According to Rob Goleniowski, Business Manager of Sign & Graphics at Roland DG, as sign makers utilise a number of new substrates, manufacturers have been charged with the challenge of developing inks to adapt to these new materials whilst still performing to a high standard.
In addition to the way the inks work on their own, sign makers are also taking into consideration how they work in synergy with the hardware that’s being used for printing. “People are also more concerned with how much it’s costing them to do the job, and taking value for money into consideration,” explains Rob. “Everyone is trying to make sure they’re getting the best return on investment, and this can be done by ensuring inks are being used as sparingly as possible whilst still providing a high quality finish.”
The number of companies offering vehicle wrapping has increased throughout the industry, with the course on it offered at Roland DG constantly booking up in advance. Attendees can learn to wrap vehicles using the Roland Eco-Sol MAX and Eco-Sol MAX 2 inks that have proved to be perfect for this sort of application. “Our eco-solvent inks have got very good elongation and stretch properties; we can stretch them quite a long way without losing any colour density and without them starting to break up,” says Rob.
In addition to wrapping vehicles, sign makers are exploring other sectors of the market that present additional revenue streams, with many companies needing to print on shrink-wrap films or plastic bottle labels. Again, the flexibility of eco-solvent Roland DG inks can provide a high-quality finish on these sorts of materials, allowing sign makers to tap into new business opportunities without having to invest in new hardware or technology.
Broadening business horizons
An increasingly competitive market is seeing businesses of all sizes looking to diversify their services and products offered, which in turn has created the need for more intelligent ink. Traditional 4-colour jobs are still in demand, but Rob has noted the interest in specialty products such as white and metallic inks that can be utilised for a range of applications. “These specialty inks can be used in things like vehicle wrapping, and can open doors to new revenue streams and ultimately make businesses more competitive. It allows a sign maker to appeal to a wider audience – for example, they can start to target packaging or POS clients,” explains Rob. “These sorts of products offer sign makers something more, which in turn enables them to offer their clients more and outsource less.”
The new colours on the market can also be used to create traditional designs with black and white colours. The ECO-Sol MAX 2 line features a light black that can be used in black and white signage print jobs. Although this is currently possible with a CMYK machine, there is a risk of grey colours printing with a faded magenta or brownish tinge, whereas the light black provides a more stable, vivid grey with a high quality output in comparison.
Whether it’s through creating all-new inks or improving existing colours, Roland DG is committed to bringing new options to the market in 2014.
For more information visit www.rolanddg.co.uk