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Printing onto plastics

Printing onto plastics can be done in a number of ways dependent on the product required. Printing onto rigid plastic sheets is usually done on a special litho press set up for UV printing. Unlike conventional printing presses, UV printing onto plastics requires special inks and chemicals as well as an ultra violet drying unit. Some of the products that are produced on UV lithographic presses are:

  • POS / POP display items
  • Polypropylene folders, binders and wallets
  • Plastic card printing
  • Stickers, window graphics and vinyl labels
  • Lenticular printing
  • Plastic packaging

These are just some of the more common products we are asked to produce when UV printing on plastic but if you have any other products you require on polypropylene, PVC or vinyl please get in touch to discuss the options.

Flexo printing onto Plastic

Flexo printing onto plastic is sometimes a more cost effective and more suitable method for production, especially when printing onto thinner more flexible substrates such as bottle labels, printing onto carrier bags or packaging bags. Printed plastic bags are usually referred to as poly bags due to the base material being polythene or polypropylene. The disadvantages to flexo printing are that it is not capable of producing an image as high resolution as litho UV printing, digital printing or gravure printing. It does however produce a better quality for images than screen printing.

Other plastic printing methods

Other methods of printing onto Plastics are:

Gravure printing onto plastic

There are very few gravure printers in the UK and non that print onto plastics. When we have a requirement for high resolution printing onto polythene bags or polypropylene material we use our select partners in the Far East. Importing from any country outside the EU requires specialist knowledge of the product as well as shipping and import taxes. It is also fraught with the danger. We have already highlighted how not all suppliers in the UK are equal, but this applies even more so in the Far East. There are a lot of middle men with no direct industry experience and even fraudsters posing as manufacturers in order to try and get your money. grgprint Management have set up relationships with trusted partners in China India and other Eastern countries whom we know to produce a good quality job in the time they quote.

Screen printing onto plastic

Screen printing is another method of printing onto plastic but this process is usually used for rigid or banner materials. The quality of screen printing is not suitable for high resolution graphics that need to be viewed from a short distance, less than 10 meters, but over and above that it is usually fine. Screen printing is another type of UV printing so again requires special inks and UV drying units. Printing onto rigid materials such as foam board and dibond for point of sale, office cladding or exhibition stands can be done using screen printing. An alternative higher resolution option for these products is to use flat bed digital inkjet printing. This may also be less expensive on very low quantities but often not viable on much large volumes.

Summary of Plastic Printing

So once again we have a very diverse sector of printing covering numerous niche printing techniques and technologies. This only goes to emphasise why it is so advantages to have an expert on your team. grgprint Management work for and with you, in your interest, not an particular printing house. We take your specification and requirements and look at them with an open mind. When suitable we may look at multiple production options to try and establish which suits the best taking into account budget and the desired result.

Call today to speak with on of the team about your plastic print requirements. Tel: 0113 383 3888