June '20

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1 4 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M W hether it's a small mom-and-pop operation or a high-volume contract business, shops can beef up their production and offerings by bringing on new technology and services. For businesses that serve markets such as apparel decoration and signage, hybrid printing is a method shops can opt in on to diversify what they provide custom- ers and streamline some of their production workflow. In the following article, we take a minute to chat with some industry professionals on how this process is defined depending on the equipment, approach, and output. BREAKING IT DOWN At the core, hybrid printing generally en- compasses the combination of two printing processes. From there, the terminology can differ. Mark Rugen, Mutoh, points out that in the wide-format world, hybrid printing allows for both flexible and rigid media. "That means that the wide-format printer must have a take-up as well as a removable table for handling both flexible and rigid media," Rugen elaborates. "In addition, be- cause the printer will print on rigid media, it must also have sufficient print head clear- ance for common media thicknesses." Oftentimes ink used in the printing pro- cess is UV-curable, but Rugen says other multipurpose inks can be used, for exam- ple, Mutoh's MP31. Multipurpose inks for the wide-format and UV categories typical- ly adhere to a wide set of substrates like cor- rugated plastic, PVC, banners, and papers, MERGING TECHNOLOGIES EXPANDING INTO HYBRID PRINTING B Y M I K E C L A R K Top: The vibrant, colorful offerings with hybrid printing make it a great fit for retail signage designed at catching shoppers' attention. (Image courtesy Roland DGA) Above: Before considering a purchase, shops should consult the hybrid printer manufacturer on whether the machine will fit the production area's size and existing workflow set- up. (Image courtesy The M&R Companies)

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