Often the greatest frustration for a commercial printer is finding quality materials to print on – digital media that can be depended upon to work each and every time. To achieve the best performance from your printing materials, be sure to pick a supplier that uses the following best practices for developing dependable digital media.
Essentials for Reliable Digital Materials
Thorough Testing: No one digital coating or coating process works on every material. Each material must be lab tested with a variety of digital coatings and primers, then production coated and thoroughly tested on press to assure quality.
Pristine Clean Materials: Digital presses require a very clean environment. It is essential to use pristine clean materials free of slitter dust (the fine paper shavings that come from dull knifes, crush cutting, and the slitting process in general). What is not commonly recognized in the industry is that materials produced on wide web coaters are slit in the final stage of production (after the digital coating is applied). This creates slitter dust on top of the digital coating. Unless the narrow rolls are cleaned after slitting, you will have dust on the material that contaminates the clean environment you want for your press.
Corona Treating: Corona treating can be very effective on many materials in achieving better adhesion of the digital coating to the material. Some materials intrinsically have “low surface energy” making it difficult for the coatings to stick. Digital materials that are not corona treated prior to coating can be less dependable and have poorer print quality than those that are corona treated.
Professional Drying: The drying process after coating is one of the most critical steps. Standard drying units on flexo presses or other converting units are not adequate. Solvents must be thoroughly dried for proper coat and weight. Without adequate drying, digital materials will have blocking or stitching – the material sticks to itself as it comes off the roll.
Have questions about finding the right digital printing material for your next project? Talk with our team today at 636-349-6401.