What does the future hold for the synthetic print market post-pandemic?
Bosy Colak, President at Kernow North America shares his thoughts on where the future could be heading for the synthetic print industry…
- Continued demand for Social Distancing signage
Social distancing signage is here for the foreseeable future, and this has presented an opportunity for printers to branch out into the custom floor graphics area. However, the influx of ‘cheap and cheerful’ products combined with new research from Fletchers Serious Injury revealed that one in four serious injuries occur in the workplace, with slips, trips and falls being a prime cause of severe injury.
For us at Kernow, it’s been worrying to see so many floor graphic products appearing on the market that do not meet the required standards for even the basic slip resistance and fire ratings. Should a slip occur in the workplace in relation to poor quality floor graphics, the business could be liable, and that’s a risk that nobody would want to take in the current climate, or in fact ever. We have over 40 years in developing world-class synthetics for the print market, and it’s frustrating to witness products suddenly appearing which have not been rigorously tested to meet even the most basic of safety requirements.
Cheap and cheerful is not the way to go with floor graphics as they play an important part in health & safety in the workplace. We are here to advise Printers and end-users on the products that will tick the right boxes.
We’re proud that our FloorSharK product range has certified R-10 slip resistance, PTV low slip (in both wet and dry conditions) and ANSI certification in the US”.
- Production will need to become more efficient
The introduction of social distancing comes with it the strain of a potentially smaller, and separated work force. This does however present opportunity. In a production environment which can be prone to disruption through the combination of so many elements (machinery, people, procedures and of course breakdowns!) will a post-COVID environment mean that print production and the manufacturing of print materials will become reduced, or will the impact mean that businesses become far more streamlined? For Kernow we are confident that it will be the latter. The pandemic has made us evaluate how we do things and make changes to improve efficiency. Social distancing in a high-volume production environment has proved a challenge, but we’ve adapted our methods to make it work.
- Improved hygiene standards for printed materials will be a prerequisite
There are key ways in which the print industry can play its part in fighting the spread of infection through the use of antimicrobial paper, especially for areas where hygiene is essential, such as the healthcare industry.
Two sides reported that several manufacturers have launched papers and coatings with strong antimicrobial properties, featuring additives that are highly effective against pathogens such as MRSA and E-coli. While a coating with a specific resistance to COVID-19 hasn’t yet been developed, they have great potential in cutting down the spread of bacteria and potentially offering a line of defence against future pandemics. We’ve been working on our own line of antimicrobial papers which we’ll be launching later this year.
When it comes to making printed materials such as signage and posters more ‘COVID compliant’, our KernowPrint presents a safe, tried and tested solution. We’re proud that it proves to be the most tested and trusted material and the only alcohol and chemical resistant solution in the market.
For sectors such as the healthcare industry, products that are proven solutions in reducing the risk of bacteria and infection are only going to grow.
- An increased focus on Sustainability
The demand for eco-conscious and sustainable products is not going away, and if anything, consumers will be all the more focused on the goods and services that they buy.
While sustainability has been on the agenda for some time for businesses, the recent pandemic has put even more of a focus on climate change and ‘going green’.
We’ve been working on how we support Sustainability for a number of years, in fact, for decades we have been at the forefront of water-based coating innovations and have looked to switch to aqueous coatings at every opportunity.
- A focus on Innovation and Reinvention
It goes without saying that a ‘survive and thrive’ approach will take some diversification, not to mention resilience for those involved in the synthetic print materials market. Innovation has always been at the forefront of what we do and we take pride in a long history of quality, precision, and innovation built into every one of our products. Creating the best materials in the world is not only our mission, it is our heritage.
As part of our dedication, all our materials undergo rigorous testing, quality controls, and certifications to meet the demands of today’s printing applications. We work closely with our partners to ensure that all products comply with government regulations for safety and quality while maintaining a cutting-edge level of innovation through our research and development teams. It is this dedication to quality and service that has made Kernow Coating’s brands the Most Tested and Most Trusted synthetics in the World.
All of that said, we know that in order to compete in the ‘new world’ we need to continue to innovate and provide our customers with more solutions that will give them that competitive edge, and that’s what we intend to do.