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Advantages of Screen Printing over Digital Printing

(August 2016) posted on Tue Aug 16, 2016

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By Michael Hurley

Intrinsic Benefits and Broader Options

Screen printing is evolving and thriving in the 21st century, steadily expanding to new markets and applications, as it continues to prove its unmatched versatility among commercial and industrial printing processes. Combining the highest available image quality with precision engineering and control, today’s screen-printing equipment is used for a wider range of materials and operations than any other printing technology.

Flexible and dependable, screen printing remains the dominant mass-imaging technology. Despite some advances in digital printing technology in certain sectors of the industry, the adaptability and cost effectiveness of screen printing, particularly in production environments, ensure its continued viability. At the same time, researchers and engineers are constantly developing new uses for screen printing technology in emerging industries. From limited-edition artistic serigraphy to high-volume industrial image reproduction; from colorful T-shirts, jackets, and hats to printed circuit boards and biomedical sensors, the many inherent advantages of screen printing signal new opportunities for growth and continued dominance within the printing industry.

For commercial printers, balancing cost and quality considerations, screen printing provides significant advantages in four key areas: quality, durability, versatility, and profitability.

Screen printing delivers quality. Modern screen-printing equipment and materials provide printers with a broader color palette and superior color saturation. Thicker application of ink to substrate means more pigments than digital imaging, resulting in richer, more vibrant colors. Screen printing also allows the introduction of custom colors and special effects into the printing process.

Screen printing provides durability. Heavier ink coverage in the screen-printing process results in outstanding image durability compared to digital printing. Coatings and additives can be introduced to inks to enhance resistance to UV rays, moisture, chemicals, and scratching so that screen-printed images can be used outdoors and in other harsh or extreme environments without fading or wearing.

Screen printing offers versatility. Screen-printing processes are adaptable to a much wider range of substrate materials than digital technology, including fabrics, glass, wood, metals, and many high-tech materials. A greater variety of inks is available to printers, including metallic and unique specialty inks. Screen printing is favored for most forms of high-volume graphic print production.


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