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Print Tech: A Color-Changing GripGuide

(October/November 2016) posted on Tue Nov 01, 2016

Industrial printer teams with pro golf family to develop heat-activated training guide.

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By Steve Duccilli

It began, as frustrating experiences often do, on a driving range. Karen Beck couldn’t understand what her husband, Chip, a touring pro and four-time winner on the PGA Tour, was asking her to do when she gripped the golf club. Realizing that she couldn’t have him place her hands in the correct position before every shot, she told him she needed a visual aid that would show her when she had done it correctly on her own.

Then she thought about the Coors Light bottles that change colors when the beer reaches the recommended temperature for drinking, and wondered if a similar technology could be used to develop a teaching aid for properly gripping a golf club. The Becks read about the chromatic inks used in the Coors bottles and their research eventually led them to LCR Hallcrest in Glenview, Illinois, a longtime specialist in color-change printing.

The origins of the company go back to proprietary liquid crystal and microencapsulation technologies developed 40 years ago, explains National Sales Manager Scott Szafraniec. “We became a screen printer and converter of finished color-change labels and components because nobody else really wanted to do it in the late 1970s.” The Becks’ idea was an unusual order for the company, which operates a second US facility in Tampa and two others in the UK. Though LCR Hallcrest has been involved in a number of consumer products over the years, including the novelty mood rings of the 1970s, its primary markets are medical thermometry and other industrial labels that measure environmental changes.


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