Convergence and the Movement of Technology
As a new event, PRINTING United has much to offer for any company operating within the wide spectrum we refer to as “printing,” including those companies serving the apparel decoration, and functional/industrial printing segments. The owners and managers of these companies are here to learn where technology is going, and to gain a view of how their businesses — and the technologies they use — will change in the years ahead.
Traditionally, screen printing has been the go-to technology for apparel decoration companies. It is the printing process that has given us the ubiquitous T-shirt. Over the past several years, innovations in this technological space offered apparel decorators the opportunity to deliver business-differentiating, value-add options. But it doesn’t stop there: Apparel decoration has been profoundly affected by digital technologies. Direct-to-garment inkjet, dye-sublimation, print-and-cut heat-activated films, digitized embroidery, and other technologies — all found on the PRINTING United expo floor — supply opportunities for short runs, customization, and hybrid production.
In the functional/industrial printing space — where companies are producing or decorating products ranging from snowboards to circuit boards, and where screen printing is also a highly relied-upon core technology — advancements in areas including pre-press and finishing have changed the playing field, leading to new, less labor-intensive processes. The equipment and consumables used in this segment — some of which are off-the-shelf, and some of which are specific to the company or process — provide high-durability printing at high tolerance. Again, emerging choices in digital technology are serving as complementary offerings that provide — here it is again — opportunities for short runs, customization, and hybrid production.
Industry convergence is at the cornerstone of PRINTING United. A survey conducted jointly by SGIA and NAPCO Media showed that a vast majority of printing companies are looking to expand into adjacent printing segments or vertical markets as a way of expanding their reach, cementing relationships with existing customers, and raising the ceiling of possibility for their businesses. Whatever space your company is operating in, it is essential to consider that while convergence is not required for success, many companies are exploring the opportunities it provides.
Whether the goal of your business is industry convergence, access or expansion within new or existing vertical markets, or domination within a niche, your presence here at PRINTING United puts your best foot forward. It’s all here: The technologies, the consumables, the software, and workflow tools are all on display to help you understand where your business can go from here. During your time within these walls, learn, explore, understand, and consider. Apparel decorators and functional/industrial printers operate in a rapidly changing world, one without the luxury of sitting still.