How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
SP: How has the relative importance of screen printing versus digital printing for P-O-P work in your business changed over the past five years? What percentage of your P-O-P work today is printed digitally?
I see screen printing and digital printing as complementary rather than competitive with one another. We no longer think of ourselves as screen printers. We think of ourselves as manufacturers of signs and displays for our customers. The end user cares little about the method of production used, as long as the final product meets their requirements for quality, price, and delivery.
Currently, our production mix is 86% screen printing, 10% digital, and the remaining 4% is brokered to litho, flexo, and Indigo printers. We found that adding digital printing technology increased demand for our screen printing as we became able to supply a greater share of our customers needs overall. As printing technology evolves, we will evolve along with it to best serve our customers’ needs.
We are seeing less need for screen, more for digital. Again, I think the bigger runs are becoming less frequent, even on national roll-outs, where they are customizing for a region of the country or particular area. It is lending itself to getting more into digital printing. The speed in which people need it faster to market is driving digital printing more than screen printing. A total of 65% of our work is digitally printed versus screen printing.
Less than 25% of our work is printed digitally versus by screen printing.
Over the last five years with the technology of digital, the digital equipment is becoming much faster, allowing us to skip past processes and produce faster. Today, we carry all three mediums of print: screen, litho, and digital. With our digital capabilities today, we utilize this process about 20%.
The changing technologies have not made one process more important than the next. In fact, the digital revolution has motivated us to perfect the screen process. We print a finer line with greater color and contrast today than ever before. For Coyle, screen printing remains our core competency; however, digital technology has been embraced as well to address the changing requirements of the market. Presently, screen printing represents 90% of our volume.
SP: What types of P-O-P jobs are more likely to be digitally printed than screen printed?
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