Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 20

Printing onto spheres, cylinders, and uneven surfaces is a challenge
inkjet developers have happily embraced, offering direct print
alternatives in applications where pad printing or labels would have
been used in the past. Courtesy of Roland DGA.

value to their brands and increase the "user experience." What
arguably started with Coca Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign
has exploded into personalized Nutella jars, Heinz soups, My
Heineken bottles, and even customized dog food with Purina's
Just Right range - and there are many, many more examples.
The benefits and drivers for using digital printing technologies are well-known, including cost-effective short
runs; just-in-time production; design freedom; no screens,
clich├ęs, pads, or time-consuming setup costs; and variabledata capability offering the potential for every product to be
different. Then there are the particular advantages that inkjet
technology brings as a noncontact technology that can print
onto different product shapes - not only flat objects, but also
tubes, conical shapes, and even tubs. Inkjet can also print
onto structured surfaces, creating unusual visual and haptic
effects, enabling decoration in areas not possible with labels.
In short, inkjet can potentially operate in the same space
as screen, dry offset, and pad printing - and yet offer the
additional high-value benefits of a digital print technology.
Inkjet product decoration is not a new phenomenon. As
mentioned, small flatbed inkjet systems have been on the
market for many years, successfully decorating promotional
items such as lighters, mobile phone cases, and USB sticks.
But recently, we've seen several new vendors enter the
market, offering both small- and medium-sized systems that
are more advanced both in productivity and capability. Some
of these units can print bigger items than before; however,
most significantly, we're seeing that many systems are now
capable of printing onto curved objects - tubes, cylinders,
and bottles - opening up new opportunities in product
customization and personalization at a low entry cost.
Although most inkjet printers designed for product
decoration cannot compete with the productivity and costeffectiveness of screen and pad printing, the latest generation
of production inkjet systems go beyond the short-run argument for adopting digital. Today, some of these systems can
print 15,000 bottles per hour and have the capability to reach
up to 36,000 bottles.
Interestingly, a couple of surprising names have entered
the market. One was Xerox, which drew crowds at drupa
last year printing personalized bottles on its Direct to Object
(DTO) printer. Heidelberg drew similar crowds at InPrint
2015 in Munich with the launch of its Omnifire 250, printing
onto footballs for show attendees. Heidelberg showed the
unit in the US for the first time at the InPrint 2017 show in
Orlando; last year at InPrint in Milan, the company unveiled a
larger, full-color version, the Omnifire 1000.
Whether large or small, printers and converters now have
many options when considering whether inkjet technology
fits into their product decoration services.
20

SCREENPRINTING



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - June/July 2017

Table Of Contents
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - Cover1
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - Cover2
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 1
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - Table Of Contents
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 3
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 4
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 5
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 6
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 7
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 8
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 9
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 10
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 11
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 12
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 13
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 14
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 15
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 16
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 17
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 18
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 19
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 20
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 21
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 22
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 23
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 24
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 25
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 26
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 27
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 28
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 29
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 30
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 31
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 32
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 33
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 34
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 35
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - 36
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - Cover3
Screen Printing - June/July 2017 - Cover4
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