Sign News

Multipanel - The proof is in the print - and the durability

The commercialisation of the flatbed digital printer has brought with it the opportunity to print on practically any substrate. However, this does not guarantee a long-term performance as the digital print inks will not key to every substrate the same. When printing on the principal sign substrates such as aluminium composite, digital printers require a material that will not simply print but will produce vibrant and long-lasting images with far less fading, especially when subject to the vagaries of the UK weather. Alupanel-Digital-small

Alupanel® Digital is a new aluminum composite panel that delivers on both fronts according to manufacturer Multipanel and supplier, Perspex Distribution.

Alupanel® Digital is the product of 12 months development with a special coating for vastly improved ink adhesion. Developed in tandem with Alupanel® Digital Plus, which has the ability to be formed post-print, without detriment to the printed colour or image, the Alupanel® Digital range clearly demonstrates tremendous durability. With a majority of aluminum composite panels going to outdoor applications, "durability was the key driver in developing this product" according to Multipanel's UK Managing Director, Andrew Cock.

With a completely flat, white surface, the Alupanel® Digital sheet also provides the ideal base for direct digital printing. That said the print performance of any substrate can be further enhanced through the process of profiling. Recognising this, material supplier to the print sector, Perspex Distribution have decided to offer the Alupanel® sheet to their customers with a free of charge, bespoke ICC profile.

Gary Henton, Product Development Manager at Perspex Distribution explained that the company has always been about colour. "Colour and quality are synonymous with the Perspex® name and helping our customers to achieve high definition, high visibility print with accurate colour just seems like a natural extension to what we do."

Detailing the profiling process, Henton explained that "initially, we have our customer print a colour chart with known amounts of CMYK. The colour patches printed are then measured using a spectrophotometer, an instrument that measures colour in almost exactly the same way as the human eye interprets it. The results achieved from the printer-ink-Alupanel® combination are then recorded, including the density, colour and fluorescence of the ink. Working from these measurements and adjusting the settings towards a known reference or input profile, a CMYK reference library is established. This is the ICC output profile that we supply to the printer on a USB which can be easily uploaded to the printer’s RIP."

The profiled Alupanel® sheet then has the added benefit of reducing or even eliminating the need for time consuming and expensive make-ready's with accurate and repeatable colour achieved from the first print to the last. This ensures that the Alupanel® Digital sheet not only works in helping to achieve vibrant, longer-lasting images but also works just as well to increase the efficiency of the printer.

For further information visit www.perspexdistribution.com or www.multipaneluk.com

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