Digital Printing on Plastic Film- What You Need to Know About How We Print on Plastics, Films, and Sheets

digital packaging production digital printing press for flexible packaging

With our innovative digital printing technology, CarePac can print short run printed pouch projects and high color count images with minimal setup and no plate costs. Not only does this improve efficiency but it benefits our customers in the form of quicker project turnaround and greater personalization. It’s the 21st century -- your business has grown and changed, so isn’t it time your screen printing solutions evolve, too? 

Inkjet Printing vs Traditional Plate Printing

The easiest way to understand the differences between digital printing and traditional printing is to think about the size of the machines themselves. Modern day inkjet printers are highly sophisticated pieces of machinery, and are small enough to fit on the top of your desk. Although our digital printers are much larger than an inkjet printer, they are much smaller than traditional plate printers, which often take up an entire room and require a ladder (!!!) to use. 


Digital Printing For Packaging Pros And Cons Printing Methods

Put simply, digital printers are more compact. They’re easier to set up and run. With digital printing, our team simply has to turn it on and run material and supplies through it. Plate printing, on the other hand, is more involved and can be difficult to calibrate and set up. This is one of the reasons that smaller printer runs, and projects involving alot of different designs can lend themselves to digital printing. 


These differences probably mean very little to you (you’re not the one doing the printing, after all!). But when you think about the trickle down effects of these material and time savings, it’s a no-brainer that digital printing is great for many projects.  Quicker turnaround? Check. Looking for more customization capabilities? Check. It’s a win across the board! Read on to learn more. 

Custom Digital Printed Mylar Bags Eye Catching Weed Stand Up Pouch doypack cannabis packaging
digital printing granola pacakaging 3 side seal pouch with zipper for cereal, oat and cinnamon
Colourful Snack Nuts Bag Plastic Packaging Digital Printing Stand Up Bag With Zipper Doy Pack Bottom Food Grade Custom Pouch
Glossy Digital Printed Plastic Snacks Packaging Pillow Pouches Heat Sealed Pouch

Evolve with CarePac’s digital printing

Our digital printing solutions mean that more power is in your hands. You can choose from a wider range of high-quality materials, from paper and plastic sheet to plastic film and compostables, all of which have excellent durability and stand up or lay-flat characteristics. Our professional materials, combined with our digital printing technology, mean your bags will have better ink adhesion, UV resistant properties, scratch resistance, and fewer defects overall.

Getting your toes wet in fully custom printed bags can be easier with digital printing, than it is with plate printing. Because you’ll spend less time worrying about your bag printing project and more time focusing on what really matters: running your business and selling your product.

Breaking Down the Process of Digital Printing for Food Packaging

Digital Printing

Digital printing is the process of printing digital-based images directly onto your package. Artwork is separated into four ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK+W) This type of printing is best for small runs, or where you have a lot of different designs. Some advanced coatings, and techniques (Spot UV, Spot Matte) are not possible with digital printing. 


Pros:

  • No setup costs.
  • Shortest lead-times. 
  • Great for start-ups and seasonal SKUS.
  • Great at printing raster images and photos.
  • Perfect for short runs, some as low as 200 pouches. 
  • Physical proof available.
  • Can be used with most material.

Cons:

  • Higher costs.
  • Not advised for higher quantities.
  • Limited finish options and printing effects. 
  • Unable to exact color match PMS colors and some other ink limitations.
Breaking Down the Process of Plate Printing for Food Packaging

Plate Printing

Plate printing is commercial printing where the design of your bag is separated into multiple color plates. Plate printing yields the lowest per unit costs available. Brands you see in Walmart, Target, and so forth generally use plate printing. Most jobs can be completed with three to six plates. Use of metallic color may require additional plates. Use up to 10 colors.


Pros:

  • Lower per-unit cost than digital printing.
  • It is the most economical choice when scaling your business.
  • All Finish options are available.
  • Works with almost any material.
  • Metalized colors available
  • Full range of print effects, metalized, holographic, etc.
  • True PMS ink colors can be used.
  • Exceptional print durability and better ink opaqueness.  

Cons:

  • Minimum order quantity 5,000 pouches. 
  • One-Time Plate costs (typically $150 each)
  • Exceptional print durability and better ink opaqueness.  

Advantages and Applications of Digital Printing

Six Benefits of Digital Printing for Flexible Packaging Production No Plate Less Cost Fast Turnover

There are some unique advantages of digital printing that uses a plastic sheet. There are zero setup costs with printing on plastic, and it can be used with any material, including plastic inkjet sheets. Since we can print as few as 1,000 bags or less on thin plastic films, it’s ideal for short runs (think: seasonal, slow-selling products, trial runs, industries with frequent regulatory changes that can make certain bag designs obsolete.) Additionally, plates aren’t used in this process, so you won’t be charged a plate fee.

Our digital printing solutions are great for prototyping and start-ups with high color counts. Since the price per unit tends to be higher, many of our customers are those with smaller projects. With digital printing, you’ll get the fastest turnaround (about three weeks!). 



Disadvantages of Digital Printing

The advantages of digital printing should be obvious by now, so what are the disadvantages? We’d be lying to you if we said printing on smooth plastic sheets was the perfect printing option for everyone. As with everything, there are some unique disadvantages to digital printing. The primary disadvantage is the cost -- the quick turnaround, low MOQs, and greater flexibility does come with a slightly higher price tag. Ultimately, this isn’t the best option for very large orders.

3 Disadvantage of Digital Printing for Flexible Packaging Production Limit for Small Order Color Quality Expensive

The other disadvantage of digital printing is the color variance between batches. While there is rarely much variance within a single order, your next order may look slightly different. This has to do with the level of color calibration at the time of printing. This color variation is more apparent with lighter colors, so if your project mostly uses primarily dark colors you probably won’t even be able to notice the difference! Also the whites ink used with digital printing will be less opaque than other print processes.

Shrink materials and plastic films for digital printing

For our digital printing projects, we don’t actually print individual bags. Instead, we print rolls of material that’s laminated and converted separately into bags. Although any base material can be digitally custom printed, here are some of the most common materials and plastic film sheets we use for our digital printing projects: 

PET/VMPET/NY/PE

Care Silver

This is our line of metalized PET films, and is an economical and effective option for pouches. Care Silver is free from toxins, including BPA, TSE and sulfur, and Phthalates. 

PET/PA/PE

Care Clear

Clear barrier films are the backbone of barrier packaging. Our clear base barriers are affordable and provide protection against moisture and oxygen. 

PET/AL/PA/PE

Care Foil

Like clear barrier films, foil barrier packaging materials offer an incredible barrier to oxygen and water. Our CareFoil material gives you the barrier of aluminum with the added strength of mylar. 

Looking for a material that isn’t on this list?

 
Browse all our materials, or reach out to us for more information. Our helpful customer support team is ready to answer any and all of your questions.
CarePac offer Digital Pouch Printing Services - Custom Printed Flexible Packaging For Lay Flat & Stand Up Pouches



Digital printed bag features, services, and configurations

At CarePac, we love customization and ensuring that the bag you design has all the features you want. The below customization options aren’t limited to our digitally printed bags, either. Whether you custom order digital printed bags or go with one of our in-stock bags printed with plates, below are just some of the features you can include on your bag. Have something else in mind? Get in touch! We’re flexible!


Popular configurations

Our bags will protect your products from coming into contact with moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants and can be purchased in a variety of configurations, including stand up pouches, 2-seal pouches, tamper evident pouches, child resistant pouches (great for the cannabis industry!), and side gusseted bags, among others. View all our bag configurations here. 

Popular features 

We’re proud to offer a wide variety of fully customizable features that can help you market and sell your product. Some of those features include zippers, hang holes, tear notes, degassing valves (a must if you’re in the coffee industry!), and pull tab zippers. For a full list of all our features, check out all our configuration options here.

Digital Printing Matte Mylar 3 Side Seal Beef Jerky Snack Packaging Zipper Pouch
Food Safety Pouch serve as Camping Food Pouches Digitally Printed Packaging
Colourful Snack Nuts Bag Plastic Packaging Digital Printing Stand Up Bag With Zipper Doy Pack Bottom Food Grade Custom Pouch
Digital Printing Aluminum Foil Cookie Packaging Quad Seal Flat Bottom Stand Up Pouch Top Sealed

Experience the CarePac difference…today

CarePac specializes in custom digital printing projects for a variety of industries, from cannabis wholesalers to food and beverage distributors. We have exceptional customer service reps who are committed to making sure your order is completed to absolute perfection.
Matte Finish high end artisanal look Digital Printed Stand Up Pouches

 With our CareDesign® process  you can rest assured that your digital print project will be done right, no matter what. 

From nailing down the right colors to making sure the logo is in the right place, we understand you put a lot of time into perfecting the look and feel of your product packaging. With vivid colors, quick printing, and a variety of materials to choose from, we have the tools, the technology, and the expertise to make your project a reality. Ready to experience the CarePac difference? Get a quote today! 


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Flexible Leadtimes

FLEXIBLE LEAD-TIMES, EXPRESS 15, STANDARD 30, AND ECONOMY 60 WORKING DAY LEAD-TIMES TO MEET VARIOUS BUDGETS AND TIMELINES. STOCK BAGS SHIP IN 2-3 DAYS.

Digital & Plate Printing

We offer the full array of printing styles, bag finishes, and matirials, From Spot UV SoftTouch, and Spot Matte, To metalization, Foil Stamping, & more.

100% Truly Custom Bags

Fully customize every ASPECT of your bag. We don't lock you into fixed sizes, or materials, features, or bag type

Testing & Compliance

Our materials are FDA CFR 73, BPA & Phthalate Free, REACH, CONEG, and meet all the major compliance standards

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