Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 with other technologies to create custom products, says Don Copeland, product manager of UV printing for ColDesi, a Tampa, Florida-based printer manu- facturer. 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 and etch the laces using the laser engraver and then print color onto the acrylic. "Laser engravers are the most com- mon piece of equipment for almost every awards and recognition shop these days," Copeland believes. "With UV printing, you can take that blasé rectangular shape of acrylic and turn it into a customized award that's more valu- able to your customers." Along with UV-LED printing's full-color and custom capabilities, its versatility is also a major benefit to awards and engraving shops and allows for greater diversification, says Michael Perrelli, marketing manager of Direct Color Systems, a manufacturer and distributor of small- format, direct-to-substrate printers. While a UV-LED printer can certainly create most awards and engraving shops' typical product lines, it can also produce signage, all sorts of promotional prod- ucts, and even T-shirts. These products may be outside of your current offerings, and sometimes getting out of your com- fort zone is scary for a business. But for those shops willing to incorporate new markets into their offerings, it could open up more opportunities. "Some shops may be hesitant because they think, 'That's not us,' but business evolves," Perrelli points out. "You don't have to turn your back on your awards business to chase signage or promo prod- ucts, but know that people who are buy- ing awards are also buying those other things as well. Make sure your customers buy those products from you." How To Get Started Generally, everything you need to get started comes with your initial UV-LED purchase, including the ink and software, UV-LED Printing Adding UV-LED-printed signage to your offerings is a profitable way to diversify business. (Photo courtesy ColDesi) 16 UV-LED printing works with a variety of substrates, including vinyl, acrylic, wood and metal. (Photo courtesy GCC) UV-LED printing isn't just for flat surfaces. 3-D objects, such as tumblers, are also compatible. (Photo courtesy LogoJET) Incorporating UV-LED printing into your capabilities allows you to offer full-color awards and customized shapes. (Photo courtesy ColDesi)

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