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Roland Study: UV printing continues to expand capabilities for European print shops

Wide Format Solutions

The annual survey of more than 140 printing shops across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, provides a realistic outlook of the evolution of the UV printing market over time. This year, printers are continuing to print on the most popular material – plastic, with 68% of those polled using it at least once (68%) closely followed by metals (64%), PVC (60%), and wood (58%). These same four materials came out top overall in last year’s report, with a small drop in popularity of plastic (-7%) and wood (-6%), while metal (+10%) appears to have gained in popularity.

Similarly, in terms of frequency of use, these materials are leading the pack, with almost a quarter (24%) of all respondents saying they print on both plastic and PVC at least once a week, 18% print on metals once a week, and 26% print on wood at least once a month.

In addition to these popular materials, acrylic is also proving very popular, with print shops in United Kingdom (53%) reporting using it at least once. While other markets, such as Italy and France saw glass and tiles rising in the ranks.

Compared with last year, evidence shows that other materials such as concrete, are rarely used for printing purposes. In fact, less than 3% of respondents claimed to have printed anything on concrete in the last year.

Paul Willems, director of product management and business development at Roland DG, commented: ‘Over the past year, the print sector has demonstrated adaptability and flexibility during a time of uncertainty. Our annual Substrate Index has highlighted that yet again there is growth in UV printing due to its versatility and functionality to be able to print on an array of materials, which has thus increased commercial opportunities for businesses.

‘UV printing has opened doors for businesses to create a range of new products, some of which are not surprising, while others outlined in our report such as personalised shoe insoles, tennis balls and apples are more so. Taking the jump and investing in a UV printer provides businesses with the opportunity to create and experiment with printing to create an array of new products and help a business grow.’

Roland’s VersaUV LEC2 S-Series enables users to print onto a virtually limitless range of flexible and rigid substrates and objects, offering a printable height of 200 mm and weight capacity on the printing table of 100kg/m². It delivers a fast turnaround on jobs, with prints instantly ready for finishing and installation.


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