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Will digital flatbed UV make screenprinting obsolete?

Posted on Tue, 20 Feb 2007 at 10:05



As technology improves is it possible that digital flatbed UV printers will become a more cost effective way to print rigid signs?
I read that the Vutek 3200 can print 900 sf ft per hour - full color. They'll only get faster.
Basically, I'd been considering adding a screenprinting operation to my sign business but now I'm not sure the long term prospects are good. Can those "in the know" shed some light on this subject for me?

Thanks!

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Comments

Andymac says: there was a very good article in the latest Screenprinting mag about a display house in Philly that had gone totally digital, but ended up starting a screen line. How Filmet grew from photos to Wide ...

there was a very good article in the latest Screenprinting mag about a display house in Philly that had gone totally digital, but ended up starting a screen line.

How Filmet grew from photos to Wide format Graphics by Ben Rosenfield Feb 07

Why?
cheaper on single colour/spot colour jobs
sharper type/prints
more versatile/wider variety of stocks

my opinion?

'works well with others'
-there is no universal print process. Screenprinting can fill certain gaps, and I don't care how fast a digital printer is, screenprinting is still faster on certain jobs.
You need to look at your market.
do you do banners or signs that are spot colour or matched colour graphics? say realestate or political. A squeege will get you there faster and cheaper.
do you need to print jobs that will last? Most screenprinting is weather and fade resistant without specialized coating.
Do you need sharp? digital printing has introduced a whole new level of acceptible fuzzy edges that make typical screen sawtooth look razor sharp by comparison.
do you get asked to print different materials? Screenprinting offers versatility and sticks to a wide range of materials just by changing inks.

Remember, not all graphics are full colour. when they're not, digital becomes over kill. how much, you need to decide.

posted on: Thu, 02/22/2007 - 6:29am
John Wallace says: Here in my shop we do digital and screen printing. We can print 300 plus sq ft per hour digital but I would hate to have to try to replace our screen printing with it. You must think of each as a tool ...

Here in my shop we do digital and screen printing. We can print 300 plus sq ft per hour digital but I would hate to have to try to replace our screen printing with it. You must think of each as a tool to get the job done. I used to hand letter signs in the old days but when we needed a large number of the same thing we would hand cut a screen and print them. Some digital printers are getting good but speed is still against them for long runs and probably will be during my life time.

posted on: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 5:17pm
Hex Screen says: I think UV Flat bed is very economical for the small to medium runs. Especially for full colour. I know a signwriter that has one, he said it would take him nearly three weeks to print 5000 full colour ...

I think UV Flat bed is very economical for the small to medium runs. Especially for full colour.
I know a signwriter that has one, he said it would take him nearly three weeks to print 5000 full colour signs 600 x 450mm 4up, I could do that in one week on a semi auto printing them 1 up.

My only only concern is that it seems that speed at this stage is over riding quality. the signs that I have seen done by a flat bed UV appear to have quite wide banding marks, and also the resolution would not lend itself to the close up viewing of Display printing.

Actually In my area a lot of places are going digital sign and screen places, But they all ring me for the large quantities.

I would definitely consider one as the resolution gets better.

posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 4:32pm

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