As more print shops are offering interior décor applications, digital print technologies are transforming the wallcoverings industry, specifically allowing for vastly increased customization by interior designers, architects, facility managers, and consumers. Wallcoverings manufacturers and distributors are addressing this demand through a variety of business strategies: Some produce digital substrates that they supply to PSPs; others have purchased their own equipment to supply directly to the field; and many are partnering with wide-format printers to offer finished digital goods.
SGIA’s survey of 174 graphics and sign businesses indicates that UV and latex roll-to-roll machines were the most popular choice for new printer purchases in 2015. Conducted in the first quarter of 2016, the industry benchmarking report also points to prepress tools and software as commonly sought technologies last year. Other results include:
Streamline Designs (Buffalo, New York) received a request in February to add some character to the basement bar (read: man cave) of the home of a family friend – some 900 miles away in St. Paul, Minnesota. Luckily the shop’s installation team was already planning a trip to the area to obtain their 3M certification, and were able to hand-deliver and install the 150-square-foot buffalo graphic themselves.
Kornit Digital posed its third annual challenge for students at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to create designs for fabric produced on the company’s Allegro roll-to-roll printer. This year’s theme, “Wearable Water,” stressed “the importance of one of the earth’s largest and most important ecosystems: its oceans,” according to a release.
Kala has released the KalaXY 1650, a 65-in. semi-automatic cutter. The machine reads automatic stop marks that stop cutting to allow a manual change of blade position. Kala reports it is accurate within 1 mm. Users can program longitudinal trimming via an LCD control panel and can choose from three modes. It also features 3-in. self-locking roll shafts that allow users to transfer rolls directly from laminator to cutter.
Colter & Peterson has updated its Microcut Cutter Control System, a retrofit electrical control package compatible with most guillotine paper cutters ranging in size from 20 to 150 in. New features include increased standardization and reduced components for simplified ordering and installation. The machine is said to be accurate within 1/64 in.
As a business owner, one of your biggest headaches can be trying to manage things that you may not have complete control over, such as the various distribution networks of your business: raw goods suppliers, outsource suppliers, and shipping and logistics providers.
Roland has announced that its Camm-1 GS-24 desktop cutter will now come with a mobile stand. The company also reports that the GS-24’s cutting carriage and blade holder have been redesigned for increased downforce.
Coastal Business Supplies has created the Professional Solutions Department, a four-member support team dedicated to wide-format dye-sublimation and eco-solvent printing technology and applications.
“An increasing number of shops are going to wide format to print larger/allover images and to increase production throughput by multiple image printing,” the company says in a release.
When CR&A Custom was called in to outfit a pediatric treatment room at the White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, they faced strict regulations on what kind of materials could be used in a hospital environment. The shop teamed with HP, using its WallArt design software, Latex 3000 printer, 881 Latex inks, and PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper to comply with the range of environmental standards.