GMN printing capabilities (part 1 of 3)

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By Andy Lampkin | Aug 04, 2014
Example of litho printing

GMN offers multiple printing capabilities, including offset, flexo, screen, and digital.  There are many factors to consider when planning the correct printing process to meet our customers’ needs.  Some of these factors include the thickness of the substrate, sensitivity of the substrate, type of ink being used, quantity, and the tolerance level. In this three-part blog series, I will discuss GMN’s different printing capabilities.

Offset printing,

Also known as offset lithography, this is a process in which the ink is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, which then presses the image on the printing surface.  GMN’s sheet fed offset printing can offer fast printing speeds, capable of printing four colors up to 122 lines per inch, making it an ideal and cost-effective choice for high volume printing.  Offset printing also gives accurate color-to-color tolerances, allowing for consistent print quality.

While offset printing is a great option for some projects, there are certain limitations. There are limited substrates that allow for good ink adhesion with offset printing, and the maximum substrate thickness is .020”.  Also, the ink is very transparent, and metallic and conductive inks cannot be used.  Offset printing is the best choice for large-quantity projects when the ink type and substrate are compatible with the machine. 

Flexo printing,

Also known as flexography, flexi printing is a process that uses a flexible printing plate. It is a roll-to-roll printing process, commonly used at GMN for producing wine labels. The process is very similar to a stamp, with the inked plates having a slightly raised image so ink doesn’t reach the recessed areas of the plate.

This type of roll-to-roll printing allows for exact color matching capabilities, which isn’t possible with other types of printing, such as digital. Our flexo printing presses handle all of the printing and finishing in a single line, producing at a very fast speed with fast-drying inks.  A major advantage of flexo printing is the ability to use a variety of substrates.  Flexo printing is best for high quantity production, particularly roll labels.

 

Read our other printing blogs in this series: