Traditionally, colour cards have been created by either ink deposition or litho and flexo printing, but the Hull company has introduced a digital solution to radically streamline the production process.
After extensive research, Springfield Solutions has devised a way to color match the shade of any paint, meaning inks no longer have to be individually created to reflect each shade to be printed on the card.
Digital printing also does away with the need to create printing plates, as is the case with litho and flexo printing, therefore drastically reducing set up times while retaining the high quality that is required by paints and coatings manufacturers.
Matt Dass, joint managing director of Springfield Solutions, said being able to create high quality color cards on a digital printer was a huge step forward for the paint and coatings industry.
He said: “Digital print has a lot of advantages over more traditional types of printing such as litho and flexo. Firstly, the lack of plate making means the process is far more efficient, and secondly, digital printing can produce short print runs. We can print as many or few units as is required. This is a problem for litho and flexo because printing short runs that way has never been efficient, so they have always been subjected to minimum order quantities, which often forces companies to order more cards than they need and to pay for that wastage. Digital completely does away with that.”
Mr Dass added that ink deposition had problems associated with it also, which Springfield has now overcome.
“With ink deposition, each individual ink has to be matched to each color to be printed on the card, which is time consuming and expensive,” he said.
“Ink deposition printers are also limited by the number of heads or ‘deposits’ they have, meaning the process of creating color cards has to be broken down into stages. And between each stage there are multiple ink clean downs to avoid contamination, adding more time and cost to the process.
“The problem for digital print has always been matching the shades of paint on the color card. After all, every paint and coatings manufacturer needs to give the consumer an accurate reproduction of what is inside the tin, but after extensive research we’ve managed to achieve that.
“We can now create digital color cards which are as good as their analogue forbearers, and crucially we can do it more efficiently and in any quantity required by a company.”