Plastic has many wonderful properties which account for its varied uses in several different fields. This is the reason why Plastic is regarded as an amazing material. But Commercial Plastic Printing can be tricky.
There exist hundreds of different types of plastic, each having its characteristics and composition. Plastic Card Manufacturing Industries’ experience with printing onto plastics is primarily with flat sheets, folders, ring binders, business cards, and luggage tags but plastic is suited to thousands of other useful items. They need not necessarily be ‘single-use disposable products’ but useful items that are strong, durable, lightweight, flexible, and weatherproof.
There are several different methods of Commercial Plastic Printing so sometimes it becomes difficult to find out which process is best suited for a particular application. Below are the 6 best ways to print on plastic.
Table of Contents
(1) Digital Inkjet Printing:
The scope of what can be achievable has been greatly broadened by the rapid and ground-breaking advancements in the technology of digital printing. Plastic Card Manufacturing industries make use of digital inkjet printing which enables them to print high-quality images in full color onto plastic cards. This process is ideally suited to short production runs or one-off prints as they need a minimal setup. The ink used in regular ink jet soaks into the paper but this special ink dries by evaporation making it ideal for Plastic Card Printing.
(2) Screen Printing:
The demand for conventional screen print has been greatly reduced with the rise of digital print technology. However, for certain applications, they are still a viable alternative. This type of printing makes use of blocking stencils on a fine silk mesh through which ink is mopped thus transferring the stencil design onto a substrate. Then, under a high-powered UV light, the ink is allowed to completely dry. Thus, you achieve a durable print with strong, bold-coloured plastic cards. With Screen Printing, which is one of the well-known commercial Plastic Printing methods, the image quality is reduced but vector graphics reproduce well making this process ideal for printing onto most types of fabrics and sheet material.
(3) Flexo Printing:
Flexography, in short, flexo, is another form of printing process employed for Commercial Plastic Printing which makes use of a pliable relief plate. This can be regarded as a modern version of letterpress which allows printing on almost any type of substrates like cellophane, plastic, metallic films, and paper.
A fast and cost-efficient process, Flexo Printing is best suited to printing on pliable, thinner substrates like food packaging, plastic bags, vinyl labels on a roll, etc. When compared to screen printing, flexo printing can achieve better print quality, and this is the reason why this type of printing is widely used by Plastic Card Manufacturing industries. However, they are not capable of producing high-resolution images like litho UV Printing, inkjet printing, or gravure printing.
(4) UV Litho Printing:
You can get many of the benefits of standard litho printing, with UV Litho Printing. You can achieve high-definition images in a broad spectrum of colors but the main difference is that this form of Commercial Plastic Printing makes use of UV drying units which bake the ink onto the surface of malleable substrates. In this UV litho process, the initial setup is time-consuming as well as expensive. Still, run-ons are quick, which makes them the most cost-efficient option for longer production runs in Plastic Card Manufacturing Industries.
(5) Pad Printing:
This is probably the simplest Commercial Plastic Printing process. The image is first engraved onto a silicone plate which is then flooded with ink and wiped clean, which leaves the ink only in the etched area. When the surface of the ink becomes gluey, it clings to the printing pad and seals that side of the ink film. Then, the pad is pressed onto the product which leaves the image behind. This printing process is one of the best ways to print a 2-D image directly onto 3-D objects like promotional golf balls, bottles, and rulers. If you are looking for economical options, you should go for single-color pad printing but the option of multiple colors is also available.
(6) Laser Printing:
Standard office laser printers are also used by Plastic CardManufacturing industries to print on Plastic Cards. But always make sure that the material of the plastic card is laser compatible because inside a laser printer or laser coding system, there is a fuser unit that gets very hot and it can be disastrous if the plastic cards melt inside your printer.
Thus, as you can see, there are several different ways when it comes to Commercial Plastic Printing. So, depending on the task in their hand, Plastic Card Manufacturing industries decide on the type of printing that would be best suited.