Which label printing technology is right for you? Get smart now.
The printing business is a vibrant market. Digital technology and clients are breaking creative barriers as we speak. Exciting? You bet. But do you really have to understand the difference between the various digital printing technologies? You just want to print, right?
Sure, but look at the conventional market. It has a broad range of technologies: letterpress offset, flexo, gravure, screenprint, etc. These technologies exist because each has its unique strength and gives your printing business a competitive edge.
So to ensure that your digital investment can address the application and end-use segments you aim for, take a few minutes to do a little homework. What you learn about each technology - water-based inkjet, UV inkjet, liquid toner, dry toner - can have a direct impact on your business’ success.
At some point, the printer looking to invest in a lively market has to ask him or herself: “Which technology should I go for?”
The major question? The choice between dry toner and UV inkjet solutions. Let’s start there.
Dry toner is a powder-like material that is fused onto its substrate by applying heat. Inkjet, on the other hand, is jetted onto a substrate as liquid droplets. This fundamental difference creates pros and cons both ways.
For example, inkjets being liquid can be absorbed by a substrate to a degree. Yet as they are jetted they depend less on the substrate to create an image. Also, by increasing the droplet size you can generate a thicker layer, resulting in a tactile or more haptic effect.
The difference in transmission – fusion as opposed to jetting – can also affect the precision of the image dot positioning.
Needless to say, there is no right or wrong answer to the dry toner vs inkjet question. The golden egg depends on what you are trying to achieve. Best keep a few details in mind:
For instance, the individual particle sizes of dry toner and inkjet are very different. An image dot size of 21µm consists of 10-15 toner particles or 60-80 inkjet droplets. This, in turn, affects the opacity.
What’s more, the effective dot size can vary according to the printing solution and the substrate. A liquid inkjet droplet (3D shape) on a substrate will end up having a larger final diameter as it is transformed to a 2D shape. This also varies according to the absorption of the substrate.
For any printing job, one given characteristic will be more important than the others. See how dry toner and UV inkjets compare for a number of key points.
Dry toner and UV inkjet are very complementary technologies with huge potential. Depending on what you want to achieve, elements such as substrate conductivity and process reliability, can have an important effect on the results. Don’t let that put you off. A chat with one of our experts will bring you more clarity when choosing between dry toner and UV inkjets.
Think of the bigger picture: more flexibility, cost-effective short runs and increased productivity. Let us help you get there.
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