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Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

Screen printing helps ensure that customers hold on to products once they select them from the shelves.

October 2007 by Chris Mc Loone
In today’s competitive marketplace, brand owners are looking for an edge—any edge that will catch a consumer’s eye or provide them with a certain tactile feel as a consumer selects a package from a shelf. Last month, packagePRINTING explored foil decorating as one effect brand owners employ to attract consumers. While a viable way to enhance the eye appeal of the package, there are other effects package printers can employ to ensure that once a customer’s eye is turned toward a product, he or she will hold on to the product once they select it from the shelf.

Screen printing offers package printers an economical, efficient process, the results of which cannot be duplicated using any other process, according to Rich Wayne, system design engineer with Gallus, Inc. “The screen effect brings an extra dimension of feel to an already high-quality package,” adds Terry Trexler, North American Screeny product manager, also with Gallus, Inc.

The bottom line is that anywhere heavy lay down of ink is required, screen printing will be the process of choice because of its ability to provide the tactile feel brand owners are beginning to demand more, and its ability to provide high opacity.

Emerging applications

Potential uses for screen printing abound today. Jeff Feltz, production manager, Mark Andy, notes one emerging application is screen printing of conductive inks, which he expects will open up new market opportunities for converters. He adds, “Electro illuminesence, thermal color shifting, and Braille are three effects that are effectively printed using screen technology.” Instances where inks must become “functional” are also suitable for screen.

“[One new application is] electronics and industrial printing applications where the heavy screen ink deposits are required for the inks to function. We see applications like RFID antennae and circuits for solar panels, that can be printed using rotary screen,” according to John Costenoble, sales manager, graphic print systems, Stork Prints America, Inc.

One example of a specific effect afforded by screen printing, explains Denny McGee, president of MPS America, LLC, is glow-in-the-dark properties for shrink sleeve labels. He also lists Braille as a potential application. Screen’s “ability to deliver sufficient Braille qualities allows for overprinting of Braille using a clear varnish, which allows copy under the Braille to be readable,” he says.
 

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FROM THE BOOKSTORE

Diversity, flexibility, quality, uniqueness. These are but a few of the terms that define screen printing’s role in the graphic communications industry. Samuel Ingram applies his years of experience in this book to offer insight into the industry, the process, and the components that combine to highlight screen printing as a manufacturing process responsive to consumer needs. The book is written for the general reader who would like to understand the current technology, processes, and terminology associated with screen printing. Screen Printing Primer

Diversity, flexibility, quality, uniqueness. These are but a few of the terms that define screen printing’s role in the graphic communications industry. Samuel Ingram applies his years of experience in this book to offer insight into the industry, the process, and the components that combine to highlight screen printing as...

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