With the Consumer Electronics Show winding down all eyes are on 3D printing. It’s easy to see there is so much possibility. We can see where the market is headed. But what about UV printing? While the industry is stronger than ever in terms of growth and new technology, it gets no love from the public. Well for the printer geek in all of us, I’m here to give you some insight into the 2020 UV printing industry.
Expect to see new technology. Yes, of course, we see new innovations appear every year, this year is no different. From specialty machines that print exclusively on packaging, drinkware, or 3D products to new advances in print head technology. New print-heads mean higher resolution prints at much faster speeds.
New technology could mean new print styles such as mirror printing or contour printing to give a raised feel to the ink. Other technology could open new industries to UV printer technology such as printers for apparel.
New inks. The industry is looking for an eco-friendlier solution to printing. When it comes down to it, the UV inks are what drive the eco-friendly revolution. Expect to see better compliant inks free of certain chemicals that may be better for the operator and the environment.
In addition, expect to see inks for specialty applications. There will be inks for edible applications, flexible applications, and apparel applications. All are somewhat unique to the printing industry.
Expect to print bigger! I’m not talking about wide-format printers, I’m talking about large 3D objects such as a guitar, cooler, car door, etc… Larger UV printers have been sprouting up that can now print on larger three-dimensional items. Expect to see this trend continue in 2020.
Personalization is key. Research shows that the consumer is willing to spend more if the product has a sense of personalization. What kind of personalization? Anything from their name, photos, custom graphics, you name it! UV printing is the only real cost-effective solution to meet this demand.
Small run-production is important to a lot of manufacturers. They want the flexibility to hit certain trends in the market or to offer less than 100,000 pieces per run. UV printing again offers the best flexibility in short or long-run production.
What’s going to be this year’s fidget spinner or pop-socket? No one knows for sure, but here are some new items that are bound to be extremely popular:
The need to reduce plastic waste is high right now. Everyone is conscious of the environment and no one wants to contribute to more waste. Re-usable straws come in silicone, metal, paper, and even bamboo. Each item is highly customizable and an excellent promotional item because it will be reused.
With the same reasoning behind reusable straws, everyone is environmentally conscious. A lot of local regulations have popped up to ban plastic bags, thus the rise in need for re-usable bags. If someone could offer a personalized solution for bags or even better graphics than those standard bags, they would be well ahead in this new market.
These never go out in style because they are useful and cost-effective. Keep printing them!
Inkjet printing on apparel is a technology that could grow to massive popularity among print shops. The design and set-up are easy, the quality is great, and it’s fast! This would, of course, compete with the older heat transfer or screen-printing technology. UV printing on apparel is the future of apparel decoration.
There are so many styles of drinkware available, it has become somewhat of a fashion statement. Switching to a re-usable piece of drinkware is better for the environment and something you can take with you wherever you go. UV Printing allows for smaller-runs, more customization, better quality, and no need to outsource.
That’s right, cans! With the staggering amount of craft breweries popping up all over, canning has grown into a large industry. UV printing directly onto cans allows for higher quality labels and more customization. Check out this high-speed digital cylinder printer for cans.
A relatively new market for the UV printer industry, Candles and candle holders are perfect for UV printing. Some of the bigger names in the candle market have already begun offering customized options for labeling and this is slated to grow even more this year. Again, the quality is much better than an adhesive label and manufacturers can offer smaller-runs to better target holidays and events. See how inkjet printing on candles is possible.
The UV printing industry is stronger than ever. With the growth in technology comes new markets to penetrate. Keep in mind an eco-conscious end-user for your products and you will surely meet any upcoming trends in applications coming this year. We wish you the best of luck and a very prosperous 2020! Please contact us if you have any questions regarding UV printing.