Digital Printing

Digital Printing

Digital printing involves the spraying of ink directly onto the enclosure and then curing with UV light. The printer uses software to manage the image, controlling when the printer releases tiny droplets of ink directly onto the enclosure’s surface. The ink is applied in a specific sequence and pattern that allows the digital image to be accurately recreated. Digital printers have the capacity to print a variety of colors and gradients, but there are some limitations (like neon colors). When digital printing, we utilize specially designed fixtures to ensure accuracy. Because of this, if the enclosure is too large or has a feature that will compromise the print or equipment, we will likely resort to pad printing.

Pad printing uses a plate to transfer ink from the pad to the enclosure. This method only allows one color to be printed at a time, along with only being able to do a single enclosure at a time. The quality between digital printing and pad printing oftentimes does not vary.

The ink used in the digital printing process is UV cured. The adhesion / scratch resistance of the ink on the plastic is excellent. The ink cannot be scratched off of the plastic without mechanically scratching into the plastic itself. Internal cross hatch cut and tape testing resulting in no ink being pulled up after testing was completed.

Furthermore, after internal testing according to UL Standard UL 61010-1 (Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use, Section 5.3, Durability of Markings), there was no observable degradation in legibility, smearing or fading of the printing after performing the test.

The ink used in our printing process is acrylic based; UV cured, and is an ink system that is used for labels. It's not labeled as UV resistant because it reacts with, and is cured by UV light. However, the ink can be exposed to UV rays. The ink is commonly used in the sign and banner industries which endure heavy UV exposure. As with any ink, the color will fade over time. You may start to see fading in 2-3 years for typical outdoor applications and 3-5 years for typical indoor applications.

Vector based artwork is required. This includes, but is not limited to, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, and .pdf or .eps files.

(ACCEPTABLE ARTWORK FILES CHART/ PDF HERE)

Colors will be printed per your electronic artwork file. Artwork should be designed for the CMYK color space. If a PMS color value is requested, the CMYK equivalent will be printed. There may be a color shift in the process depending on the specific spot color. Black, red, and white are the available colors for keypad printing.

When printing is ordered, graphic file(s) with fonts converted to outlines or curves is suggested. If not converted, any fonts that are used should be sent along with the graphic file(s). If a font is not provided Polycase will use Arial.

Polycase offers full-color digital printing (also referred to as a 4-color process or CMYK) on most surfaces. It can be used for simple text, gradients, blended colors, color transitions, or photo-quality images. Vector based artwork (designed for the CMYK color space) is required for printing. In the unlikely event a surface is not eligible for full-color digital printing, Polycase can pad print. During approval process, Polycase will advise if pad printing will be performed.