Wide, Wide World
Wide-format inkjet opens up the doors to opportunity.July 2009 by Tom Polischuk
Fairly recently, a number of package printers have turned to wide-format inkjet printing as a way to add more value for their customers. One such company is Wilmington, Mass.-based Screenprint/Dow (www.screenprintdow.com).
Screenprint/Dow is a 40-year-old company founded by CEO Walter Dow in 1969. It manufactures product identification products, graphic overlays, and membrane switch technology using a variety of printing technologies, including sheetfed screen and UV offset.
According to Dow, Screenprint/Dow expanded into wide-format inkjet printing in 2006 to provide increased versatility to supply its customers' needs. "Many of our customers were looking at more process color printing and had larger size requirements for their graphics," he says.
The company used its new wide-format inkjet technology to provide display headers for end-aisle displays. "In addition, Screenprint/Dow provides graphics for retail shelves called Shelf Art™, and floor graphics that are used in the retail stores to stimulate sales or direct consumers to a specific featured product or 'branded zone,'" says Dow. Other wide-format products include signage, window graphics, shelf talkers, and counter graphics.
Several years after he started Screenprint/Dow, Dow founded Dow Industries (www.dowindustries.com). While the former focuses on sheetfed screen and UV offset to support graphics printing and the membrane switch industry, Dow Industries incorporates flexo, combination flexo/rotary screen, and digital printing to supply pressure-sensitive prime labels for a variety of consumer markets. According to Dow, the wide-format inkjet printing capability has further enhanced the complementary nature of the two businesses.
"We have been successful in selling both of our companies' capabilities into similar market areas and maximizing the synergies that exist between the two," he explains. "We have secured new business by offering higher definition printing that is achieved by using wide-format inkjet printing."
When Screenprint/Dow entered the wide-format inkjet arena, it did so after careful consideration of what the company wanted to accomplish. "We selected UV inkjet technology based on its versatility and a need to have at least 4-color in-line printing," recalls Dow.