With lead times getting shorter and customer demands constantly evolving, it is more important than ever to improve efficiency and remain agile. Keeping on pace with the latest technology, GM Nameplate's (GMN) Seattle, WA division recently installed a new, state-of-the-art digital printing press. Born out of the strategic collaboration between Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Ricoh) and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), this technologically-advanced press allows GMN to undertake projects that weren't possible on other printers.
Printing up to 90 sheets per minute, the digital press scores high on efficiency, consistency, and repeatability. It can print on several substrates such as paper, vinyl, polyester, and polycarbonate, up to 13"x19" in size. Unlike the previous digital printers at GMN, the new press doesn't require any stock preparation or special coatings on substrates, thereby making it seamless to switch between different projects. Using a four-color process, it produces extremely crisp, high-resolution images. In addition, it is also equipped with the Heidelberg color-matching system, which allows the press to read and precisely match any color. It also has an internal system to ensure the color stays consistent even over the largest print runs.
With other popular printing techniques, the printing process can be quite cumbersome. For instance, lithographic printing requires creating the artwork on a photographic plate, storing the plate, and curing each color in the image individually. Similarly, screen printing requires preparing separate screen meshes for every color in the design, manually mixing inks, and printing one color at a time. However, with this new digital press, all you need is a digital art file. As a result, it not only eliminates all the time-consuming practices associated with other print methods but also produces significantly less waste.
Much of the non-metal work that was previously accomplished with screen printing or offset printing has migrated to the new digital press. Ideal for quick-turn prototyping and high-volume projects, the press is primarily used for markers, graphic overlays and labels. The press can also print variable or serialized data.
By embracing cutting-edge technologies and equipment, GMN aims at meeting the most nuanced needs of its diverse customers. The addition of the new digital press has truly enabled GMN to provide the highest quality solutions to a wide variety of industries.