Addressing the growing demand for soft-touch coating, Koenig & Bauer’
s Director of Technology Chris Travis will lead a discussion on this topic at the 12th annual Print UV 2019 conference on March 27-29 at the Encore by Wynn resort in Las Vegas.
His colleague Dirk Winkler will discuss the ink supply challenge and how Koenig & Bauer is solving it.
Koenig & Bauer (US) has been a platinum sponsor of this event since its inception in 2007.
“Soft touch has absolutely blown up in popularity in the past year,” Travis said. “Five years ago, the popular trend was visual gloss, then it shifted to matte, and now printers are clamoring to use soft touch for its tactile feel. It provides a distinct message to any print job, a high-end classy coating. It’s a huge trend in both sheetfed and flexo printing.”
Soft touch is a specialized coating that, when applied, creates a velvety texture on printed materials and increases its tactile appeal. Travis and his panel of experts will outline the key steps in producing this process and answering questions on when to use UV or aqueous, what are you trying to achieve, can soft touch be produced with LED, what kind of substrates work best with soft touch, how to set up the dryer on press, and is it okay to use soft touch as a matte.
On Friday afternoon, Winkler will turn to the urgent matter of ink supply reduction by leading a panel of ink vendors and press manufacturers. With ink and coating suppliers letting customers know that they need to qualify a new product because their raw material supplier in another country can’t ship what is required, printers across the country have been asking about the current global supply chain of key raw materials for inks and coatings.
What is going on and why? In this seminar, a complete range of their questions will be answered. What is the China Blue Skies Initiative and what does it mean for printers? How are the new tariffs impacting a printer if its materials are not from China? Why can’t the necessary materials be sourced in North America? The discussion will center on photo-initiators used for EB/UV products. Winkler will address the participants from a press manufacturer’s standpoint. The seminar will conclude by answering what the future will hold and providing some tricks that can be used to predict supply.
“Dirk and I enjoy participating in this annual conference because it brings together the best UV printers in the country where they can learn about the newest trends and how to accelerate their profits in this fast-changing print market,” Travis said. “We join other experienced UV practitioners providing new strategies from sales to manufacturing to the development of innovative new products and services. It’s been gratifying to see how UV has grown from a niche technology into a mainline process and we’re pleased that our company has been such a staunch supporter from the very first conference to encourage, promote, and sustain the growth of UV printing in our graphic communications industry.”
Koenig & Bauer’s Dirk Winkler and Chris Travis