Awards & Engraving

May '19

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UV printing on glass is a complete busi- ness by itself and if done correctly, this opportunity can add a few zeros to the positive side of your yearly sales. If you are one of those shops that has had your UV printer for a few years, you've most likely learned about the many awesome applica- tions to print on glass for awards, home décor, industrial glass, stained glass, wed- ding applications, wine bottles, drinking glasses, and more. If you are not currently UV printing on glass, I recommend doing a few test products to see how your customer base responds. UV-printed glass products have a higher quality feel that is hard to achieve with acrylic or cut vinyl applied to glass substrates. If you take the time to learn about UV printing on glass, you might end up needing another UV printer to handle all of the opportunities. Since UV printing is exploding in the awards and personalization industry for items beyond glass, I suggest getting good at it because it's here to stay. WHERE TO START Where to start when printing on glass? Test, test, test. Before you purchase a UV printer, do your homework on what products you want to produce (this applies to more than just glass substrates) then test your prod- ucts on the correct machine with the correct ink set. Most UV platforms offer a few ink types that all fit different applications. (See the article in the January 2019 issue, page 8.) Talk with your dealer and share your application requirements then get your prod- ucts tested. Make sure your sales rep or dealer has test equipment in their facility to test your products on. For example, PDS Equipment offers free testing to ensure you are happy and productive on installation and training day. Glass printing is a great fit for UV. It can be used for awards, plaques, interior deco- ration, glass signs, industrial applications, Christmas ornaments, drinkware, photo gifts, and a variety of other applications. Let's go over a few great application fits and a few not-so-good application fits. • Great fit: glass awards, Christmas ornaments, photo gifts, vases, wine bottles, custom liquor bottles, candle holders, glass cabinets, wedding glasses, non-commercial drinkware, backlite, stained glass, ornamental glass, cubical glass dividers, restaurant décor, glass etch look, glass tabletops • Not a great fit: commercial drinkware, high-volume beverages holders such as beer bottles, outdoor glass 8 • A&E MAY 2019 UV PRINTING ON GLASS Steve Weist is the CEO at PDS Equipment. Steve started as a service technician installing Heidelberg and Komori offset presses. He has brought that level of preci- sion into the UV inkjet world. Steve now focuses his efforts in the flatbed UV market because he feels it is unlimited and is the future of print and decoration. He can be reached at 615-812-3001 or Tips, tricks, and why you should do it By Steve Weist A few great glass applications for UV printing include photo gifts, vases, candle holders, and stained glass. IMAGE COURTESY STEVE WEIST

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