Litho printing is undoubtedly the most commonly used method for printing paper packaging, as litho printers can accommodate heavier stock (paper) that’s more suitable for product packaging. But of course, litho printing has its issues. A development in recent years named ‘H-UV’ or ‘Hybrid Ultra Violet’ has helped us greatly reduce the impact of these issues.
In the last 35 years we have seen every type of print challenge you can think of but the recurring offenders when dealing with litho always tend to be:
- Spray powder
- Dull imagery on uncoated papers.
Here at Short Run Packaging we were very proud to have been one of the very first companies to install Komori’s aforementioned H-UV system. In these next few paragraphs, I will explain how H-UV is helping deal with these 3 most common litho issues.
This comes from having pretend one side of the sheet, when passing back through on the second side, the still tacky ink marks on impression cylinders inside the press, leaving press minders with square eyes! H-UV Technology enables the ink to be dried via a UV light source which instantly cures the ink to ensure no marking can occur, the ink is dry before it even lands in the delivery, meaning 100% mark free print on every sheet.
Often overlooked! Spray powder is applied in conventional litho printing to ensure sheets dont stick together when the arrive in the press delivery (see image) This white powder not only settles in the ink, but leaves it’s residue all over the sheet – which means a rough surface, not desirable on silk, or satin papers. With H-UV technology, there is no longer a need for spray powder which results in a superior finished product, the quality of litho but the instantly useable and dry properties of digital.
Dull imagery on uncoated Paper
Finally! The endless years of dull flat images lacking detail and definition on uncoated papers, recycled papers and open carton board are now over. The current trend for uncoated paper, by new sheet and recycled has left print companies scratching their heads on how to deliver a sharp image at 300dpi and second guess colour weights after the ink has ‘dried back’ (this is in fact where the ink soaks into the surface of the paper)
H-UV technology dries the ink on the surface, so the colour you see is the colour you get plus the definition is second to none. Sharp, bright and vibrant imagery can be printed on any substrate, the kicker is there is no need to wait for ink to dry, so an all out black solid can be printed on 100gsm bond with no marking and no waiting for it to dry. Print has changed.
What is the downside?!
As a client – None! – You only get to see benefits, it is all an upside, colours match, ink is dry, print is vibrant.
From a print company perspective, inks are considerably more expense – speaking from our own experience the setup of the press needs to be right, if you start to use cheap consumables etc you will have problems, something to be aware of when looking to buy print. Companies who are perhaps more of a ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ are likely to encounter problems, but this technology is more about delivering quality to discerning clients.
If you believe H-UV technology is something you would like to adopt to help improve the quality of your printed packaging then please get in touch.