Picture This: Digital Printing on Wood
By Karen Koenig | Posted: 01/24/2014 4:14PM
Durst Relatively new for the woodworking industry, digital printing offers opportunities for high-speed, high-definition imaging onto a variety of substrates, including solid wood, panel products and decor papers. Another feature of these finishing systems is that large production runs, mass customization and custom runs all can be performed with ease.
Digital printing can be used in a wide range of applications, including flooring, furniture, wall paneling and ceiling products. This method is particularly ideal for trade show exhibits and retail environments, where one-off displays are typically changed with high frequency.
“The POP market is where Durst has most of its installation base worldwide,” noted Roy Pagan, business development manager - Industrial Imaging Solutions at Durst U.S. (Durst digital printers also are sold by Stiles Machinery Inc.)
“Digital printed flooring and panels, although not new to Europe, is still in its infancy stage in the U.S. market. This will, however, drastically change in the coming years as this industry struggles to stay profitable and inventive,” he said.
The versatility of the machines, along with their capability for high quality, high resolution, and high output, are also helping to contribute to their growing popularity in woodworking, added Thomas Peter, managing director for digital printing at Dieffenbacher.
Dale Dozeman, national sales manager at Cefla North America, agreed. “The limits are primarily those of imagination,” he said. “As the technology expands we will wonder how we did without it.
Cefla “Think about CNC machining centers,” Dozeman added. “They used to be for the ‘big guys.’ Now, even small and medium shops use the same machine for one-off production. Digital printing is likely to expand in a similar fashion.”
Advantages and Limitations
A number of benefits, both production and environmental, exist with these machines according to the manufacturers. Among the production benefits are: batch one processing for design change, single pass/continuous production capabilities and high design definition/resolution.
“All of the above,” Peter said when asked what he sees as advantages of the machine. “Plus,” he added, “flexibility in the whole process, short delivery/time to market and it is easy to repeat the same designs, with the same quality, months later,”
Also noted by Peter and Pagan is the ease in design development and repeatability, resulting in reduced inventory needs for pattern stocking.
About the Author
Karen M. KoenigKaren M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Google+.