Inhouse Card Printing Technologies
Offset Printing technology is the most widespread one used in modern plastic card production industry. It starts with the making of offset printing plates for each color (CMYK / Pantone), usually directly from a digital source (“Computer to plate”—CTP). The image is exposed to the light sensitive plates with a laser beam. The plates are mounted to printing cylinders of the Offset machine, which during their rotation against water rollers and ink rollers. The water rollers soak the non-graphic parts of the plate, the ink rollers soak the graphic area of the plate with ink. The plate then transfers the ink to the rubber blanket of a second cylinder, which in turn offsets the image onto the PVC sheet running between it and an impression cylinder. Ink on PVC sheet dry immeaditely with UV curing system.
Our print line includes four 5 colour Heidelberg Speedmaster printers and one 4 colour Heidelberg Printmaster, which means we never have to settle for incorrect colour matching or print defects just to keep the line going. Every order is printed on separate printing plates and colours are matched to CMYK/Pantone or previous sample cards on every order, and colours are checked with a colour spectrometer and against physical swatches on every order.
Silk Screen Printing
The other technique used for plastic card printing to be performed with a porous woven fabric which is stretched over a frame. Astencil is created on the screen by filling its mesh for the negative parts of an image. The common method to do this is the photo emulsion technique. A positive film of the image is made and placed over the screen, which is coated with a light sensitive emulsion. Exposed to ultraviolet light, the emulsion will harden in the parts of the screen, where the UV light passes through the transparent areas of the film. The non-hardened emulsion will be washed away afterwards from the screen and a negative stencil of the image will remain. In the press, the screen is placed over the PVC sheet to be printed and filled with ink.
The decoration of cards with metallic and effect pigment inks is realized by the screen printing as well. In order to offer the combination of high precision and productivity, we use fully automatic Sakurai screen printers in a dust free enviroment.
Orders requires high or complex customization are processed in our latest technologly HP Indigo digital printers with up to 3600dpi high quality output. Cards are fully customized to be relevant to your audience, and can be custom-tailored to specific individuals or groups, be it static, personalized, or segmented data. Applications include personalized advertising, automatic numbering, bar codes, alphanumeric databases and photos.