Printing Industry ♥ Summer

Summer is back in Germany and we are happy that printing technologies help us to improve our summery everyday life.

Thinking of summer, what is the first image or memory that comes to your mind? For most of us in the drupa team, it is the typical southern-french “crowded beach, blue sea, bleached umbrellas”-scenario. Instantly, “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry pops up in our brains and we believe to smell sunscreen and the salty sea. Besides that, even during vacation we cannot stop dreaming of printing – there are tons of modern and innovative printing technologies that make our lives a lot easier. Even at the beach. It seems like the printing industry clearly loves the summer. So we collected our favourite examples that show how sunny summery days (for example at the beach) can be improved by printing solutions:

Never Getting Lost Again

While keeping an eye on the kids once was a clear challenge on the beach, it is super easy today. The cosmetics brand Nivea and the agency FCB Brasil developed the “Sun Band”, a print campaign using interactive mobile technology. Nivea and FCB Brasil placed a print ad in select copies of the Veja Rio magazine, one of the most important weeklies in Brazil. Printed on the long margin of the ad was the “Sun Band”, a detachable bracelet with a build-in locator to be wrapped around the child’s wrist. After downloading the mobile app “Nivea Protégé” to their smartphone, parents could sync it with the Bluetooth-enabled bracelet that sends information about the child’s location to the phone. No more searching for the kids between umbrellas and sun lovers! Have a look at our article to get more information about this project:

No More Burning

For ideal individual sun management it is essential to know the personal skin classification from type I to VI. But the well known UV index only indicates the amount of UV-rays a skin type can absorb before damage occurs – an individual measurement tool is highly needed! That is where a team of researchers from the RMIT University in Australia steps in: they developed a very special ultraviolet active ink. It changes colour when exposed to UV rays and therefore can be used to print wearable disposable wrist-bands able to monitor sun activities. Currently, four smiley faces are printed on the prototype of such wristband. The four smileys represent 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent of the daily allowed sun dose. With increasing time in the sun, the faces start illuminating one after another until the wearer approaches his maximum-allowed dose of UV-rays.

No More Bleaching

While the authoress is writing this article, the sun is aggressively shining on her desk. A ritual that repeats itself each morning during the summer. Dazzled by the sunrays she is searching for some documents scattered on the table, slowly realizing the fading colours on the paper. The printing industry found a more sustainable solution compared to slowly fading ink and wasting paper: UV light can be used instead of regular ink on a special light printable paper. The rewritable paper works quite easily, because the only secret to print with light lies in the color switching property of nanoparticles called redox dyes. The used nano-coating consists of Prussian blue, a non-toxic blue pigment that loses its color when it gains electrons, and titanium dioxide, a photocatalytic material that interacts with UV light. When ultraviolet light shines on paper, the titanium dioxide releases electrons that are absorbed by the Prussian blue. This causes the pigment to change its colors from solid blue to clear. The scientists are then able to use targeted UV light to write blue text on a clear background, which is easier to read than the other way round.

Watch this video to figure out how this awesome technology works:

Sun = Energy

Great news for those, who are both, technology and sun lovers: You now get the chance to capture sunlight on paper. Scientists from the Aalto University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne recently developed a simple printing process that allows to print pictures that are able to generate solar power. Janne Halme and his colleagues just need an image file to print solar cells in any pattern on any material – even on paper. Read more about this here:

Fairytales Written in Summer

In case you didn’t realize it yourself: your all time favourite fair for printing technologies usually takes place in summer. #drupa2020 is scheduled from 16 to 26 June 2020. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

All these approaches show: the printing industry clearly loves the summer and profits from several of the sun’s features. Do you know any other proof for this hypothesis? Shoot us a message in the comment section!

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