Updated: Feb 28, 2020
Innovative Ideas From EP Cowens’ Newest Printing Technology
We’re always on the lookout for machinery and print equipment that fits in with what we do and can add real benefit to our existing and potential customers.
It’s why we invested in our AXYZ cutter and router and why we now manufacture letters completely in-house with our new channel letter bender.
It’s also the reason we’ve just invested in a dry toner small format digital printer.
You might think of these machines as beefed up photocopiers but oh no, they can produce a lot more than that!
Running SRA3 sized media, it outputs anything from lightweight papers right through to thicker card and synthetics.
I’ll run through a couple of the more imaginative materials further down but as you’d expect, it’s got all the basics covered.
We often get asked to be a client’s one stop shop.
That usually involves signage from aluminium trays and lit up letters through to banners, exhibition displays, wallpapers and anything else that comes under the sign and print remit.
It also includes business cards, letterhead paper, compliment slips and envelopes. We also produce a quantity of labels for both food products and small safety signs too.
We previously worked with a small format digital print partner for these paper add-ons and ran into few issues. But, wherever possible, we always look to develop and produce print in-house so we were on the hunt for a machine that was cost effective and could cover all we needed to do. Plus have the ability to print things that we didn’t yet know about.
By keeping everything under one roof instead of having to farm out different parts of a job means we can personally quality control everything all the way through. We can commit to deadlines knowing that we are in charge of meeting them, discuss products with the knowledge of what our machines can do, and have overall image and design control to match colours, graphics, logos and more across different print technologies and end products.
Having everything under one roof and being able to control throughput means a lot to us, we hope having one reliable source for your print is important to you too.
The new machine has enabled us to print the more standard corporate requirements.
We can now print large (or small) quantities of letterheads and business cards either as one design or of many multiples.
Being digital, everything can be bespoke and our design team can help with creating something with impact if you don’t quite have the internal resources.
It also has opened our eyes to other much more innovative products and some that you may not have been aware were even possible to produce in smaller volumes.
Anti-crease & cracking folded edges
When digitally printing any paperbased product that needs to be creased, ink cracks on the folded edges.
It’s down to the way the toner is fused onto the sheet. Unlike inkjet which can sit in the print layer or UV with its element of ink flexibility, dry toner doesn’t have the malleability.
However, having cracking on these creased edges isn’t something that we were happy with. It can make your folder or brochure look unprofessional and to be honest, it just doesn’t look like a proper job.
We’ve managed to source a tough board available in grammages from around 240gsm up to 300gsm that after printing we guarantee will never crack on these edges.
The manufacturer reckons it will take a thousand creases and folds before the fibres start to split and crack and who are we to argue? We’ve seen the proof with some of the brochures we’ve been printing and no matter how much toner we put on the sheet, the fold just isn’t for cracking.
A professional job needs to use the proper media.
We were also asked if we could source a product for the numbers on runners’ vests so off we went looking.
It needed to be weather and water proof, lightweight and super resilient. It had to be produced digitally because each, of course, had to be individually numbered.
After hunting and talking to paper manufacturers we found exactly the right product and went ahead with printing.
But we also found that different versions of this same product can be used for ID bracelets like the ones used at festivals, food labels for deli counters, membership cards and a whole range of other end uses.
It’s also oil resistant, tear proof, and fully machine washable! A bit of a wonder product that we’re sure we’ll be finding more and more imaginative uses for.
If you’ve got any ideas for a product like this, get in touch and we’ll create mock-ups and trials with you.
We’re always on the lookout for the newest technology that compliments both what we already do whilst always taking notice of what our customer’s want.
That’s why small format digital printing is the latest technology that’s now all in house at EP Cowens.