What is the difference?
Plastic card printer (like Zebra priner)=Digital
In recent years, an increasing amount of commercial
print has been digital – as opposed to more traditional
litho. Where litho printing involves printing using plates
and ink, digital print uses a fine powder (toner) which
melts onto the paper.
As the need for personalized plastic cards rises the
purchase of a Plastic Card Printer becomes more of a
necessity. Plastic Card Printers are perfect for Museums,
Schools, Nightclubs, memberhsip organizations, clubs,
or any other organization that has a need for
personalized Plastic Cards.
Plastic card factory= Full colour printing with Heidelberg machines
Full color plastic cards are four color litho printed with Heidelberg machines. Unlike inkjet printers, thermal printers or color photocopiers, full color (C-M-Y-K) printing provides accurate, precised, detailed, natural, brilliant reproduction of your originals at a low cost-per-sheet. Full color printing has come a long way as technology continues to advance. In fact, the methods used today are so refined that it is possible to make copies that look just like the original photos.
Digital Or Litho Printing?
Utilizing the right software, a digital press will allow you to produce a mass market flyer come product brochure which you can personalize to each of your individual target audience. This is all driven by the data that you have on your customers/prospects. For example a well know car manufacturer regularly mails personalized postcards to its existing customers/prospects. The personalized message is not just the name and address but also the colour of the car, the model of the car and also a little note saying that they have owned their current model for xx number of years and it is due for a change. The servicing department of this well know group sends out service reminders using a similar method.
Speed of turnaround
Due to the way that digital presses work, they can produce the printed sheet immediately instead of having to go through several processes prior to being able to print as you would with a litho production. This means that for short run lengths it is possible to produce jobs same-day/overnight.
The benefit of Litho
If your project has a print quantity in excess of 1,000 copies then it is more than likely that Litho printing would be more cost effective. It is also still the most accurate process for colour reproduction. The Litho process is also much faster in terms of turnaround if your quantities run into tens of thousands.
A brief summary
A good starting point for helping you to decide which process is the most suitable for your current print project would be the total number of copies required. If your requirement is less than 1,000 copies then there is a far greater chance that your project would be more cost effectively produced using a digital press rather than a litho press. However the pagination and also the quality of the reproduction will also play an important part in the decision making process.
Seeking advice from a print professional will help you achieve your desired goals with the minimum of stress and heartache.