Exploring new technologies
with Roland DG
The evolution of digital printing technology means there are more options than ever for print service providers (PSPs) to diversify into new markets, to appeal to new customers, to expand capacity or simply to find new ways to unleash their creativity. UV-curable, dye sublimation, print and cut, direct-to-garment – there's a world of Roland DG printing technology for PSPs to explore.
Opportunities for print service providers
Looking at the various graphic applications available today, banners are among the most common applications for PSPs, regularly produced with a predictable continued growth in this market. Billboards and signs also remain the most significant work and these applications are expected to grow in strength. Printing technology designed for these three applications is faster, more efficient and more intuitive than ever before.
However, as a graphics company, you should also consider wallpaper and interior decor or the ability to print textiles when investing in new kit. The market suggests that PSPs are looking around and seeing the wealth of opportunities available – and discovering the equipment they need to access them.
Furthermore, there is consumer appetite for new, unique products where business opportunities can be lucrative and exciting. In short, there are plenty of opportunities for PSPs to diversify – and if you don't, your competitors probably will.
Diversification is a smart move in any environment, helping businesses to weather a storm in the short term and expand into a profitable future.
Creativity with added value
Every business needs to turn a profit – but that doesn't mean sacrificing creativity. Nowadays the graphics market comprises dozens of different applications, big and small, crisp and colourful, informative and eye-catching.
Interior decor, window graphics, stickers, vehicle wraps, labels, hoardings, packaging, product personalisation, T-shirts – if you have the right equipment you can add your own unique innovation to each of these and more.
Accuracy, efficiency and quality
There's no better time to digitise a printing workflow. PSPs who currently use manual processes such as screen-printing, hand-cutting and vinyl application may find that investing in digital printing equipment can pay off enormously in the long term.
Businesses who have been using digital wide format printers for years may also discover that the latest generation of systems can accelerate workflows, reduce consumables use, increase the variety of compatible substrates, improve the overall quality of work and more benefits besides.
Personalise for every customer
Roland's next-generation printing solutions come complete with software that enables the customer to become part of the process.
Variable data functions allow end users to choose their own designs, photographs, text, and colours across whole ranges of products – either the same on every item or each one different.
Web-to-print (W2P) and order processing functions enable remote purchasing and job automation for minimal operator interaction and maximum customer engagement.
Designers and printer operators can make big changes or small tweaks to any aspect of a design in seconds to create a series of mock-ups or one perfect project, to meet every customer's unique demands.
Expand your portfolio with new materials
The latest ink chemistries and printing techniques mean you can print onto more types of substrate – and therefore offer your customers a more diverse mix of products – than ever before.
More information on the different types of printing technologies and their compatible substrates is below, but every printer is ripe for experimentation. Roland solutions are designed to be flexible, to inspire our customers to dream big with their projects and put them into action.
Meet every demand, on demand
Digital printing means there's no such thing as too small an order. From a one-off product to a job running into thousands, the cost per item is the same. So, if your customer asks for 99 branded pencils and one pencil sharpener, or a dozen health and safety signs and 50 posters all with different information, you can deliver.
You don't need to keep lots of product in stock or restrict your product catalogue – say yes to every order as it comes in. This means the risks are low when trialling new products or taking the first steps into new markets too.
Equipment that fits your business
Every business is different. But whatever your scale of development, size of premises or level of experience, there is a Roland solution that will fit. Some systems are truly desktop sized, while others can easily accommodate a piece of rigid substrate as big as a door.
Some printers come with integrated cutting functions to maximise square footage. All are designed to be easy to use and extremely flexible, so even beginners can create something amazing.
Technology options for print service providers
There are lots of different digital printing technologies available, all offering unique benefits for print service providers. Roland has a range of systems within these tech segments so you can tailor your investment to your business's current requirements and future plans.
UV printing is an incredible development in printing technology, thanks to UV inks. Rather than permeating the substrate UV inks sit on the top, meaning the range of compatible materials and products is almost infinite. Furthermore, it's possible to print directly to 3D products – think adding personalisation to golf balls, phone cases, pens and much more.
Thanks to the low-temperature curing process you can also direct-print heat-sensitive films and electronics. The Roland VersaUV printer range runs inks in punchy CMYK, sharp white and gloss (clear), and some have an on-board primer for tricky materials. You can even print the gloss in layers to create amazing special effects, tactile finishes and Braille text.
There's a virtually unlimited array of applications possible with Roland VersaUV. For highly personalised items and gifts, take a look at Roland VersaUV benchtop devices, available in different sizes. If you need a fast and productive machine for creating signs, exhibition graphics, boards and backlit displays, check out the high-production IU-1000F. Or if you're using UV for special labels and packaging, take a look at the VersaUV LEC2-300 UV printer/cutter device.
Combination printer/cutters could be a great investment for your business. The latest eco-solvent printing technology delivers colour-accurate designs, images and text on the most commonly used materials to create superior work like banners, signage, vehicle wraps, posters and heat transfers.
Then, the integrated cutting function takes over to produce the perfect finish. As well as accelerating the finishing process on wide format work, this easy-to-use workflow could open up new markets such as stickers and decals that can be created in any size or number of pieces.
Choose from your perfect multifunctional wide format system from the VersaEXPRESS, SOLJET and TrueVIS ranges from Roland – production machines that can help your business thrive. There are also desktop-sized eco-solvent printer/cutter devices available from Roland, plus many Roland VersaUV UV printers have integrated cutting functions too.
Could you add custom T-shirts to your product mix? Dye sublimation technology lets you add fantastic designs to polyester T-shirts, hoodies, sportswear and even hard products like coffee mugs. A dye sublimation printer is partnered with a calender or heat press, to transfer a printed design from transfer paper into the fibre of the cloth.
The ink penetrates the surface of the material so your T-shirt design has a soft or even barely noticeable texture, leaving a colourful, durable and washable finish. Check out the Roland Texart range for a selection of dye sublimation printers.
More technologies to explore
The interior decoration world is another growing source of opportunities. Roland has created the EJ-640 DECO, specifically designed to digitally print wallpaper, wall coverings, blinds and lampshades. Or why not look at the LV laser engraver series for stunning giftware and product personalisation. Every Roland solution comes complete with software to help you on your journey to new business avenues.
The right software can help print service providers expand, enter new markets and explore new applications. Roland has developed intuitive software packages perfect for your business.
Roland cotodesign is a design and print management software package that enables print businesses to customise products in-store using customers' own data, including their photos or designs that they can upload from their phone via your WiFi connection. This web-based solution is therefore perfect for high-street printers who want to drive footfall and increase margins.
We have developed cotodesign to connect to numerous Roland solutions, from the VersaUV LEF printer range to the VersaSTUDIO BT-12 direct-to-garment printer.
Take your business online with PersBiz, the Web2Print solution from Roland. This cloud-based solution helps you create a webshop in your own style, from which your customers can order products to customise. PersBiz handles payment, shipping and delivery as well as generating QR codes to boost your marketing.
Choose from PersBiz Business eCommerce, which offers 49 customer portals for your valued commercial clients, or PersBiz eCommerce for an easy-to-use business-booster.