Litho and screen printing for Fluke

Profile picture for user Anna Minzel
By Anna Minzel | Aug 24, 2016
A Fluke laser radiation label using litho and screen printing

Each printing process has its own advantages and disadvantages. Because of these differences, multiple printing processes can be used for the same part. This Fluke radiation label uses two different printing capabilities – litho and screen printing.

Litho, or offset printing, is often used for very fine text because with screen printing, fine text may become distorted or blurry. During screen printing, the paint is forced through a screen onto the material, leaving more room for error on fine print. In lithographic printing, the ink is transferred from a stone or metal plate to the correct image areas using the repellent properties of water and ink. Lithographic printing for fine text creates a clear, consistent text.

For this part, lithographic printing was used for the fine print and screen printing was used for the colors. The opaque ink colors allowed for backlighting capabilities. During the screen printing process for the colors, the white was not placed over the red color to ensure the red color could be backlit.

Tight registration is essential for small parts because correctly lining up the label can be a challenge when there is little room for error. For more accurate registration, registration holes were used. These holes tell the machine where the part is and where to aim. Without tight registration, the green color around the embossed button would be off-centered and the transparent red section would be distorted. The tight registration allows for a more accurate label.

At GMN, we provide offset, flexo, screen, and digital printing. Find out more about our printing capabilities by reading our printing capabilities blog series.