It is hard to believe that we are about to embark on a new decade in the durable graphics business.  This decade has seen amazing growth in the penetration of digital methods of production into all areas of our business.

In 2009 many of our Garment decorators were exclusively using screen printing to decorate, now  most have at least dipped their toe into digital direct-to-garment methods. A decade ago many of our point of purchase partners were using screen printing and analog die-cutting for volume decoration, now many are using all-digital decoration with digital finishing.

Traditional commercial sign accounts were sticking a lot of vinyl on boards as recently as five years ago. Today many of those accounts a digitally UV printing those rigid substrates.

Our electrical sign manufacturers used to go through thousands of fluorescent lamps for sign illumination as recently as 2015 – today those same companies are taking advantage of LEDs to light more with less energy, less pollution, and far fewer failures in the field.

One common theme to all of this is the ability to provide clients with a more customized experience; whether it be variable data printing, more affordable and smarter LED message centers, or efficient name-drops on garments, the ability to meet customer requirements has never been easier or more exciting.

Below are some products and technologies from the past year that have gotten my attention, and a number of them have a direct tie-in to the changes in technology we have all been experiencing.  Happy Holidays one and all.

Digital

Roland VG2

Roland VG2

No doubt, this was the talk of the digital printing industry this year. The VG2 turned up the dial on efficiency and performance! The Roland TrueVIS VG2 offers new ink and color modes for detailed color reproduction, smart new automatic pinch rollers, 3M MCS Warranty and Avery Dennison ICS Guarantee, and other features to maximize quality and productivity.

Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX

Mimaki JFX200

The Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX is a speed demon in the shop. New features include a draft mode that enables a maximum print speed of up to 12 boards per hour and three staggered printheads that allow for simultaneous white/clear and color printing without sacrificing speed. This model offers faster mechanical motors and a vacuum foot pedal, giving the user the ability to load or unload various substrates quicker and more effectivity.

MultiCam Celero

Celero 5 Series

MultiCam’s Celero Series combines both powerful routing and high-speed knife cutting capabilities in a Digital Cutting system. With knife cutting speeds up to 4,400 Inches per Minute (IPM) and the MultiVision Digital Registration System, the Celero Series of cutters/routers provides end-users unprecedented performance and the high-quality cutting capabilities demanded into today’s fast-paced industry.

Sign

Avery Dennison HP750

 

This is a great calendered cut vinyl film with 7-year durability. It cuts like butter and is the easiest-to-weed vinyl on the market. Use HP750 for flat and simple curve applications.

 Swann-Morton Craft Blades

These British-made surgical steel blades are sharper and more durable than their competition. The retractable handled Retractaway also features true surgical steel blades for ultimate cutting performance.

Acrylite LED Enhanced

The Acrylite LED Enhanced diffuses light super well, allowing for shallow backspacing without LED hotspots.

Textile

Zodiac Aquarius

Take your screen printing to the next level with the new Zodiac Aquarius line of water based inks. This simple system uses the same pigments for a variety of bases (soft, discharge, high solids, and high mesh), keeping your inventory low. Specialty inks mean you will always be able to create what your customer requests. No PVC and no restricted substances mean the garment is safe for the environment and the people wearing it. Your customers are going to love the soft hand of the print, and you are going to love how easy this next-generation water based ink is to work with!

Wilflex Top Score Low Cure

It's a screen printing fact! Low bleed, low cure inks make printing on the toughest garments so much easier.

 

2019 brought us some great products. For more information on products, visit our site or contact your local Midwest Representative.

 

To see the difference a year can make, check out the Top Digital, Sign, and Textile Products of 2018.