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Large-Format UV-Curable Systems Poised for Takeoff


Advantages of UV-Curable Systems
 
UV-curable inkjet systems encompass the traditional advantages of all digital printing systems but bring additional advantages compared to other digital inkjet systems. The most significant is the instant drying, which occurs in the ink curing or polymerization step. This can occur in 0.2 seconds, is independent of the printing speed, and can yield faster job turnaround. UV inks are also applicable for more media than water-based or solvent-based inks, increasing the range of media that can be used without pretreatment. Untreated media is less expensive than coated media or substrates requiring a conditioning step.

Advantages of UV curing systems include:

  • Instant drying
  • Wider range of substrates
  • Reduced media costs
  • Less use of lamination step
  • Print and color quality consistency on different media
  • No VOC emissions
  • Higher system reliability

In addition, the durability of the polymerized ink often eliminates the need for a lamination step to protect the surface, and it is generally accepted that the outdoor durability for the cured prints can be 2 to 3 years. Because the inks stay on the media surface and generally do not absorb into the media, print and color quality is more consistent from media to media and results in less set-up time.

The Future for UV-Curable Inkjet Printing Systems

The future of UV-Curable inkjet printers is extraordinary. CAP Ventures’ research indicates the large format UV-curable inkjet printer market will likely grow from just a few hundred units shipped in 2002 to over 1,400 units in 2007, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56%. Recently introduced and soon-to-be introduced mid-volume units at lower price points will help propel the UV-curable inkjet hardware market into fantastic growth rates over the next few years.

Figure 1: UV-Curable Inkjet Printer Shipments & Populations

The largest applications for large-format graphics printing continue to be retail or point of purchase (POP), and tradeshow graphics. Other applications that are expanding through use of these systems include outdoor graphics, rigid signage, packaging, white goods, corrugated and rigid packaging, wall murals, exhibition panels, banners, bus wraps, truck graphics, stage graphics, and customized wallpaper.

The preceding is an excerpt from CAP Ventures’ whitepaper entitled Large-Format UV-Curable Systems Poised for Takeoff. The complete document is available immediately. To learn more about the forecast or to make a purchase, please contact Allison Jones at , ext. 208 or .
 

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