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Investments in Innovation

(October 2009) posted on Mon Sep 21, 2009

A Profile of Screenprint/Dow

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

The medical-instrumentation industry is a primary market for the company. That means the quality of work Screenprint/Dow provides can quite literally mean life or death.

“Every overlay that has a membrane switch attached to it is 100% inspected. When someone receives an assembly from us, they know it has been tested and documented,” Dow explains. “The analogy I use is this: If you’re on a treadmill and a button on the membrane switch doesn’t work, it’s aggravating, but you can live until the manufacturer sends a replacement overlay assembly. But in medical, when you’re on the oper-ating table and the nurse or doctor is trying to press the buttons on a certain device and they don’t work, you have a major problem.”

Silicone-rubber keypads One unique option Screenprint/Dow offers is the ability to insert membrane switches into rubber keypads for those who re-quire what Dow describes as a “rubber touch.” Other design possibilities include backlit keys, rubber actuators, multicolor decoration, hardcoated surfaces, and more.

PCB switch assemblies Screenprint/Dow is able to create double-sided, multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs), as well as flexible units and assemblies with surface-mount or through-hole technology. The company can also integrate LEDs and metal domes into the switch assemblies it produces.

“We look like a little Texas Instruments. We put the LEDs in, the metal domes in—we’re very self-sufficient in everything we do. We have developed a combination of creating the circuitry and making the overlays and giving customers the ability to have everything done in one house and be completely worked on by our specialists. We have that leg up on everybody else,” Dow says.

Labels Digital printing, flexography, and screen printing are all used in the production of pressure-sensitive labels at Screenprint/Dow. Materials include paper, vinyl, polyester, and polycarbonate. Printing and finishing options include four-color-process and multicolor decoration, numbering and bar codes, UV coating, overlaminating, and urethane doming.

A separate business unit, DowIndustries, is dedicated primarily to producing labels for the health and beauty industries (Figure 2). The company was founded in 1978. Screen printing, hot stamping, and flexography are among the processes it uses. Screenprint/Dow has leveraged additional business by introducing DowIndustries’ established clients to its newest area of expertise: digital imaging.


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