GM Nameplate’s (GMN) Seattle, WA Division has just received a new digital press made by THIEME. This digital press produces the opacity of screen printing inks, but the print quality of lithography printing. The THIEME press has a very quick turnaround time, making it perfect for GMN to print lower volume jobs, as well as prototypes and projects that don’t allow much lead time.
Digital printing is a process that prints a digital-based image directly onto a substrate. There is less set-up and no printing plates or screens to make, which is not like other traditional printing methods. The cost of printing per sheet is often higher than that of other printing options, but is likely offset by the reduced labor time and cost savings due to not having to produce printing plates or screens.
Digital printing is best for lower to medium volume jobs that require gradations, half tones or more than three colors. The THIEME press can also easily print embossed overlays as well as transparent colored windows. An advantage of the THIEME press is its ability for customers to make quick changes to digital images on the fly. The press also makes serialization and personalization possible by printing fixed and variable data simultaneously.
The print heads include cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, light black and white. If white is not used, the print speed is 150 seconds (2 minutes, 30 seconds), however when white is used the print speed is 300 seconds (5 minutes). Although color matching is improving with digital printing, a downside to printing digitally is its limited color spectrum. If an exact color match is needed for a print, digital printing is not the ideal printing process. However, GMN can create a color profile that matches Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors, or color chips for each material. After the color matching is completed, GMN can supply custom ink cartridges.
The THIEME press can print on up to 2 inch thick material and on no larger than an 18”x24” sheet. If a job requires a larger sheet size, customers may be able to take advantage of our San Jose, CA Division’s HP Indigo digital press, which can handle a sheet size of 12.5”x37”. Customers may also utilize the Inca Spyder press at GMN’s Monroe, NC Division, where we can print 48”x60” sheets on a print bed that can take up to 5’x10’ of print area.
While there are multiple factors that contribute to the decision of which printing process to use, there are clear benefits and drawbacks of each method. GMN works with each customer to determine which printing method is best for the specific project, whether it is offset, flexography, screen, or digital printing. GMN offers a printing solution for every type of project.