TPC Packaging Solutions has been providing custom printing services for over 50 years. In this time, we have served companies from virtually every industry, developing custom solutions tailored to their specifications. Our custom printing services include flexographic printing, inkjet printing, thermal printing, and foil stamping, with options for multiple ink colors and finishes. Whether your project calls for a single-color metallic logo or a complex, multi-colored design, TPC will work with you to develop an optimal printing solution for your requirements.
Types of Printing
TPC specializes in four types of custom packaging printing:
Flexographic, or flexo printing, uses rotating cylinders to transfer prints from a plate to a roll of substrate. For each color in the design, the printer creates a flexible plate with a raised graphic. A series of rollers take up the ink, apply it to the plate, and then transfer the print to the material. The process is repeated for each color in the graphic.
Flexographic printing is rapid and cost-effective, so it is a good choice for high-volume runs. Our flexographic printing process can accommodate up to three different colors.
Inkjet printing is a form of digital printing, meaning it does not require physical plates to replicate a graphic. Instead, the printer is programmed to deposit ink in a specified pattern. During the inkjet printing process, nozzles move back and forth over the substrate, shooting droplets of ink at the surface as they go. This creates clean, high-resolution images that may feature gradients and other fine details. Also, because the process does not require physical plates, it is ideal for rapid turnarounds.
Thermal printing is unique in that it does not require conventional ink. Instead, the process relies on specialized substrates impregnated with thermal-activated ink. The printer head applies heat in the desired pattern, activating the ink and creating a dark print. While this process is fast and cost-effective, its reliance on thermal stock limits color options.
Foil stamping is a specialized technique used to apply metallic foil to a surface. First, a die must be created in the shape of the graphic or text. Then, foil is layered over the printing substrate, and the die is pressed into the foil. Applying heat and pressure to the die permanently impresses the foil onto the substrate. The process creates a clean finish with a premium appearance; however, the method is time-intensive, and color options are limited to those available as foils.
Examples of Printed Packaging Products & Materials
Between these four printing processes, it is possible to create virtually any packaging solution. Using these methods alone or in combination, we craft high-resolution, professional prints on paper, laminates, films, foils, and other materials. Specifically, we can provide:
- Printed corrugated cartons and sheets
- Printed corner boards
- Printed polybags
- Printed pallet bags
- Printed poly sheeting
- Printed shrink bundling film
- Printed pouches
- Printed form, fill and seal film
- Printed labels
- Printed tapes for packaging for marketing and identification
- Printed corrugated boxes
To achieve the best results for each project, we select materials tailored to the end application. For instance, flexographic inks are available in many different varieties, including water-based, solvent-based, and oil-based formulas. The right choice for your application depends not only on the substrate and ink color, but also on the product type, handling requirements, and more. We customize each project using:
- Different ink colors, textures, and formulations
- Varied foils with metallic, holographic, pearlescent, or satin finishes
- Thermal substrates with different color profiles
Which Type of Packaging Printing Service is Right for You?
Several factors influence the choice of printing technique. When discussing your project with TPC, we will likely review the following variables:
- Packaging Material. Inks perform differently on different substrates. Flexographic printing is especially well-suited for corrugated materials, for instance, while thermal printing requires specialized thermal stock.
- Print Complexity. Not all printing processes can render fine details at a high resolution. For complex graphics, you’ll likely prefer inkjet printing or flexographic printing.
- Size of Production Run. Whether a technique is time- and cost-effective depends largely on the size of the production run. Flexographic printing is often the best choice for very large production runs.
- Aesthetic Preferences. Certain details lend themselves to one technique over the others. For instance, if your design calls for a holographic finish, you’ll likely choose foil stamping. Similarly, if you need more than one color, you might choose inkjet printing over flexographic.
Choose Custom Packaging Printing Services at TPC Packaging Solutions
The team at TPC Packaging Solutions has broad expertise spanning flexographic, inkjet, thermal, and foil printing. Printing is one of our core converting service capabilities. We apply our broad expertise to meet packaging challenges of all kinds. To get started with your custom packaging printing solution, learn more about our converting capabilities, or contact the team today.