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Widening Your Expectations for Inkjet Printing

(October 2010) posted on Tue Oct 05, 2010

When it comes to wide-format inkjet printing, printers have delivered some creative artistic, useful, and informative printed projects. Use this article to stimulate your own ideas as to how to approach such a challenge.

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By Gail Flower

The measure of any printer seems to be how practically he can take on most any project. The beautiful artwork, the pressing social calls for action, and compelling P.O.P. advertisements can all be produced on wide-format inkjet. To give some perspective on a wide range of projects, we asked printers to share their latest, most recent award-winning applications. Here’s what we received in response.

Visual Marking Systems, Inc.
Twinsburg, OH

Ron Gizzo, director of R & D
VMS produces pressure-sensitive and four-color-process labels, decals, nameplates, overlays, embossed keypads, static-cling displays, and more. They’re in business to help companies gain a significant edge with innovative markings.

VMS won an Inca Digital Excellence Award (IDEA) this year in the Product Decoration and Specialty Products category. The challenge of their product was to print quality graphics on surfaces that could endure extreme bending. VMS submitted a pair of Horton Crossbow Limbs (Figure 1) and won an award judged on quality, creativity, and delivery.

VMS decorated the crossbow limbs with a licensed camouflage image, which made color matching and pattern repeatability very important. The decorated limbs needed to accept a supplied matte clear coat sprayed in a paint booth. VMS employees completed the print job on an Inca Spyder 320+W, printing first with a white undercoat followed by a four-color process graphic on a limb shaped flat on the front side and slightly curved on the back.

Printing on the crossbow presented a series of challenges for VMS. First, the printer had to select the appropriate print mode and level of cure needed to ensure the ink adhesion required to pass a one-million plus actuation test. Designing a fixture to hold the limbs during printing represented the next challenge, which VMS met by developing a 120-up fixture. The third hurdle was determining how to place the graphical elements and text on the limb. The curved shape on the rear of the limb made it difficult. The final hurdle was loading, unloading, and packaging 120 limbs/bed with efficiency. At the end of the project, VMS eliminated a problem for their long-time customer, Horton, and helped provide the company with an additional competitive advantage.

“Our partnership with Fujifilm and being able to tap their knowledge of ink and UV technology was very helpful to successfully meeting this challenge for our customer,” says Ron Gizzo, director of R&D, VMS.


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