Making the right choice

Silk Screen Printing and InkJet (Digital Varnish) technologies are paramount for brands looking to differentiate their products on the shelf.

Both methods offer distinct advantages and cater to different market needs, making the choice between them dependent on several key factors including setup time, sustainability, cost implications, and the specific demands of the project.

Silk Screen Printing: A Legacy of durability and quality

Silk Screen Printing stands as a time-tested method, renowned for its durability and the high-quality output it can produce. This analogue process is especially effective for bulk orders and has traditionally been used to accommodate a wide range of materials such as textiles, wood, and glass – today, however, this can also be done on an InkJet unit. Its capacity to handle metallic effects through coldfoil and hotfoil, alongside embossed or raised effects and domed features, makes it a preferred choice for projects that demand a premium presentation and high durability. These embellishments are not just for aesthetics; they play a crucial role in capturing consumer attention by conveying exclusivity and superior quality.

Digitalisation’s next leap: InkJet Printing with Digital Varnish

Conversely, InkJet Printing, with its Digital Varnish capabilities, introduces a new level of flexibility and customization. This technology is ideal not only for short runs, thanks to very low setup costs, but also as a door opener to new exciting high quality embellishment processes. It shines in applications that require detailed imagery and allows for rapid design changes and on-demand printing, making it a favorite in the fast-paced world of value-added consumer goods. Adding spot varnishes, high build varnishes, digital cold foil, and doming effects offers a modern approach to customization, enabling intricate designs and personalized details on a per-item basis. InkJet introduces new capabilities with various layer thickness in the same print/job opening a world of new opportunities.

Making the Right Choice

When selecting the appropriate technology for a project, several considerations come into play:

  • Setup Time: InkJet printing significantly reduces setup times, offering a clear advantage for projects with tight timelines or those requiring frequent updates.
  • Sustainability: InkJet printing stands out for its eco-friendly approach, minimizing waste, reducing water consumption, and optimizing materials and inks, making it a more sustainable choice than traditional silk screen.
  • Costs: While Silk Screen Printing offers economic benefits for large-scale productions due to its cost-effectiveness at volume, InkJet printing is more suited for small to medium runs, where its lower setup costs and flexibility can provide financial advantages.

Navigating the choice between Silk Screen and InkJet for premium packaging

Both Silk Screen Printing and InkJet (Digital Varnish) technologies offer unique benefits that can significantly enhance the appeal of labels and packaging. The decision between these two should be based on the specific needs of the project, including the desired visual and tactile effects, substrates, production volume, environmental considerations, and budget constraints. Whether aiming for the tactile richness and durability of Silk Screen embellishments or the customizable, sustainable appeal of InkJet finishes, brands have at their disposal powerful tools to create packaging that not only attracts attention but also resonates deeply with consumers.

An InkJet system is typically a higher investment compared to its analogue competitor. Primarily because it comes as a whole package including automatic ink systems and complete digital infrastructure. However, as the yield and utilization % is almost twice as high in InkJet, the ROI is short.

The digital infrastructure in the the InkJet setup easily supports existing and future digitalization in demands in printing environments supporting data exchange in workflow systems and enhanced IoT abilities.

A trend towards dual-technology

As the landscape of labels and packaging continues to evolve, there is a growing trend where more companies are opting to integrate both Silk Screen Printing and InkJet (Digital Varnish) technologies into their setups. This strategic approach allows them to leverage the distinct advantages of each method to suit different project requirements, ensuring the best fit for each unique situation.

This dual-technology approach not only maximizes the aesthetic and functional appeal of products but also enhances operational efficiencies, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.

As brands strive to meet the ever-changing consumer expectations and market dynamics, the ability to utilize both Silk Screen and InkJet technologies becomes a competitive advantage. It enables businesses to diversify their offerings, reduce turnaround times, and meet sustainability goals, all while maintaining high-quality standards. This holistic approach to labels and packaging technology exemplifies the industry’s move towards more versatile, responsive, and customized production capabilities.