Flexo, Gravure & Digital Printing
Midwest Engineered Systems can design and manufacture web handling equipment with multiple printing technologies. With the variety of printing processes available today, each has its own relative strengths and weaknesses depending on the printing process needs. Among some of the most popular are Digital, Flexographic, Thermal, Inkjet, Gravure and Offset.
We use a variety of industry-leading technology, equipment and techniques to integrate into systems to bring out the best of those processes. We’ve integrated large-scale web handling and highly specialized sheet-fed systems for many industries such as the food and medical packaging industries, makers of corrugated boxes, newspaper and other print media companies, and manufacturers of self-adhesive labels.
Based on the customer’s needs, we have specialized skills integrating the following printing methods in our systems.
With flexographic printing, the image to be printed is rested on a rubber-based printing plate. These plates are flexible photopolymers that are positioned around web press cylinders that rotate. The plate is inked, with the inked image being moved to the printing surface afterward. Flexographic printing works effectively on a variety of absorbent and non-absorbent materials, including metals, cellophane, paper and plastics. At Midwest Engineered Systems, we have integrated large-scale web handling systems for many industries such as the food and medical packaging industries, makers of brown corrugated boxes, newspaper and other print media companies and manufacturers of self-adhesive labels.
Digital printing tends to be superior to the old-school, analog printing processes. A major reason for this is that digital printing devices do not rely on printing plates to transfer images onto a given media substrate. Rather, digital printing presses can directly print the image onto the substrate. Digital printing is becoming the favored printing method for many businesses because it usually has reduced costs due to the lack of metal plates, the lower amount of steps and faster speeds offered in digital printing, the printing flexibility and superior quality offered by this form of printing.
Inkjet printers use tiny ink droplets pushed out by print head nozzles. This printing method can be used for many materials, such as floor tiles, doors, paper, canvases and plastics. According to Prepressure, it’s a popular choice for sign and poster makers and distributors. It’s also an ideal choice for publications that have short runs, such as books or photo books.
Having no need for ink, thermal printing uses heat to interact with paper to produce desired images. Printing can be accomplished within milliseconds and images also dry very quickly. Electronic Business Machines notes that thermal printing reduces organizational costs related to printer maintenance and consumables. Thermal printing system breakdowns and jams are also much less frequent, due to less moving parts in the sheet feed system.
Gravure printing is a process where the desired image is engraved into a cylinder designed for printing. The printing cylinder is inked and the ink is moved onto the paper medium. This process is used in high-volume web-fed printing products such as magazines, newspapers, brochures, packaging and other products.
Offset Gravure Printing
In offset printing, the inked image is moved (offset) from a printing plate to a rubber-based blanket and finally to the printing substrate. Offset printing works well on flat surfaces such as cardboard, plastic, paper and other materials. Offset printing is also used in high-volume printing industries, such as newspapers and books.