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Printing Technology for Digital Label Printing
There are many different types of printing methods that can be used to produce labels, each with its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will focus on three of the most common methods: UV inkjet, water-based inkjet, and toner-based printing.
UV inkjet printing is a type of digital printing that uses ultra-violet (UV) light to cure the ink as it is printed onto the label material.
This allows for a wide range of colors to be printed with high accuracy and resolution, and the ink is also highly durable and resistant to fading and smudging.
One of the main benefits of UV printing is that it allows for short run production of labels, making it a cost-effective option for smaller businesses or for producing custom labels in small quantities.
However, UV inkjet printing can be more expensive to set up and maintain than other printing methods, as it requires specialized equipment and ink. It is also not suitable for printing on certain types of materials, such as heat-sensitive or porous materials.
Water-based inkjet printing is another type of digital printing that uses water-based inks to produce labels. This method is similar to UV inkjet printing in that it allows for a wide range of colors to be printed with high accuracy and resolution.
Some water-based inks are not as durable as those used in UV inkjet printing, however new water-based pigment inks show a lot of promise. Water-based inkjet printing is a good option for producing labels that will not be exposed to harsh environments or handling, such as those used for indoor signage or product labeling.
One of the main benefits of water-based inkjet printing is that it is a more environmentally friendly option. The inks are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and do not emit harmful emissions during the printing process.
However, water-based inkjet printing is not as resistant to fading and smudging as UV inkjet printing. It is also not suitable for printing on certain materials such as plastics or metals without a primer.
Newer pigment based ink is much more efficient than the dye based ink from years prior. The pigment is heavy enough so that once the water carrier is evaporated off, the pigment will resist fading or smudging.
For these water based inkjet inks it can be beneficial to add IR or NIR drying inline with printing to help cure the ink at speed.
Toner Based Printing
Toner-based printing is a type of printing that uses a dry powder known as toner to produce labels. Toner-based printing is most commonly used in laser printers and is a good option for producing high-volume runs of labels. Toner-based printing is known for producing crisp, sharp text and images with a high level of accuracy and resolution.
One of the main benefits of toner-based printing is that it is a cost-effective option for producing large runs of labels, as the toner is inexpensive and the printing process is relatively quick. Toner-based printing is also suitable for printing on a wide range of materials, including paper, plastic, and metal. However, toner-based printing is not as durable as UV inkjet or water-based inkjet printing, and the labels produced using this method are more prone to fading and smudging.
In conclusion, each type of printing method has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, and the best method for producing labels will depend on the specific needs of the project.
UV inkjet printing is a good option for short run production of high-quality, durable labels, while water-based inkjet printing is a more environmentally friendly option for producing labels and packaging for food contact.
Toner-based printing is a cost-effective option for producing large runs of labels, but the labels produced using this method are not as durable as those produced using other methods.
There are a wide range of inkjet printers and toner printing presses on the market. Understanding the differences between these types of equipment and how they print can be very helpful when researching new equipment.
We hope that our blog on UV ink and toner, as well as UV LED technology is helpful in making these determinations.
As always, feel free to reach out to our experts at Arrow Systems for any questions your may have!