Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR, offers professional consulting for learning pros and cons of UV-curable ink flatbed printer as replacement for screen printer or as addition to solvent ink sign printer.
In the last two years UV curable ink printers have moved from vaporware (as shown at DRUPA 2000) to actually functioning shipping printers (as shown at SGIA 2002 through the recent DRUPA 2004).
However several companies still have not entirely gotten their products off the ground, or at least did not exhibit at American tradeshows. Some of these may have shown themselves at FESPA. Many of the missing printers may appear at SGIA in October 2004. Siasprint Sias Digital K1520 Tampoprint and Thieme failed to present UV curable or even solvent ink flatbeds at SGIA but Tampoprint had an industrial UV-curable printer at DRUPA 2004.
Several sign shops, corrugated cardboard print companies, and other early adapters got sort of burned with UV curable printers (at between $175,000 and $475,000) that did not fully function.
In effect these companies ended up being beta testers (at their expense) so the manufacturer could improve the printers (for other future customers).
There are three ways to have Professor Hellmuth serve as your consultant.
1st. you can hire him to walk the floor at a sign tradeshow personally with your company executives, managers, or tech support people. Dr Hellmuth speaks German and Spanish, so can often acquire information that is more easily available in these languages. Spanish was actually the main language spoken at the booth of one of the major UV flatbed printer manufacturers at SGIA. Zund and several other companies are German speaking (Zund is Swiss; Nicholas has lived in Zurich for several years).
2nd, you can have Nicholas Hellmuth come to your company to advise you; or you can come to Bowling Green State University. We cover market potential, applications, adhesion and abrasion resistance issues.
3rd, you can get 1 hour of consulting at no cost if you purchase the pertinent number of report series (which you will need anyway). The reports, all written by Hellmuth, are all described in the list with abstracts (available at no cost as auto download).
If you are a manufacturer FLAAR has additional services such as consulting on end-user preferences, opinions, desired features, end-user dislikes, etc.
Nicholas Hellmuth was the only reviewer who cut through the hype of the Kodak 5260 to report that the printer did not function as advertised. He probably saved dozens of photo labs the anguish of making a down payment on the most hyped printer of the decade.
If you wish to see what you can expect from a penetrating report by a specialist in this field, you can obtain the Kodak 5260 report free, as a public service from our university.
Most recently updated June 2004.