Converter Aids Output with Press from SPGPrints

BOXMEER, THE NETHERLANDS | Panel Solutions, Elkhart, IN, a supplier of synthetic tiles for recreational vehicles (RVs) in the US and Canada, has increased output and widened its design offering after installing a UV-curable inkjet press from SPGPrints and a new converting workflow.

The DSI (Digital System Integration) six-color, 13-in. (330-mm) stand-alone press, featuring CMYK process colors, opaque white, and digital primer, complements three existing toner presses. As a result of the investment, the company believes it is well-placed to meet rising demand from a customer base of more than 200 major retailers and RV manufacturers. 

Tom Zurek, founder and president of Panel Solutions, says, “SPGPrints offered a high-performance press, exhibited clear communication, and a professional, US-based service network. With its minimal set-up times, wide color gamut, and ability to deliver perfect color from start to finish, the DSI has enabled us to offer greater design creativity and shorter lead times.”

Intermittent pinning between print stations instantly cures the ink, reportedly allowing crisp reproduction at higher resolutions than was previously possible. A water-cooled chill drum to maintain the stability of plastic substrates at higher speeds allows the company to print on more substrates. These include 65 lb (96 g/m2) papers, clear and white polyesters between 1 and 3 mil (0.25 and 0.76 mm) thickness and metallized products.

Panel Solution’s RV wall covering solutions are made from polyvinyl or paper materials and laminated with a temperature-resistant, slippage-preventing hot melt adhesive. “We are easily matching and maintaining the earthy colors—like beige grays—and shadowing, which used to be very hard to do by four-color process,” says Zurek. “That means we can create photo-realistic tile effects that, when mounted, are almost indistinguishable from real tiles. The fine detail we achieve has led to customers specifying this press in particular for their jobs.”

Zurek says the DSI’s minimized set-up times and fast throughput are enabling him and his team to deliver half the company’s orders within 48 hrs. Panel Solutions runs the DSI at up to 90 fpm (27.5 mpm).

SPGPrints also helped Panel Solutions specify a faster, streamlined converting workflow, including a single-pass rotary screen coating and die-cutting line. Finally, the resin doming process creates the tile-realistic effect. The new converting operation has twice the productivity of the DSI press, to minimize the footprint requirement when new press investments occur.

Zurek says: “We have had full training from SPGPrints during the installation phase and regular visits by technicians to make sure we’re running as effectively as possible and strategic advice on modernizing our workflow. Their commitment has been total and continuous.”

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