STC and 3M Shift Digital Dye-Sub into High Gear
By using STC's dye-sub toners in 3M's fast Printer 2000
Over the past five to seven years, the Specialty Toner Corp. (STC) of Fairfield, NJ has helped dozens of owners of electrostatic and inkjet printers learn how to expand their product lines through dye sublimation. At the same time, 3M Commercial Graphics has been helping brand marketers and visual merchandisers understand the value of reinforcing their brand messages in as many different forms and locations as possible.
Today, dye-sublimation has become one of the fastest growing segments of the digital print market because so many visual merchandisers and exhibit designers like the elegant look and feel and environmental friendliness that fabrics bring to display signage.
To make it more efficient to produce higher volumes of "soft signs" for use in multiple store locations, STC and 3M have teamed up to integrate STC's dye-sub toner and application expertise with 3M's Printer 2000 electrostatic printer, which can output graphics at speeds approaching 2000 sq ft/hr.
"Until now, the dye-sublimation systems on the market offered either high quality or high productivity, but not both," says STC president Romit Bhattacharya. He notes that the 3M dye-sublimation system merges high-speed printing with outstanding quality, and not only enables digital printing companies to offer soft signage, but also to expand into more lucrative markets. The 3M dye-sublimation system can be used for: customized retail, commercial and residential interiors; short-run textile printing; and personalized consumer products.
One company equipped with 3M's Printer 2000 DS system is FLM Graphics, whose dye-sublimation division is headed by Danny Schwartz, the forward-thinking dye-sublimation-printing entrepreneur who started the company Dye Into Print. FLM Graphics is using its dye-sublimation capabilities to output graphics that complement promotional materials produced with its conventional offset and digital presses. For example, for a major automotive company, FLM not only printed attractive promotional literature, but also dye-sub-printed fabric banners for each dealership's showroom. (Specialty Toner Corp.: 973-575-3643, www.specialtytoner.corp; 3M Commercial Graphics: www.scotchprint.com)