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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

“A lot of our initial growth came from current customers—from offering them new solutions on the digital side. But we’re really starting to see an entrance into some of the larger retail chains, because we have that national-level presence and work with so many large retailers on our label end with DowIndustries. We work with so many of those companies that it’s only a matter of time until we start breaking in with digitally printed graphics,” Pond says, noting that digital imaging likely represents 10-12% of Screenprint/Dow’s annual business.

But what would one serious investment at Screenprint/Dow be without another one following closely behind? Enter the company’s foray into green media. As Pond puts it, the company sourced materials that would help customers meet their sustainability goals and do so at a price point that’s comparable to the conventional—that is, non-renewable or non-recyclable—materials they currently use.

“Our focus on green is different from everyone else’s. We’re only bringing in materials that are not more expensive than other products. We found that customers will not pay more to be green. For them, from a business standpoint, it doesn’t make any sense,” Pond says. “We’ve narrowed our selections to two products: BioFoam and BioBanner, which are priced to meet the market’s needs while offering something that is biodegradable and recyclable.”

Screenprint/Dow selected these rigid and flexible materials, both of which are corn-based, only after conducting a considerable amount of R&D. Good thing, too, because Pond recalls some of the candidates performing quite unexpectedly. One was a corn-based styrene that printed well and looked great, but ultimately failed in a memorable way when it was exposed to somewhat elevated temperatures.


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