Print Capabilities

Print Capabilities

Digital Printing

This process involves digitally reproducing images on a physical surface such as paper, film, cloth, plastic and much more. Here, we can have a number of different impressions as opposed to printing the same image over and over again like in the case of traditional printing methods.

In this form of printing, the ink or the toner does not seep into the paper, instead remains on the surface. Fewer chemicals and paper is wasted in this form of printing and is usually used for small print runs and rapid printing. It is normally advisable for four color jobs with a low turnaround time but has limited paper and color choices.

Electrostatic Printing

Quite similar to photocopying, this process involves sticking the toner to a charged drum and then thermally fusing it to the page. Electrostatic printing does not require contact to achieve the process of printing. The paper used is first coated with a thin layer of zinc oxide which makes it a conductor of electricity in light and an insulator in the dark. Light is then shone on the page through a positive thus etching the images on the page.

Embossing

This process works by creating a three dimensional image on the paper, it usually has two methods, dry embossing and heat embossing. Dry embossing uses a stylus, stencil and other implements, it is also commonly known as relief embossing. Heat embossing is done using a special powder, ink, and a heat source.

This printing process makes an impression of a printed type or design on a thick paper using a metal die and a combination of heat and pressure. This process is usually used on textiles, non-wovens, sanitary napkins, diapers, tissue papers among other things.

Flexography

This process is most commonly used to print on packing materials like plastic bags, grocery bags, or bottle labels. Flexography uses rubber plates with printed areas raised in relief which are flexible and can adhere to a printing cylinder. This method can be used to print on almost any form of surface, be it metallic films, cellophane and paper. It is widely used for printing on non-porous surfaces for food packaging and for printing large areas of solid colors.

Gravure Printing

This is a slightly more expensive but high quality method of printing. It requires direct contact between paper and an etched copper plate. Although the plate is expensive, this method is often used for large volume material that requires high quality printing such as brochures, magazines, catalogues and annual reports.

This method produces images which are of a continuous tone much like a photograph. It utilizes a metal printing cylinder and this can be created even with an analog or digital plating process.
This process is also used for various packaging materials and is a preferred method to print magazines and catalogues with large circulation.

Letterpress

One of the oldest printing techniques it was introduced back in the 15th century and uses images on the plate that are slightly raised from the surface. Not many printers offer a good quality of letterpress these days. This is a direct printing process which requires direct contact between the inked relief plates and paper. This process has some of the most consistent results as there is no requirement to do any dampening to keep the non-image areas free of ink.

Offset Lithography

One of the most widely used printing techniques it is used for newspapers, magazines, brochures and almost all other variety of materials. It involves a series of processes, which are as follows:

Platemaking

Here a flexible photosensitive plate is subjected to light projected through a negative film on the plate. This produces the image area once the plate is developed. The image area is then treated with chemicals that enable it to attract ink but repel water. The non-image area is treated the other way around.

Wetting

The plate is then wrapped around a cylinder and is put in contact with water-rollers that drench it completely. The image area, however, repels water.

Inking

Later, a thin coating of oil-based ink is transferred onto the plate via ink-rollers. The image area now accepts the ink while the remaining area rejects it.

Offsetting

In this process, the cylinder does not come into direct contact with the paper, and in this step, the plate lets go of the ink to the rubber blanket that surrounds it, giving this process the name it has.

Printing

In this part, paper is fed between the rubber blanket and metal cylinder and the ink that was stuck to the rubber blanket in the form of the image is transferred to the paper.

Screen Printing

This process is also known as silk screening. Here, the ink is forced through a screen like a stencil pattern. Often used for oddly shaped goods, this method is used to print on mugs, clothing, ring binders, bumper stickers or billboards.

This process has been used for centuries and many improvements have been made to fine-tune it. But in essence the process still consists of forcing ink through a stencil enveloped with a fine mesh mounted on a sturdy frame. The ink then goes through the only open areas before collecting on the surface positioned below it. This is a versatile process and is capable of handling multiple applications. The cost for this printing process is less, making it one of the most preferred methods of printing as well.

Thermography

This process helps in creating a raised image when printing. Before the image and its ink have dried, a fine powder is sprinkled on it. Applying heat makes the powder and the ink fuse giving the image an embossed feel. It is usually used for stationery. It is also known as the imitation engraving process, however this process does not need an engraving die. It can be used for letterheads, greeting cards, invitations, business cards among others to give them a richer appeal.