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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

“It was really nice and had wonderful ink adhesion, but when we put it in a place where the temperature rose above 100°F, it folded up and crinkled onto itself,” Pond says. “A printed graphic was left in the back of a car, where temperatures climb quickly. The temperature went up to about 110°, and I got a call out of nowhere from one of our guys, telling me that it had failed really dramatically. I said, ‘Thanks for the R&D.’ That’s sort
of a humorous example, but it shows why it’s so important to take the time to test and do the research to prove a product works. We don’t simply say it’s a great product and push it on our customers just because our suppliers tell us it’s great and then push it on us.”

Whether printed on green or conventional media, Screenprint/Dow is making a name for itself in an extremely crowded graphics market by working with new and current customers to develop products, combining printing and finishing processes to maximize the impact of the displays it produces, and offering low-cost alternatives when clients need to change or replace their display graphics.

The examples shown in Figures 3A-3E represent a very small sample of the company’s capabilities. The displays in Figures 3A and 3B were manufactured using a multiple-process formula: Screenprint/Dow used its digital, screen, laser, and assembly departments to create the two concept proofs for a client specializing in high-end beauty products. Rotating elements, stand-offs, and other special features give these promotional devices a unique look.

The pole banners in Figure 3C were made for Merrimack College. The school needed a dynamic solution for its achievement banners. Screenprint/Dow used a pole bracket with a spring system to produce banners on lightweight scrim without wind slits. Figures 3D and 3E show the interior of a Massachusetts-based Finagle a Bagel shop. Pond says they printed a majority of the in-store graphics for the company after presenting Finagle a Bagel with a less expensive option for some of its mounted displays.

“They had a graphics system that was incredibly expensive to reproduce,” Pond explains. “Everything was done on 19-mm Sintra, which is a relatively expensive product, and they were using brushed steel with applied graphics for toppers. It cost them hundreds and hundreds of dollars for each swap-out, but now they’re down to $25-30 per swap-out. Their cost has gone down and, as a result, they’re doing more printing with us. Now they swap graphics out every two or three months.”

The alternative Screenprint/Dow presented involved replacing all of the brushed steel with brushed Mylar, on which the company directly printed menu graphics. The Mylar was then mounted to styrene, and then mounted to the menu-display system. Pond says Screenprint/Dow’s cost-effective solution saved Finagle 400-500% over the long run and secured a variety of graphics business.

“We got the business because we came up with a better solution than their previous provider was giving them,” he says. “Then you have the wall graphics, which we printed on our QS2000. The install went very smoothly, and it allowed us to come to them with opportunities for floor and window graphics, P-O-P displays, and lots more.”

Guiding philosophy
Screenprint/Dow isn’t afraid to make substantial purchases based solely on the notion that doing so would help the business to produce something that would fit current market demands. Dow advises that spending a little money is sometimes a necessary part of being unique.

“Screenprint/Dow acts quickly when we determine that a particular piece of equipment will help us in a certain area, and we don’t hesitate to spend, for example, $500,000 on it,” he explains. “Most people in our position would not spend that kind of money on an idea. But we act boldly when we feel the marketplace is in need of a particular product or service. By doing that, we’ve given ourselves a great advantage over most of our competition. It also has helped our customers tremendously with new ideas in marketing or product functionality. We’re full service. We make those decisions and get involved in a big, big way.”


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