Outdoor boards a hit for Starleaton

Thursday, 08 June 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

Oppboga Outdoor Board

New outdoor boards a smash hit for Starleaton at PacPrint

Starleaton Digital Solutions has had significant interest in its Oppboga outdoor board after featuring it on its display at PacPrint.

John Buitenkamp, product manager, Starleaton

John Buitenkamp, product manager at Starleaton, said the product was received very well by visitors to the stand in May. “A lot of customers didn’t believe the fact that you could have a waterproof board. We actually had a little sample in a fishbowl that we took out and showed people. I think everybody saw the benefit when compared to plastic product, and we’ve had our first customer trial orders off the back of the show,” he said.

Buitenkamp says retailers like Coles and Woolworths are clamouring for product that can be used for interior displays, and – unlike fluted plastic – recycled with other paper products. “People love the print quality as well, compared to fluted plastic – you don’t see the pattern of the plastic through the print. The time is right for an environmentally friendly product that can compete on price with corflute,” he said.

Leading Sydney print communications business Oxford Communications Group, incorporating Sol Print in 2016, are one of the first to try Oppboga Outdoor Board. André De Waele, general manager, says that though it’s early days, Oppboga looks like a winner. “Plastic fluted boards have always been risky outdoors and prone to ink flaking plus with our corporate and council customers asking for sustainable materials more and more; we can say that Outdoor Board is 100% recyclable. The six-million dollar question we get asked over again is ‘Is it recyclable?’ We could never say yes with plastic flute boards. Not only is the Oppboga product recyclable, it prints beautifully on our flatbed UV machine. It is price competitive with fluted polypropylene, stays perfectly flat and being rain and weather resistant, does what no other paper-based board can do,” De Waele said.

The outdoor commodity rigid sign market has long been dominated by trusty fluted plastics – a carry-over from screen printing days to flatbed UV digital production. Now there is an alternative for short-term outdoor signage, that offers environmental and production advantages over fluted plastic sheets.

As good as polypropylene fluted sheets are, they do however suffer from ‘flute shadow’ – the lines that remain visible after printing. They can also experience ink adhesion issues, particularly when trimming and ink cracking occurs because the surface is not permeable. Then there is the recyclability aspect, where most plastic fluted signs end up as landfill or are burnt in super-incinerators. Some manufacturers do offer a collection and recycle programme but it is energy-hungry.

Starleaton is now launching Outdoor Board from Swedish company Oppboga Bruk – a new paper-based board that offers 3 months of outdoor durability in an ultra-smooth, white and flat sheet, at a cost comparable with fluted products.

Ben Eaton, CEO Starleaton

“When I first heard the claims for this paper-pulp based board that contains no PE at all, I was skeptical,” says Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton. “How could it last outdoors in all kinds of weather if it’s made of paper and is not sandwiched between polyethylene? Then an Oppoga staffer immersed a printed sample into water, left it there for 15 minutes and pulled it out – it was perfect. Not even the board edges were compromised.”

The secret of Outdoor Board is that it is infused, rather than coated, with water-resistance. This makes it resistant to water with no plastic content, biodegradable and a real alternative to foam PVC, foam board, and polypropylene flute for outdoor use up to approximately 12 weeks. It is also FSC, 100% recyclable.

“The added benefit is that Oppboga’s Outdoor Board prints beautifully on both sides, with digital UV, offset or screen print, because it’s fibre-based and has a very smooth white surface,” Eaton says. “It can be die-cut, hole-punched, erected and hung with ease and is very robust indeed. At the end of the campaign, it is 100% recyclable and de-inkable – it already contains around 60% recycled fibre.”

Applications include: A-Frames, real estate signs, election signs, outdoor billboards, supermarket signs, indoors and outside, hardware stores, garden and horticultural centres, bus advertising and more.

Outdoor Board is available in 2440mm x 1220mm sheets and by special order in sheet sizes up to 1700 x 3600mm. Because it is a solid, stiffer board, transport and storage space costs are lower. It lays and stays flat and is dimensionally stable. Plastic fluted sheets contain mostly air space and compress/deform more easily.

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