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The Wonderful World of UV Special Effects

(February 2012) posted on Tue Mar 20, 2012

Find out how you can use the latest generation of UV-curable inks and coatings to add value to signs, graphics, packaging, and other screen-printed applications.

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By Mike Young

Shifting business core to
multiprocess operations
Screen-printed special effects provoke a significant response from market-hungry promoters for new ideas by exploring creative and innovative solutions that add value. Many offset and digital companies are now embracing the screen process because they felt it was the missing link to expand their business and bottom line. One offset company with 12 presses said the move into screen was bold because they considered it a backward step! Their expectations have since been superseded in less than a year by an average of 100,000 sheets weekly—a runaway success as the appetite for creative finishing soars.
Industry’s inclination is beginning to shift from a single-process to multiprocess approach as print buyers’ needs are becoming more passionate in today’s highly competitive environment. It has been estimated that 35% offset printers require some form of special effects that they are unable to perform in house. Printing companies not into the special-effects-finishing market risk leaving money on the table.
While difficult to determine in present-day screen printing, consumables suppliers generally agree that offset/digital printers are supplementing their in-house capabilities with screen printing at the annual rate of 5%, which is expected to grow some 15% in the immediate future. Even though the practice of special effects is still much in its infancy, one training school enrolls some 60 participants monthly just to learn the art of it.
An exceptionally high level of interest also exists in exploring features that could enhance many industrial applications too, making an array of products stand out with greater prominence. Special-effects screen printing can potentially replace foil stamping, doming, silvering and micro-embossing—effects that, in many instances, are costly and very slow in-house processes. While illusionary 3D labels are attention-grabbing, taking the feature to another dimension with hypnotic, 4D dome labels reflects stunning imagination of space, haptic-friendly motion, and depth under any printed domed logo/label.


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