economical and profitable printing solution: I always highlight in my workshops that screen printer should never compare the face value of UV ink with solvent ink which is cheaper than UV price wise. But look at the output per kg? In solvent, printers end up wasting lot of ink, substrate because very nature of solvent ink, whereas with UV every drop of ink is usable or can be put it back on the tin after printing is over. It is my research that UV ink gives times mileage than solvent ink. When we take into consideration the greater benefits and mileage of UV ink, it is definitely cheaper than solvent overall.

Word of caution: UV, UV, UV do not simply jump on it. Take cautious step instead of burning your hands later. First study the market. Analyze the return on investment. Study the supply sources, talk to them and understand UV better. You should thoroughly understand the whole UV technology, how it works, its technicalities, UV lamp, UV inks, UV curing system, and more importantly its application in relation to different substrates and safety aspects. And our DMI workshop orients screen printers on some of these aspects. But it is better to have regular interaction with printing machine/UV curing machine, UV inks manufacturer/suppliers, substrate suppliers, etc to keep yourself updated on regular basis. And knowledge seeking will definitely ensure you are on right track and deriving maximum benefits from UV.

Food for thoughts!

– Where do I get training?
– How much my machine supplier (both printing machine and UV curing system manufacturer or dealer) know about UV?
– How much UV ink supplier knows about UV?
– How much substrate supplier knows about UV?
– Can all these people are capable of guiding me or giving me training properly
– Yes ink wise you will find UV is priced on higher side. But how do I workout my costing to ensure that I do not charge more than what I used to charge earlier for a job using solvent inks.

If at all the cost works out more how do I convince my customers.

Other than normal UV inks, is there any potential for various UV special effects and how much I know about print finishing and value addition, what is the market for this special segment.

Do I need to employ skilled manpower or the existing manpower could be trained in UV?

Remember half knowledge is dangerous and if you practice based on half knowledge given by half-knowledgeable suppliers you will burn your hands in UV business.

And do not just see the current market but plan yourself and prepare a project report with a long term vision for an economically viable business proposition.

Technically speaking: Since application of UV in screen printing is growing day by day, I strongly recommend that screen printers should make every effort to acquire as much as knowledge in UV inks, printing, UV curing and all related areas.

In UV inks, the liquid coating (printing) gets cured to a solid state after being exposed to UV light. This chemical change is known as ultraviolet (UV) polymerization.

Usually, UV ink consists of:
– Oligomers
– Monomers
– Photoinitators

Besides there are other components such as pigments, stabilizers, flow controls, flatting agents.

I shall touch upon this aspect in my future blogs.

UV lamps: UV curing takes place based on UV radiation activating and UV sensitive chemicals. UV ink contains liquid prepolymers, photo initiators and pigments. As the ink is exposed to UV radiation it gets polymerized instantly into hardness.

UV radiation is facilitated through a UV lamp which releases radiation of about 240-400 nm. UV lamp (bulb and reflector) is fitted in separate modules to facilitate easy handling and replacement whenever needed.

UV lamps in a curing unit must be replaced after a certain number of hours use. Some lamps do last up to 3,000 hours, but replacement and running costs are a consideration.

Mesh and machine: Is there any difficulty hitch in using UV ink on all types of screen printing machines?

There is no problem, but printing with UV ink requires finer and even ink deposition. Therefore it is advisable to use finer mesh say 165 or 180 mesh and you have to buy a UV curing machine as per print area/curing area required.

Substrate: With the availability of UV inks and UV curing machine, screen printing even on most difficult substrates, viz, PVC, metal, polyethylene, foil, polystyrene, PP, ABS, PVC, besides paper is now possible.

Surface tension: or energy level, can best be explained by the understanding that a material with high surface tension levels has a greater degree of cohesive force and intermolecular attraction, and is less adhesive to another material.

For example, water has a surface energy level of around 80-90 dynes/cm2. As water molecules have a great internal attraction to each other, they readily form a bead or droplet.

Non-polar solvents, on the other hand, typically have energy levels between 10-20 dynes and have much greater wetting ability and less tendency to “bead”.

UV ink monomers and oligomers lie between these two extremes at around 30-36 dynes (milliNewtons/M2).

It is an established fact that plastic substrates require a surface tension level of at least 38 to achieve good adhesion. Too low a level will reduce the attraction between the substrate and ink/coating, and will cause reticulation and poor adhesion.

Suppliers of corona discharge treating equipment go so far as to say that a ten (10) dyne difference between substrate and applied coating or ink is required to achieve good results.

Therefore, with UV inks having energy levels of 30-36 dynes, theoretically film treatment levels of 40-46 dynes would be required.

UV screen printing: Devices required. There are many devices to monitor UV output which are passed under the UV source to measure temperature and UV output.

A light sensitive tape is used to gauge the level of absorbed UV when passed under a UV source. This tape changes color as per the intensity of lamp and speed of the conveyor, which is then checked as per calibration chart.

Best of luck…

Bhargav

Advertisements

Nano-Premier League (NPL) Road Shows at Nagpur & Indore

October 14, 2010 2 comments

After my six successful NANO-PREMIER LEAGUE (NPL) Road Shows which I believe this is the World’s first of its kind campaign on advanced screen printing process & technology” which I started from June 2010 onwards.

I had two more wonderful experiences last week. Let me share with you.

Two new NPL Road Shows first at Indore on 30th September 2010 and second at Nagpur on 2nd October 2010, on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, we also remember him as a Father of the Nation.

The first show was arranged on 30th September 2010 in Hotel Fortune Landmark, Indore, Madhya Pradesh with a houseful participation even on the curfew day, the day when the country was under tremendous pressure due to Ayodhya Verdict.

 

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Fortune Landmark, Indore, MP

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Fortune Landmark, Indore, MP

 

Since Grafica’s road shows are always very thrilling to printers especially when they get to see lot of new creativity during our shows because we always go with varieties and creative samples. So by any chance printers hardly avoid to miss our road show.

So far, Grafica sold over 275 NANO-PRINT and 25 NANO-PREMIER LEAGUE as the despatch of NPL just began few weeks ago. The orders of NPL will cross over a century very soon. Hence it’s but obvious to have customers all over the country.

 

Ravi Patidar, Naturo Graphics, Indore

Ravi Patidar, Naturo Graphics, Indore

 

So in Indore we had Ravi Patidar of Naturo Graphics who produces textile transfers and was quite honest to share his experience about NANO-PRINT in front of all the participants. There were couple of participants who had attended my previous workshops at DMI. They too were kind enough to share their experiences about DMI Institute and our workshop programs.

 

Mukund Karia, Mukund Enterprises, Indore

Mukund Karia, Mukund Enterprises, Indore

 

One of the veteran dealer in Indore selling screen printing materials, Mukund Karia was very helpful to my team in making the Indore event a success even on the day of curfew.

Being a supplier of screen printing consumables Mukund Karia also felt the need to extend his support to promote Grafica’s NANO-PREMIER LEAGUE as there is rampant manual screen printing culture in and around Indore.

At the end incognito I salute for the sheer enthusiasm of printers in Indore who made it a point to attend my presentation and live demo despite all odds.

From Indore, I travelled down to Nagpur, which is also known as “The Orange City” on 1st October 2010. Since my second program was in Nagpur was on 2nd October I had plenty of time to write new articles and update them on our blog which I hope you must have read by now. If not then check out our Technical Articles

This second houseful show in Nagpur was arranged in Hotel Pride International. Very close to the airport.

 

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Pride International, Nagpur, MH

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Pride International, Nagpur, MH

 

By the way I was not new to these cities since I had earlier organized screening of my educative film  “Screen on Screen” A film of advance screen printing process two years ago and some of the participants were already familiar with us and knew that if its Grafica it must be something interesting and serious. The response we received from the printers of Nagpur was overwhelming.

During my presentation, I invited many Grafica customer’s who were present during this show to share their valuable experience with Grafica. In-fact I was touched by the great feelings expressed by all of them who not only shared their experience about Grafica’s machines but also showered good wishes and praises about my institute DMI. Since some of them had attended my workshops in the past hence were kind enough to share honestly in front of the audience.

Frankly speaking all our NPL Road Shows are quite expensive first of all to organize in a good and decent hotels, take the entire team of 15 people to organize this show in a short span of time, arranging hotel rooms for everyone, transport the machines for demo, unload it and install, thereafter decorate for few hour, again dismantle, load and transport back to factory or move ahead to the next destination, over an above transport cost of the machine and travel cost of the entire team.

But I am not hesitated over the expense because I am sure the day is not far that all our effort will bring fruits to the entire screen printing industry in India and my dream to convert all manual screen printers towards automation will never only remain a dream.

I am thankful all our customers and participants for giving us their valuable time and to make this a memorable event.

To see complete photo gallery of our NPL Road Show click any name of the city mentioned below

INDORENAGPUR

Finally, I highly appreciate my team for their hard work and dedication in making all NPL Road Shows a grand success.

 

Team Grafica

Team Grafica

 

I learnt an unusual idea from Bhargav to earn millions

September 12, 2010 8 comments

I was thrilled to hear this comment from one of the participants during my recent workshop on 19 to 21 August 2010 at DMI (Click here to view the photo gallery).

Bhargav Mistry at the recent workshop at DMI

Bhargav Mistry at the recent workshop at DMI

Participants at DMI attentively listening to Bhargav's presentation

Participants at DMI attentively listening to Bhargav's presentation

This time in my workshop at DMI the subject was to integrate process color screen printing with value addition especially on PP flute board commonly known in India as Sunpack.

I see lots of school & college going boys and girls have one portfolio bag for keeping their drawing and project work. Even my daughter has two bags. But all her friends including my daughter has a standard black color bag.

The idea of making portfolio bag on Sunpack strike my mind once when I went to drop my daughter at her school I saw not only my daughter but almost all her friends had some fancy stickers or wordings or paintings done on the boring black color standard bag because currently there are no options for the colorful youth.

In that case I thought its a good idea for companies to market their products like jeans, t-sirts, cosmetics etc. targeting youth. This way they can market their products every efficiently because the youth have more impact of such creative ideas and concept.

Also till today many screen printers prints on Flute boards (SunPack) day and night for making danglers, POP with cutouts but till today no one has thought exploring various other unique possibilities on SunPack mostly in packaging to generate more revenues and stay ahead of competition.

So in the recent workshop at DMI I demonstrated how to produce such high value PP flute bags with special effects. The name of the job was “JUMPING JEANS”. When it comes to special effect many printers only think of commonly used Spot UV (Gloss, Matt) and other varnishes on offset printed jobs and wedding cards.

DMI's creative bag screen printed on Sunpack (PP)

DMI's creative bag screen printed on Sunpack (PP)

I had ordered this material duly CORONA treated from the manufacturer to print directly with UV Inks specially developed for PP substrate to give better adhesion. While screen printing with special UV Inks for PP, I experienced poor adhesion on the substrate. Later, I discovered the problem was due to old stock. This required re-treatment of CORONA but since I do not have the CORONA treatment facility at DMI, I screen printed a special transparent base coat to utilize the same stock.

Once you apply this base coat you can there after use any type of UV Inks or if you want to avoid the base coat in order to reduce one more printing operation then you may use a CORONA treatment machine to treat the material immediately before printing. This machine is a good investment for any printer who use UV Inks on plastics. Its also useful for offset printers too e.g. they can pass all their non-treated sheets and later stack on the offset press to print with UV inks for better adhesion.

Please note that even though you use CORONA treated substrates you need to use a specific UV Inks for that particular substrate. But there are special base coats for each substrate and once applied through roller coating or screen printing machine you can thereafter use any standard UV Inks.

I screen printed this transparent base specially developed for PP using a 120 mesh with a soft 65-90-65 shore hardness, triple durometer PU squeegee.

There after I screen printed complete image on 180 mesh count using 100 LPI fine dot screen because this bag will be viewed closely.

Once the screen printing was over, I printed abrasive varnish using 77 mesh count on a jeans texture to give the real feeling of the material.

DMI's creative bag screen printed on Sunpack (PP)

DMI's creative bag screen printed on Sunpack (PP)

The front image was over printed with gloss varnish to increase the aesthetics using 165 mesh count.

On front and back of the bag I printed a strip of golden glitter to give a sparking effect. The glitter varnish was printed on a 24 mesh count.

On the rear side “Jumping Jeans” title with a stylish font over the Jeans texture was screen printed using bubble varnish using 77 mesh count to give a bubbling effect.

On the top and bottom portion I printed with wrinkle varnish to give a nice leather kind effect using 77 mesh count. It’s important that if you want to get a wrinkle textures you need a special UV Lamp.

By the was at Grafica, we also supply wrinkle lamp system along with our UV dryers as an optional.

The Grafica & DMI logos were screen printed with special metallic orange ink using 120 mesh count.

DMI's creative bag screen printed on Sunpack (PP)

DMI's creative bag screen printed on Sunpack (PP)

On both the sides the enclosures were printed with golden pearl inks using 77 mesh. A UV matt varnish was overprinted on the golden pearl ink to give a water mark effect using 180 mesh.

The complete job was standardized using 65-90-65 shore hardness PU squeegee rubber because of the uneven surface of the flute.

VERY IMPORTANT: We pulled the squeegee parallel in the direction of the flutes because pulling across the flutes will dramatically increase the possibility of skin collapse between the flutes. This occurs because as the material is heated by the UV light it softens. If the squeegee is traveling with the flutes, it will be supported by all the flutes decreasing the likelihood of skin collapse. We also kept our squeegee pressure as low as possible to avoid crushing of the substrate.

There after we fabricated the bag to make the final product.

This job was screen printed live with various special effect during our recent workshop at DMI on 19 to 21 August 2010.

Since last two session M. P. Raghav Rao, GM, Technical & Manufacturing of FujiFilm Sericol India Pvt. Ltd. has already associated with me in my workshop to talk about last trends in Ink technology.

Raghav Rao with Bhargav Mistry

Raghav Rao with Bhargav Mistry

This time we had a special appearance from Adobe System India Private Limited, Akhil Kuruppan (Regional Sales Manager – West, Creative Business) & Rajesh Patil (Manager – Creative Solutions). Adobe already one of the sponsors of DMI’s educational activities for design software support. So in this workshop upon my request they both came to see what content I cover up in my workshop as far as Photoshop and Illustrator is concern. Rajesh Patil who is also one of the GIPT mumbai student with an experience over a decade in pre-press and design softwares will be joining me in some of my fourth coming workshops at DMI. He will mainly focus of Adobe Creative Suites and topics related to printing technology.

L to R: Bhargav Mistry, Akhil Kuruppan & Rajesh Patil

L to R: Bhargav Mistry, Akhil Kuruppan & Rajesh Patil

In our next job workshop you will be able to see more creative ideas on packaging with special effects. As the wedding season begins we are also creating a unique wedding box with cards inside never seen anywhere… because unusual screen printing happens only at DMI…

So to learn more and earn more register for my next workshop at DMI…

For registration log on to http://www.graficaindia.com

Role of advanced screen printing in packaging

September 8, 2010 7 comments

Hi Folks,

Recently I was invited by “Modern Packaging & Design Magazine” which is published by Infomedia 18 Limited to write an article on the role of advance screen printing in packaging as a guest columnist.

Many of you might have read my article if you are receiving their magazine, but if you have not read till now then here’s it…

———————————————————————————————

TECHNICAL ARTICLE, By Bhargav Mistry, MD, Grafica Flextronica & DMI
Published in Magazine “Modern Packaging & Design” Vol. 6, No. 1 | Jul-Aug 2010
(Copyrights remains with the publisher)

Screen printing process evolved over the years. Today, it offers ample innovation & creativity, thus playing a major role in packaging because of the availability of advanced screen printing machines, UV technology coupled with availability of innovative special effects inks.

Screen printing is a simple yet attractive process. The main reason is that in screen printing, the purpose and the art is to transfer something, almost anything more or less liquid through a screen!

It harnesses the natural phenomena of mechanical movement, flow and the interaction of liquids and solids. In screen printing, it is possible to attain controlled film thickness up to 300 micron. Besides, the printing medium – ink – can be almost any material that can be suspended in a fluid and which has a particle size that is ideally one third of a mesh opening.

Also, the visual impact that screen printing process can create is simply marvelous. The durability of the inks, the vibrancy of the colours, especially considering the harsh outdoor weather conditions for outdoor applications (sunlight, rain, snow, wind, etc) and its vast flexibility, all contribute to its unique capability. Screen printing is possible with any ‘semi-liquid’ product (various inks and dyes) on a number of rigid, semi rigid or soft substrates. Thus, these characteristics make it the most versatile printing process available.

Advantages of screen printing process

* High rub and scratch resistance, which is mainly required in industrial printing

* Vibrant colour

* Due to availability of high quality screen printing inks with better light fast pigments, 3-5 years of outdoor life for any kind of applications can be achieved

* Wide range of substrates of various thickness, size and shapes can be printed easily

* Good ink film and mechanical stability allows to screen print on complicated and rigid substrates.

* Knowledge and process calibration provides high dimensional stability

* Screen printing enables to achieve a degree of flexibility that is unavailable in other printing process

* Flexibility of short runs to large industrial volumes

* Inks are available as per application

* Possible to print on fragile matters

Advanced printing technology

Quality in screen printing seems to have come a long way. Today, with automatic precision machines, it is possible to get a result that years ago would have been a dream.  In the last decade, from a predominantly manual printing process there has been a big shift from manual operations to semi-automatic and NOW fully automatic printing machines. There are more numbers of screen printing machines sold today than it was five to ten years ago  because it not only involves low investment which is a big advantage for those wanting to join the screen printing business, there is also scope for creativity. The screen printing technology today is faster, better and cleaner.

Despite any type of screen printing press can be used (including manual and semi-automatic), the best press for that kind of work remains for me the cylinder press with automatic feeding, for reason quite often combination with offset, of speed, productivity and quality of result. And, for the same above reasons, the UV technology is also the best available one in the present and the future, both for technical and environmental reasons.

UV Curing depends upon the type of UV ink of varnish and of the thickness of the deposit: it is useful to know that in UV systems, a varnish even thick of several mm, will cure easily and instantly. For example, for metallic inks or some other printed chemicals, it have to be tested and set at very different speed and UV light intensity.

Complementary role

Screen-printing is a fantastic technology that is used by many industries with so many old, new and not yet discovered applications – both flat (plastics, cloth, metal, thin to thick papers, sunpack/sunboard, rubber, leather, wood, glass, ceramics, etc) and non-flat substrates, by using appropriate machinery and inks.  Further, this process is also widely used for printing packaging boxes, duplex and sapphire mono cartons, labels and cards, UV effect on packaging materials for cosmetics, toothpaste, jewellery … the list is endless.

Special effects!

In this world of shopping and mall culture, buyers are attracted by the packaging they can see and/or touch. Before that tryst with packaging, they also carry the memories of advertising (both print and electronic), outdoor posters, etc. As they walk into the shop, first they are also confronted with eye catching POPs and POS posters, placards and other marketing gimmicks. Ultimately, the packaging in a shelf carries its look, its power of attraction for the consumers, and eventually the feeling of touch, or we can rightly say, today packaging is all about sensation – look, touch, feel, smell.

So, special effect screen printing is a great way to excite consumers. The range and variety of effect is extensive and it provides the marketer, print buyer and designer with a number of exciting possibilities they may never have thought were viable.  This is because of the latest developments – machines and inks.

The most promising is the use of a wide range of ‘special effects’ thanks to the think tanks in the screen printing industry driven by FESPA, an international association of various national printing associations including India. FESPA spent a lot of resources to make a special book named “SENSATIONS” that shows many of those screen printed special effects.

The packaging can be printed through many techniques: offset, flexography, screen and digital printing or other. However, only screen printing allows to add those “special effects” enhancing the final product due to its versatility. These possibilities, combined with off set, digital, flexo or classical screen graphic, open a huge niche to many screen printers who will be able to offer customers truly enhanced and unique products and images to increase sales.

This is obtained by the addition of some surface effects that will catch one or several senses of consumers: The view or look of packaging which makes a initial difference – it is like first impression is the last impression … but now consumers want to touch by the feel of it and sometimes, why not rub and smell it. Amazing though, several of these effects can be used on the same item (multiple special effects, like we try at DMI institute). It can also replace, often at a lower cost, some other technologies such as hot stamping, doming, silvering under vacuum.

Specialty Inks & Varnish

The print buyers these days want something different from their competitors and are prepared to pay a fair price for that. They will accept a much higher price if the printers bring a very special enhancement of their product packaging image. So, one of the most interesting niches in the graphic screen printing fields is the printing of special effects, using UV special effect inks.

The inks available in the market range from luminescent to tactile, from glitter to mirror. The impact they can add to designs is breathtaking.  Screen printing effect can enhance any marketing campaign and may give it that extra competitive advantage. One may also enhance the effect with ink or an overprinted varnish. Varnishes have become a popular finish on wise labels especially because it gives the graphics a much greater richness of colour.

A gloss varnish over a matte surface is a more subtle approach that inspires curiosity. One sees a shape under the light or notices a smoother feel against a more resistant matte solid area. Similarly, coarse, high luster effects are created with thick coatings of varnishes that have large particle sizes. It is a striking way of printing reversed out images of icons or logos, an ice effect or extremely fine line patterns. A wrinkle effect can be created when a UV varnish is cured under UV-A light.

There are thermo-chromic inks. These are sensitive to temperature change and can be used for time temperature indicator labels. Irreversible ink types, which do not change back to the original colour, indicate if perishable goods have been stored for too long or at to warm a temperature.

Packaging for the blind

For blind people, the “Braille” texts on labels or packaging are printed. Here, a thick varnish screen printed is widely cheaper than micro-embossing through die-cutting or embossing technologies. Embossing is a slow and expensive technique (for the tool itself). It can be easily replaced by screen printing of thick UV varnishes.

Security

The security feature of screen printing is immense. This feature can be used to protect the brand against counterfeiting or tampering. RFID labels are used to provide security and efficient tracking and tracing of products, cases through the supply chain.

I have a customer of mine in Mumbai who is into packaging (with offset and screen printing unit) whose clients are happy that he offers something different every time because of UV special effects which they feel a luxury value addition especially in case of cosmetic, and such luxury product packaging. He strongly feels that UV special effects are not only luxury value addition for customers but a ‘safety net’ as well. Because of the very nature of special effects, it will help the companies in protecting their brands from duplication.

RFIDs

One fantastic application of screen printing is the printing of both antennas and transmitter/receiver in RFIDS : Radio Frequency Identification.  This is beginning to replace at short and medium term the classical barcodes that need to be caught at very short distance. The printing of those items, both on or inside of the packaging itself or on a special label to stick on or in, is ideally suited for screen printing in that sense that it is the best technology to print the conductive silver, carbon or nano-particle inks for the antennas or receptors.

‘Substitute substrates’

Continuous advancements and developments in polymer technology, expertise and cost-effective manufacturing, plastics is replacing traditional materials in many fields (environmental conditions apply!). These include : PVC, Polypropylene, HIPS, Lenticular Films, Polycarbonate etc. Polypropylene Sheets are extensively used for blister packaging, cardboard boxes etc. Polypropylene finds application in Disposable Containers,  Embossing, Gift Box Making out of clear sheets, Freight Packaging, etc. The trend these days is to use a substrate with a low density which also makes it affordable. PVC Sheets and Polypropylene Sheets are the best suited for screen printing. Polypropylene as a material is very eco-friendly and can be easily recycled. It is accepted and widely used all over the world for different applications. It is preferred by screen printers because of its low density and very economical cost. Similarly, PVC for screen printing purpose is a very good option. A good quality PVC sheet makes a good surface for a screen print because it has a pre-coating on it; even if the material gets old the coating is never hampered.

Perfect expertise needed

The main problem is of course the adjustments of registers, knowing, for example, in offset if each sheet printed simultaneously in four or six colours is perfectly registered, it can be some differences from one pallet to another. In case of UV spot effects, the register problem is crucial and requires a perfect control of the different elements of the image.

Some special effects will have to be entirely designed or separated from parts of the original image: this means that either a studio or an individual that created the image and/or yourself are able to prepare the needed proper part of the file: this is of course very important. In PDF, the problem of layers and transparencies can be difficult to solve: it also depends upon the quality of the files received from the customer or its studio.

As those effect will quite often have to be overprinted on inks and/or substrates printed with other technologies (offset, digital printing, flexo, hot-stamping, foils, etc.) a huge care must be taken. For example, even, for a simple high gloss spot varnish above a classical offset print on paper or board, be sure that the offset inks are over-printable: this means that they must not contains any wax, or worth, silicones, or of course that the so classical automatic powdering has been eliminated by the offset printer through a careful automatic brushing.

Patience please

Screen printing is now quicker, cheaper, produces better quality images and offers a number of special applications. But advanced screen printing with high level of automation is not everybody’s cup of tea. Having advanced machines in place is not sufficient to run a profitable screen printing business. There is no profit “from the press of a button” like in digital printing arena. There is no short cut. Because not only does the set-up process take considerably longer than other techniques, but being able to truly master printing high quality images using the screen printing process also takes much longer, because there are a number of variables involved.

Today, there exist different systems designed to help the screen printers to achieve better result. But it revolves around the simple concept or standardisation of the entire screen printing process.

———————————————————————————————

I hope you must have enjoyed reading…

Special regards,

Bhargav

14 point to become successful in printing

August 29, 2010 6 comments

Hi folks,

Received a nice SMS from one of my friend which had a good management lesson so I thought to share with you because most of the time we loose our temper for no reason. But now you got the solution.

A profound and breakthrough thought:
“If U can’t change the ‘Person’
Then
‘Change’ the person..!!

Also few important points to share with all my students because I am noticing this as a regular problem with all the new comers. So kindly read them carefully because these points may help you to be a successful person in life.

1. Take up printing as your profession only if you love it. It’s a grueling life and only one’s passion to become printer can overcome that. Remember that initially you may need to sacrifice quite a bit, especially your personal life.

2. Printing is nothing but fine art according to me. Printers, on other hand, is that much more. It is a way of life. You need to constantly look for new techniques, ideas and innovations.

3. A successful printer always prints for himself and for his satisfaction.

4. You need to maintain and sustain the efforts and results; and this requires years to resolve, dedication and hard work not just in printing but in every profession.

5. Talent does not matter much, yes frankly I believe that talent is overrated concept. You can cultivate your skills. Anyway, talent is not much use without the other ingredients – hard work, keeping oneself focused and staying motivated.

6. There are talented printers, there are hardworking printers, there are smart printer and there are printers who are great in getting access. However, it’s rare to find someone who possesses all these qualities.

7. Concentrate in quality rather getting quantity. Keep patience because that’s the key towards success.

8. Never get tired of failures, keep experimenting and develop new ideas.

9. Competition is healthy:
Once I was waking on a beach early morning all alone. I was assuming my waking speed was very fast unless someone overtook me.

Competition in business or amongst students is the same because it make you realize what you are and where you currently stand, competition alway strives you to deliver your best.

10. Academics are important:
Education helps you understand the basic of social behavior and also teaches how to write and talk, which is very important to launch a new career.

11. Experience is the best teacher
Read a lot. Develop a systematic reading habit in your life. But remember that experience is your best teacher, especially when it come to printing. You need to carve your own space in the organization, which happens only with time.

12. One should alway have some hobby in life. All successful person in life has one.

13. Adopt a GURU
It’s unfortunate that India does not have a history of printing education. To overcome this problem, I recommend you should assist someone. Your GURU will not only guide you and help you develop your skills, but also let you access high-end equipment.

14. If you respect your colleagues, seniors and customers, you will be respected by them.

So, relax and enjoy this beautiful rainy Sunday.

Good news and ideas are on the way so keep in touch.

Bhargav

Screen Printing @2500 to 4000 sq-ft per hour

Hi Folks,

When I came back from FESPA Munich show I had sent an email to Michel that lot of Indian printers think that Digital is taking over Screen business and that’s not true. Now let’s here from our GURU what he has to say about this myth.

———————————————————————————————-

I deny and I cannot follow you totally in your pessimistic approach of the screen printing market : first of all, what is true in Europe and USA, is quite different in Asia, South and Central Americas and India of course, but remember once again : what we see in all our “mostly Visual Communication” Shows, as FESPA, SGIA, etc. “graphic, POP, sign” – represent in the world only 20% of screen printing applications ! 35% are in textile and 45% in industrial such as electronic, glass and ceramic, automotive, containers, etc. = 80% of screen applications quite alive and developing.

But only a few shows concern textile (FESPA Textile included) and almost none, except very specialized segments, concern industrial applications. Those applications are most of time in hand of powerful and secret industrial groups using screen as a part of their manufacturing process. And, as I know as consultant, quite often relatively secret.

These parts of screen extend and develop every day new application (cf. solar cells, RFID or nanotechnologies) but for the above reason, despite we try a lot, FESPA or even SGIA cannot reach directly this segments for their exhibitions. As a result, the visitors – printers or services provided – “SEE” Visual communication – now pretty much digital – and have the feeling that screen is disappearing.

The manufacturers in screen, at the noticeable exception of GRAFICA in India (you know that company?) cannot innovate all the time in graphic technology and ink manufacturers work for both digital and screen (graphic, textile, industrial). This, plus the demand of the market explains that ! But, there are adjacent and often perverse effects:

* The Western countries are widely in over capacities of production for a graphic print market not so extensible and even reducing – crisis oblige – those last two years.

* After a few years and often only months, many purely digital companies, big or small, goes to bankruptcy in Europe and USA.

* As 50% of wide format digital is, from the beginning 1994/95, in the hand of companies of which the core business was or still is screen printing, many of them start to re-use their screen press and often buy new screen equipments, multicolor and big size, because financially more profitable than digital.

* The market of digitally printed items, as it concerns smaller quantities, often customized, needs a ver strong sales force simply because you need several times more staff and more numerous customers, with often the necessity to react very fast with extremely short delivery times.

* If we take DOG (direct on garment), my 45 audits proved me that the “big producers” are totally uninterested in all the companies and countries I audited: too slow – 10 to 20 times slower than screen carrousels or even long tables !

* Here my position is that DOG is a very different market to sale differently to specific and different customers by the net for example.

For the graphic market, my position did not changed since 15 years : I do believe that screen and digital are complementary and help us to offer a more complete service to the customer and end-user. It is up to us to choose the best technique (and most cost effective) to serve the customer needs : he is only interested in the efficiency of images of POP and sign items to sell his products… not in the manner it is produced or printed !

Lot of special loves to all my Indian friends and fans.

Michel Caza

———————————————————————————————-

So to all my industry friends who had asked me this question about Screen vs Digital I hope you must be satisfied to certain extend about the power of screen printing.

To be honest my company Grafica sold screen printing machines to more than 10 hardcore digital printers since 2009 Jan. Why I am specifically mentioning them because they were purely digital printer and started their business from digital machines and have entered into screen printing, think it over WHY they required to go for screen after you feel digital is taking over screen?. In fact here it says that screen is taking over digital…

I also see many customers approaching us for screen printing machines for signage business. That means signage business in India is growing in screen printing due to higher quantity, faster speed, good outdoor life of ink, better durability, lower cost of print and many more other advantages.

Can you imagine with an investment of approx. less than Rs. 75 lakhs (or less than approx. 160,000 USD) in screen printing setup you can print 2500 to 4000 sq. ft. per hour. which presently no digital machines can offer considering with this investment cost.

So be smarter and have a meaningful week.

Bhargav

Convert an ordinary job into extraordinary piece of creativity thru screen printing

August 3, 2010 2 comments
DMI's Creative Folder

DMI's Creative Folder

First the impression what one gets by looking at this folder is innovation. That is how I use special effect techniques by using screen printing process.

This folder is designed and printed jointly by me and my 6th batch of students as their project work. It was printed on laminated foil with 16 special effects UV inks and varnish including process color CMYK screen printing. I used 100 LPI screen to print very fine halftones.

Practically and commercially this may be not economical as a regular job unless some premium customers demand for it and ready to pay the price. But my point was to show how speciality inks can makes a normal product to an extraordinary piece of creativity folder. I am sure there is a market for high end corporates who wants to use it for their conferences etc.

I started first operation using Matt varnish which was to be printed below CMYK flower image.  The reason we printed on Matt Varnish to is give a soft metallic effect which reflects from the foil.

There after I printed CMYK process color UV inks. The image was also over printed with a gloss varnish to give a SPOT UV effect only on the flower.

Then I printed solid black leaving some fonts reverse to give a foil stamping effect. On the solid black and some part of silver foil was printed with 3 different micro embossing effects using only one screen at one time. Also some parts of black was overprinted with transparent ink with rainbow color glitters to get some sparkling effect.

Some portion of black was also overprinted with wrinkle varnish to give a leather like effect. There was also the title of the folder “INNOVATION” was printed with thick varnish using 150 micron stencil on a 24T polyester mesh to give an embossing effect which we always call as ticky in Indian language.

The logo of Grafica and DMI was printed with special metallic orange for giving a vibrant look of the logo.

Since the folder had one side foil laminated so to add dramatic effect on the other side I printed solvent based pearl two tone ink overprinted with light yellow UV ink to add some sort of soft designing which can also be called as water mark.

I am sure its very difficult to get the same effect by offset or any other printing process considering the richness of multiple effects.

The advantage of screen printing process is that you can convert an ordinary product to an extraordinary high value product with the availability of speciality inks and varnish thus you can also produce jobs in small quantities with very high profit margins.

This is an classic example what I produced in making this folder but such effect and design can be implemented in packaging in a very effective and large scale using fully automatic screen printing lines where you can also achieve higher speeds.

DMI's Creative Folder

DMI's Creative Folder

%d bloggers like this: