August 2nd, 2022
If you're interested in buying custom-printed aluminum cans, you should first understand what the process entails. Learn the Inks used, the production process, and the lead times. There are also some important things to know about the minimum order quantity for printed cans. Read on to discover more! Listed below are some things to keep in mind when ordering custom-printed aluminum cans. Once you've found a printer that meets your requirements, contact them to learn more about the process.
Printing on aluminum cans
There are some important steps in the process of printing on aluminum cans. First, you must have your artwork prepared. You should choose the simplest version of your design. Using four colors instead of five will avoid bleed. When you have prepared the artwork, you need to resize it to fit the can. Then, you should select a suitable printing process. This article will explain the process of printing on custom aluminum cans.
The printing process on aluminum cans involves the use of an image carrier, a sleeve, plate or cylinder that transfers the ink from the ink roller to the substrate. Image carrier services manufacture and engrave plates and cylinders. The process is fast and easy. The printing house contracts with a graphic designer to create the graphic. The designer delivers the design in the form of a 1-up file. The printing house then contracts with a service to make engraved portions of the printing press. These engraved portions are necessary for legible printing on a variety of products, including aluminum cans.
A variety of inks are used in the printing process on aluminum cans, from solvent-based inks to water-based inks. These inks are formulated to work well on the material they're printed on. The most basic consideration is whether the material is compatible with the ink. Some materials can't handle inks that dry fast, while others have a high-temperature limit.
Metal surfaces are difficult to treat. Inks must be highly resistant to the elements. Beer canning facilities, for example, must be able to accommodate the multiple layers of condensation that form on the surface. Other companies must consider the extreme temperature ranges and problematic levels of dust. Regardless of the product, printing on aluminum cans requires careful attention to detail. While the cans themselves are not harmful, the process of canning can cause issues with the inks.
The ink used in custom printed aluminum cans must be capable of withstanding several tests. During the printing process, a separate screen must be used for each layer of ink. These stencils are designed by the printer and lined up precisely to ensure a seamless design. Once each layer is exposed, the screen will become hardened. After a specified time, the unhardened emulsion is rinsed away, leaving a clear imprint of the design on the aluminum can.
The production process for custom printed aluminum cans begins with the design of an image carrier (sleeve, plate, or cylinder), which transfers ink from the printing plate to the substrate. Image carrier services produce and engrave these carriers. In addition to producing aluminum cans, image carrier services are also essential to flexographic printing operations. The cylinders, plates, and sleeve are then subjected to a drying and curing process.
A successful drawing or ironing results in a top that is slightly wavy. This is called "earing," and it is an inevitable effect of the crystalline structure of aluminum sheet. However, the aluminum companies have studied this effect and have learned to manipulate the height and placement of the earing through a carefully controlled rolling process. After the can is cast, it is trimmed by about a quarter of an inch. The top of the can then forms as a result of the crystalline structure of the aluminum pane.
Lead times for custom printed aluminum cans are crazy and prices are sky-high. The domestic beverage packaging and can industry is already at capacity, and the big can suppliers prioritize Budweiser, Coors, and other A-list global brands. In order to keep up with demand, the minimum order quantity of 8.4 oz cans has increased by 500 percent - over five truckloads. However, even in these extreme cases, the lead times are still a significant concern.
If you need a small quantity, you can choose to purchase shrink-sleeved aluminum cans. The shrink-sleeve process allows for more striking designs, additional information about the brew, and more messaging. If you're an experimental brewery, printing directly on aluminum cans could take up to six months. The leading can printer recently stopped accepting new orders as big breweries occupied all their resources. In addition, the lead time for printing directly on cans is much longer than that of shrink-sleeved brite cans.
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