AK Media capitalises on personalisation boom with Roland UV flatbed printers
AK Media | Utrecht, Netherlands
Twenty years ago, André van Keulen was making radio jingles and commercials at his sound studio. When he was asked if he could print the CDs he was distributing, he heard the first notes of AK Media.
Based in Utrecht in the Netherlands, AK Media became a leader in CD and DVD printing, but when that market began to shrink André looked to diversify. He started printing phone covers using sublimation techniques but saw other opportunities.
He explains: "It soon became clear that there is a large need for printing small numbers of promotional gifts."
Digital printing has transformed the way promotional gifts are printed. In the past, pad and screen printing limited colour options and required high volumes to make the work profitable – but AK Media discovered how Roland digital benchtop UV printers could turn that on its head.
"We now have two Rolands: one VersaUV LEF-12i and a VersaUV LEF-20," says André. "The print quality is the most important factor for us. We tested it and Roland came first.
"If someone wants something quickly, we can deliver quickly. Thanks to our two Roland printers we are able to meet those demands.”
"Digital printing is changing the market. There are so many more possibilities. We print all kind of things, such as pens, USB sticks, phone covers, power banks and peppermint cans."
While Roland LEF printers allow users to print unique, one-off designs, AK Media typically offers runs of 25 to 1,000. "But if they want 3,000 pieces we will also do it," says André.
Indeed, the speed and efficiency of AK Media's Roland workflow means it can turn around high-quality products very quickly.
"If somebody needs 500 printed pens by tomorrow then we can deliver," he says. "We have unprinted pens and phone covers in stock, so if someone wants something quickly, we can deliver quickly. Thanks to our two Roland printers we are able to meet those demands."
Via an online shop, customers can order short runs of a variety of items, from photos printed on aluminium to personalised lunch boxes. The customised phone case market – one of AK Media's first product offerings – is continuing to flourish, especially among football fans who want their phones to show their commitment to their favourite team. Small items and gadgets like these are placed in moulds before going into the Roland LEF devices for printing – a continuous process thanks to AK Media's efficiency.
AK Media uses its two Roland VersaUV LEF benchtop flatbed UV printers to keep up with market changes and fast-changing customer demands.
Download a FREE copy of our VersaUV LEF UV direct printing guide and see how you can do the same.
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