Outsourcing industrial printing projects is a common practice among small-medium sized companies but there comes a time when waiting on printed products, meeting certain minimums and, sending the artwork back and forth starts to waste more time than save money. Bringing printing inside seems like a difficult process but the flexibility it offers is tremendous. Once you have decided to take this step, the method to which you can print becomes the tough choice.
Pad printing comes with many consumables. You have the pad, the cup, the ink, the plate, the ring and the machine itself. It works by sliding the cup filled with ink across the plate, filling the etch and then sliding back to remove excess ink. The pad then presses down on the ink-filled etch, picking up the artwork and then presses it onto the substrate.
See the full process here: Pad Printing – The Inkcups Way
Like pad printing, screen printing comes with many consumables and is best for single-color industrial printing projects. Screen printing starts off by making screens for each part of the artwork (if you require more than one color). The process of making a single screen is lengthy and includes applying a coat of light-sensitive emulsion (which must be applied in a dark room) and letting it dry for at least 6 hours. After, the screen will have to be placed in an exposure unit. Once the setup process is done, there will be open spots in the mesh (the design) where the ink will fall through onto your product. Manually or automating this process will include the same steps and at least 2 people.
Inkjet printers have the best overall flexibility as far as image size, number of colors and products it is able to print on. They are also the best equipped for automation- which further increases productivity. The process is simple for the operator, yet the intricacy that takes place inside of the machine is substantial. Inkjet printers utilize either a solvent-based inkjet system or a UV-based inkjet system. A solvent-based inkjet system does not print white and adhesion is not the best. A UV-based inkjet system is far superior; offering a brilliant white and excellent adhesion. Inkjet printers will by far provide the best outcome.
For more information or to ask a pro which option is best for you, please contact us.Back to Blog Home