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Glass Action: Growth in the Glass Printing Sector

(June/July 2018) posted on Tue Aug 21, 2018

Major developments are underway to capitalize on growth opportunities in glass printing – part of the wider functional and industrial print movement.

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By Dr. Sean Smyth

By 2022, glass printing is forecasted to reach a market value of around $1.3 billion and have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of seven percent from 2017-2022. Screen printing is widely used to print onto flat and hollow glass. Glass producer Pilkington sells screen-printed glass for use in partitions, roof glazing, and external walls, while there are many specialist decorators who print glass they source. Screen printing can lay down heavy deposits of colored inks and specialist coatings that provide dramatic decorative effects or simpler designs for privacy or solar control.

Glass is also the substrate used for many electronic devices, including displays, touch panels, and photovoltaic applications. The printing requirements for these glass products vary significantly, from architectural to automotive to domestic appliances, creating new equipment and process solutions. The majority of these technical glass products require multipass printing with high demands on the registration of the different ink layers, as well as a scratch-free transport during the printing process and very tight tolerances of the printed layer thickness, especially for large areas of functional printing layers.


Latest Glass Print Developments
In recent years, there have been many developments in systems and technology to advance the application of printing on glass. Earlier in 2018, the Spanish company Tecglass (part of the Fenzi Group) launched a line of multifunctional machines for digital printing on large sheets of glass, which are designed to deliver both single-pass and multipass print speeds with high resolution and multicolor print quality.


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