What is Digital Printing?
Digital printing or digital label press is a digital-based image engraving process that works on and on various media substrates on a continuous label roll. The medium on which it prints the required is driven by the machine where the image is printed. It is then brought to the core by “roll to roll” printing.
The biggest difference between digital printing and analog printing such as lithographic printing, flexographic printing, gravure printing, and letterpress printing is that digital printing does not require the replacement of printing plates, whereas analog printing repeats the exchange of plates. While this speeds up digital printing turnaround times and reduces costs, details are typically lost in most commercial digital printing processes. The most common methods include inkjet and laser printers that deposit pigments and toners respectively onto materials such as paper, canvas, glass, metal, and marble.
In many processes, the inks or toners do not penetrate the substrate like traditional inks do, but form a thin layer on the surface and can be heated (toner) or UV cured (toner), or UV cured (ink).
Advantages of Digital Printing
1. Easily Available
Label design for digital printing method is required to store on computer. This allows it to be easily accessible at any time and on demand.
2. Fast Turnaround Time
This method reduces or eliminates per-requisite steps, speeding up the entire printing process.
3. Effortless Incorporation of Changes
Since label designs remain uploaded and available on a computer, it’s extremely easy to make changes and updates to the design through a series of complex steps.
4. High Quality
Digital printing provides excellent quality work with consistent colors and images. In this method, no design details are ignored. This can include hues, barcodes, font styles and sizes, and other minute details.
Applications of Digital Printing
1. Desktop Publishing: Inexpensive home and office printing is only possible through a digital process that avoids the need for printed plates.
2. Commercial: Business Stationery including business cards and letterhead
3. Variable data printing: use database-driven print files for mass personalization of printed materials
4. Fine Art: Archival Digital printing methods include exposure prints on actual photographic paper and giclee prints on watercolor paper using pigment-based inks.
5. Print on Demand: Digital printing is used for personalized printing such as children’s books, photo books (such as wedding photo books), or other books customized with the child’s name.
6. Advertising: Often used for outdoor vinyl banners and event signage, trade shows, retail departments at point of sale or point of purchase, and personalized direct mail campaigns.
7. Photos: Digital printing has revolutionized photo printing in that photos can be retouched and color corrected before printing.
8. Architectural Design: New media that conform to a variety of surfaces have made it possible to transform interior and exterior spaces using digitally printed murals and floor graphics.
9. Sleaking: The process of adding foil, holographic effects, or glossy and dull finishes by gluing digital inks. This is done by digitally printing a dark black area where the user wants it smoothed. The machine will register this and only comply with this specific area.
Which one is the best flexographic, digital, or hybrid printing system?
In the field of flexible packaging printing, digital printing has long been considered suitable for short runs and test runs. This is because, unlike flexography, digital does not require plates. It also produces high-quality prints.
However, while it is more economical to use digital for short runs, flexo is still the norm for large jobs. Using digital saves money on placemaking in the short term, but digital assets cost more than flexo presses, and digital has higher operating costs.
Entry into hybrid printing presses. It’s the best of both worlds, combining the economics of flexography with digital automation.
Process automation saves a lot of time. As soon as one job finishes, the next one can start. Hybrid machines often include several features that speed up workflows, such as:
A range of advanced customization features, including print settings that can be pre-programmed before execution and activated at the touch of a button
Automated labeling, finishing, coating, cutting, and packaging to reduce labor costs and print times
Integrated production with hybrid printing allows him to transform, decorate and finish the product in one pass
In addition to these benefits, the hybrid system features an extended color gamut and facilitates the use of specialty inks. Better Quality, Greater Versatility.