Onalaska, Wisconsin-based Empire Screen Printing has installed a Graphium UV digital hybrid inkjet press from Fujifilm North America.
Empire Screen Printing is a renowned provider to the polycarbonate market. It provides output for the automotive, aircraft, electronics, food and beverage, government, sporting goods and retail industries. Starting operations in 1960 with its roots in screen printing, the company has expanded into flexographic and digital printing. The Graphium press, its latest hardware addition, is a hybrid press platform that allows flexo and finishing stations to be integrated with digital inkjet technology. This allows for hybrid production and conversion, in a single pass, expanding the opportunities that can be converted.
Empire Screen Printing president John Freismuth said: ‘We haven’t found any other press that’s cost-effective and provides durable labels for outputting solid color polycarbonate. They were either too slow or the digital ink didn’t stick. We are now producing decorative polycarbonate elements that are directly applied to commercial grade and residential appliances, along with exercise equipment. Many of our jobs require a lot of white ink for the opacity and the Graphium allows us to do this very well.’
He continued: ‘The print quality on the Graphium extends our capabilities of our screen printing when it comes to printing four color process, fine lines and perfect register jobs.
‘The Graphium is going to change the way print goes to market. I’ve heard many colleagues say “digital isn’t fast enough” and “digital isn’t outdoor-durable”; with Graphium you get both.’
Complex artwork regularly arrives at Empire Screen Printing but it was finding that the traditional screen printing process wasn’t able to handle the requirements demanded of clients.
Freismuth said: ‘The Graphium allows us to successfully work with designers and companies looking for perfect registration. Screen printing hasn’t been able to offer that, and with the introduction of digital, we can manage complex files at speeds faster than ever. With the Graphium we have the ability to output multiple jobs efficiently and cost effectively.’
Jennifer Schloesser, creative director at Empire Screen Printing, concluded: ‘The Graphium opens up the door to a different digital output method for us, and additional revenues. We are now able to enter new markets we previously were not able to consider.’