Awards & Engraving

July '19

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36 a-e-mag.com • A&E JULY 2019 W ith ever-tightening competi- tion in today's market, diver- sification can go a long way in standing out among the crowd, especially in the graphics market. Customers increas- ingly want one-stop shopping and more personalization, and many awards and engraving shops already have the graphics skills to provide an expanded product line from the typical offerings. But how do you expand your business line and capabilities without investing in too much equipment and losing valuable shop space? That's where UV-LED printing can help. WHY UV-LED PRINTING? Essentially, UV-LED printing is designed on the same premise as your standard inkjet printer, says Rachel Tindal, art director of LogoJET. You design your imprint in graphics software, place your printable item on the adjustable flatbed, and press print. Once the ink hits the sub- strate, the LED light on the print head instantly cures the ink, so you're left with a print that requires no drying time. With no drying time, the printing pro- cess is more efficient, and it protects the material from deforming, says Keira Lee, marketing manager of GCC. UV-LED printing is compatible with a variety of sub- strates, including vinyl, acrylic, wood, and metal, and it can print onto 3-D shapes, such as picture frames and water bottles. Not only is the print immediately ready to go, but the resulting finish is also in full- color and can be combined with other tech- nologies to create custom products, says Don Copeland, product manager of UV printing for ColDesi. For instance, laser engraving is often used to complement UV-LED printed products. An awards shop can shape a piece of acrylic into that of a football, add the laces using the laser engraver, and then print color onto the acrylic. EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS WITH UV-LED PRINTING By Amanda McGrory-Dixon Amanda McGrory-Dixon is a Denver-based freelance writer. She can be contacted at amandakmcgrory@gmail.com. With UV-LED printing, you can create textured effects for a more high-end finish. IMAGES COURTESY GCC

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