1 July 2003
Moving Pictures(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2003)
Artful Product Design
KNT 3-D Lenticular Mfr Co Ltd
|KNT 3-D Lenticular Mfr Co Ltd, well known for printing 3-D illusions on just about any product, incorporates as many as 12 different images to achieve unique effects|
A goalkeeper takes a huge leap into the air and makes a superb save. This is not the World Cup, but a handy 3-D card where the collector is in control of the action replays. This image-changing "lenticular" picture is just one example from the archives of KNT 3-D Lenticular Mfr Co Ltd, which is in the business of printing 3-D illusions on any product.
"Lenticular images, especially lenticular labels and badges, are used by our customers to raise their overall profile, serving as an ideal tool for promotion and packaging," explains manager Frankie Choi.
Lenticular technology manipulates a person's perception of depth by layering two-dimensional images on top of each other. The image appears to move or flip as a person observes the scene in different ways. KNT 3-D combines up to 12 different pictures to create various special effects, typically, animation, zooming and morphing.
The firm uses state-of-the-art technology to print these moving pictures on products ranging from small items like cards, stickers and pins to mousepads, stationery and posters.
Manufacturing takes place at a 37,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
"The US and Europe are currently our major markets, but we see the biggest growth in numerous newly developed countries where promotional industries are flourishing," Choi says, adding that the market potential of lenticular products remains essentially untapped.
Established in 1996 as a subsidiary of KNT Ltd, KNT 3-D today counts as a major Hong Kong lenticular manufacturer. The 3-D division employs 50 staff that, together with more than 2,000 employees from the parent company, ensures order delivery in time to meet customers' tight schedules.
The company's reputation for excellent quality and quick responses won it the top spot in the "Greeting Card/Invitation Card Printing" category of the recent 14th Hong Kong Print Awards.
"We are proud of the recognition we received in that area, which is testimony to our past investment in technological development," Choi says.
In a rewarding year, the company signed a contract worth more than US$120,000 to make lunch boxes with lenticular cards for a leading fast food chain in 2002.
Choi attributes the company's success to several factors. "Quality is the major ingredient of our success. We recognise that skilful designers, precision printing and lamination are important assets that determine the final quality of lenticular images."
Customer service is another key. "Our clients never have to wait too long for an answer from us as we take care of their needs very promptly," he adds.
The final element is flexibility in terms of manpower and production schedules. "This allows us to accept jobs that require extremely short lead times," says Choi.
Sample delivery takes 10-12 business days after receipt of artwork and set-up charges, while production requires 21-25 business days after sample approval and receipt of deposit. "Above all, special arrangements can be made upon request," notes Choi.
KNT 3-D continues to look for new opportunities by venturing into new product development. "In response to some countries' environmental concerns and import requirements, we have started to use environmentally-friendly materials such as PET," he explains. "With the use of both PVC and PET, we can be more versatile and provide the right kinds of products for each customer."
It seems KNT 3-D can both shoot for goal and boot home the ball.
WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES
KNT 3-D Lenticular Mfr Co Ltd
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