There are a lot of options in the label printing world right now.
You can choose between many different styles of printing, including rotogravure, flexographic, offset, or inkjet and other digital options.
All of the different printing types offer benefits and draw backs. Knowing which method to use can make a big difference in overall cost, cost per label, turnaround time and volume potential.
As this year has progressed, some of the staple brands in flexographic printing have premiered a hybrid version including some digital elements.
For absolute speed of printing, offset printing generally takes the cake for high volume. However, turnaround time is lowest for lower volume jobs printed on digital presses.
1. Offset Printing – 3000′ per minute
2. Gravure Printing – 2700′ per minute
3. Flexographic Printing – 2000′ per minute
4. Digital (Inkjet) Printing – 833′ per minute
5. Digital (Electroink) Printing – 137′ per minute
Most of the label printing industry is done on flexo presses. This portion of the industry has been leading for the last 40 years or so, but that is changing with the advances in digital printing technology and speed.
Now, some of the digital presses are gaining speed close to standard label printing speeds of flexographic presses (250-1000′ per minute).
For turnaround time, the list in pretty much in reverse.
1. Digital (both Inkjet and Electroink) – 1-10 days
2. Rotary (Flexo, Gravure and Offset) – 10-60 days
The type of printing impacts speed of printing, but also speed of delivery. Because there are so many steps involved in beginning the printing process for rotary printing, it can take a very long time to get the labels delivered on a lower volume order. For digital printing, the order may have to be at press for a very long time to complete the same high volume order because the speed is so low comparatively.
The differences are worth weighing out to see which style of printing will best suit your needs, budget-wise and time-wise.
We work with a digital press that uses electroink technology. This style of printing is very high quality for resolution, does not have registration errors and has an extremely quick turnaround time. We can get your order processed and ready to ship the same business day.*
If you have any questions or would like help getting one of our live quotes, give us a call at 877-277-4682 or click the “Live Chat” link at the bottom of this page.
* In order to get the order shipped out the same day, you have to place your order by 10am EST via our website, paying with a credit card, and select no proof or electronic proof so that it can be moved into production as quickly as possible. Delays in proof approval, or addition of most options can delay your processing even if you pay for an expedite.