KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, is reporting growing sales from a variety of print markets for its Genius 52 UV press to produce a variety of projects on plastic substrates. These projects vary from back-lit displays, packaging, outdoor signage and banners, tags, plastic business cards, membership cards, ID cards, menus, plastic phone cards, point-of-purchase (POP) displays, labels, window displays and maps. Printers are also using plastic substrates to produce lenticular printing and packaging on their Genius 52 UV presses.
"The Genius 52 UV press was a hit at PRINT 09," says John Raithel, senior vice president of sheetfed sales for KBA. "Why? Because in this economy, printers are looking for a flexible, economical, productive press that allows them to produce high-quality work on traditional substrates and also high value jobs on plastic, lenticular, and other diverse substrates. The Genius 52 UV is the most diverse press on the market and its unique design concept along with its other award-winning features is proving to be very attractive. Its low start-up waste is ideal for high-end stocks such as plastic. The press now comes with a dedicated coater unit so that a printer can print five colors, cure the job, then apply a heavy coating or even gold, silver, or white."
The Genius 52 UV, which received the prestigious GATF InterTech award in 2006, is the world's first waterless UV sheetfed offset press. The maximum sheet size is 14 3/16" x 20", and it can operate at 8,000 sph. The unique press features keyless inking, waterless technology, extended delivery, and integrated dryers. It is designed to print on a variety of paper and board from 80lb to 32pt, and plastics, including lenticular surfaces, PVC, styrene, polyethylene, static cling vinyl, low tack vinyl, and others. It features an automatic plate-changing device that guarantees short setup times, reliable reproducibility, and brilliant offset quality. The Genius 52 control console features a touch-screen display that can slide from one end of the press to the other for easy press operator access. The press prints in five colors with UV curing inks that rapidly and completely harden through an efficient integrated drying system, which allows further processing, such as laminating or punching, immediately afterward.
At PRINT 09, KBA partnered with Pace Industries, a plastic extrusion manufacturer of traditional polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene to the graphic arts industry, to produce four different products on its new BIOGRAPH.ics compostable Agribase plastic using the KBA Genius 52 UV offset press. The four products–a sheet of loyalty cards, an Impressionist landscape painting, a map, and a whimsical big eyed frog–were printed at the KBA booth throughout the duration of the show in Chicago at McCormick Place to demonstrate that printing on plastic substrates can be environmentally-friendly too.
"We've certainly seen more interest in the area of alternative plastic substrates," says Laurie Aspenson, marketing coordinator at Pace Industries. "Having our new BIOGRAPH.ics substrates at PRINT 09 and showing different samples being produced on the Genius 52 UV press was a huge boost and allowed printers to see how easy and 'green' this type of niche printing can be."
BIOGRAPH.ics is a proprietary custom sheet and roll product that is environmentally-friendly. Pace Industries partnered with Cereplast to convert a polymer of starches and other bio-based materials to yield a usable sheet and roll product that is 100% compostable-breaking down into an organic state within 180 days after disposal. Its production starts with a non-petroleum, agricultural-based polymer extruded by Pace using renewable energy. The bioplastic substrate processes much like traditional plastic while demonstrating superior ink receptivity over its petroleum-based counterparts. As compared to earlier attempts at bio-based materials, BIOGRAPH.ics offers a noticeable improvement in areas of heat resistance and impact strength. BIOGRAPH.ics is made to order in thicknesses from .010'' to .060'' in white opaque color with matte/matte finish. Sheet sizes range from a 20×20'' minimum to a 50×96'' maximum, and the minimum order is 2,500 lbs. The material in BIOGRAPH.ics is certified through an independent laboratory as compostable per ASTM International standards (D6400-04).
Lenticular printing is fast becoming one of the most popular types of specialty production on the Genius 52 UV. Lenticular is a special technique that involves printing an image on the back side of lenticular plastic, allowing the eye to simultaneously view alternating sections of multiple images to give the impression of 3-D, flip, or motion.
Accurate Plastic Printers, a custom plastic printer in Clifton, New Jersey, continues to enjoy much faster speeds, quicker turnaround, and higher quality after the installation of its KBA Genius 52 UV press in June 2008. This year, the firm has moved into lenticular printing on its Genius press to capture a growing market. "We've seen a lot of calls for lenticular and our customers want to see samples of morphing and motion," says Carlos Agudelo, founder and president of Accurate Plastic Printers. Motion Imaging Inc., a Farmingdale, N.Y.–based 3-D motion lenticular product manufacturer, continues to produce its specialized products on its KBA Genius 52 UV press.