Ask the Experts

Need advice? Send your questions to our digital experts— Andy, Danny, Giles, Paul and Steve. 

Andy Stalmach, Danny Kahan, Giles Bristow, Paul Duffy and Steve Wilby are the Antalis Digital Experts. They all have a wealth of knowledge in the specific area detailed below so if you require info on the Antalis product range, the requisite technical information, knowledge of the markets or product applications, please just Ask the Experts.

We are all based at our Digital Academy which is our centre of excellence for digital printing and technology. Based at our head office in Leicestershire, the academy is a hub of information for anyone interested in digital print. Equipped with digital machinery we can offer live demonstrations and real life application case studies to help inform and educate you, whether you are a traditional printer looking at investing in digital print or a digital printer looking to expand your business portfolio and maximise the potential of your machinery. 

Need advice? Send your questions to our digital experts — Andy, Danny, Giles, Paul and Steve

Giles Bristow

Large Format Digital/Sign & Display

Paul Duffy

Colour Management/ Large Format Printing Systems

Steve Wilby

Small Format Digital

Danny Kahan

Labelling and Synthetics for Digital Printing

Andy Stalmach

Finishing and Lamination

FAQ's

Small Format Digital FAQ's

What is Small Format Digital printing?

Small Format Digital printing is the method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of substrates. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using high-volume laser (Dry Toner) or liquid ink (HP Electroink) printers. Small Format Digital allows for on-demand printing, short turnaround time, and even a modification of the image (variable data) used for each impression. The ever-increasing capability of digital equipment means that digital printing is reaching the point where it can match or supersede offset printing technology's ability to produce larger print runs of several thousand sheets at a low price.

Who are the main equipment manufacturers?

Dry Toner - Xerox, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, Canon Oce, Kodak

HP Electro Ink – HP Indigo

What is Dry Toner printing?

Dry Toner printing is an electrostatic digital printing process that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics by passing a laser beam over a charged drum to define a differentially charged image. The drum then selectively collects charged toner and transfers the image to paper, which is then heated to permanently fix the image.

What is HP ElectroInk printing?

HP ElectroInk is a unique liquid ink (Liquid EP) that combines the advantages of electronic printing with the qualities of liquid ink. HP ElectroInk contains charged pigmented particles in a liquid carrier. Like other digital printing technologies, i.e. Dry EP (or Xerography), HP ElectroInk enables digital printing by electrically controlling the location of the print particles. However, unlike Dry EP, HP ElectroInk enables very small particle size, down to 1-2 microns. HP ElectroInk is supplied as a concentrated paste that is loaded into the press in tubular cartridges in a ‘clean hands’ operation. Inside the press it is fed into ink supply tanks and diluted with oil, to form a fluid mixture of carrier liquid and colorant particles ready for printing. The image to be printed is created on the blanket with this fluid which is then transferred to the Impression cylinder which fixes the image to the substrate.

Why is it important to know which type your customer is using?

It is important to know which type your customer is using so that you can recommend the correct substrate that is to be printed. Some substrates will print using either technology but some are only suitable for one or the other.

How to find out the info if your customer doesn't know which type they have?

You can find out which type your customer is using by inputting their machine make and model into the Online Printer Compatibility Guide (insert link) which will show you this information as well as our suitable product range.

What products do Antalis have to offer for Dry Toner printing / HP Electroink printing?

Antalis product offering includes:

  • Uncoated & Coated paper/board
  • Synthetics
  • Folding Box Board
  • Magnetic (HP Electroink ONLY)
  • Self Adhesive (Sheets and Labels
  • Carbonless
  • Creative Papers
  • Creazy (Pre creased products – Dry Toner ONLY)
Can you use litho substrates on sfd machines?

Some litho substrates will run and print on Small Format Digital equipment but the quality of the print will be inferior to that on a Small Format Digital specific substrate. Also litho grades can cause excessive wear on the equipment causing deterioration in print quality and effect equipment performance.

What are the main applications for Small Format Digital printing?

Marketing Literature, Business Cards, Flyers, Menu’s, Reporting Accounts, Transactional Statements, Vouchers, Tickets, Labels, Maps, Instruction Manuals

What type of customer has Small Format Digital equipment?

Traditional printers, Pure Digital Printers, Advertising agencies, Retail, Marketing Agencies, Finance Institutes, Local Governments, Educational Facilities

Is this a growing market?

Yes! With the advances in Small Format Digital equipment capabilities, print jobs that were traditionally ran on litho, letterpress etc are now migrating to digital especially when the print runs are getting shorter.

There is also a growing demand for the printing of variable data, this could simply be individual names and addresses or could be more advance to include affinity images/text, customer specific information such as local maps or special offers based on buying habits which can only be handled by a digital process 

What support is available?
  • D2b website www.digital2busines.co.uk
  • Antalis website www.antalis.co.uk
  • There are 4 regional digital business partners to help with customer visits and any information you cannot locate on the d2b or Antalis website:
    • Jeff Gill – North & Solutions
    • Jim Whittington – Midlands, Bristol & Connect
    • Steve Wilby – London West, South West, Bristol & Sign and Display
    • Stephen Mellon – South East & TAMS
Where can I go if I need further information or assistance

You can contact the Digital Support Manager – Mark Browne

Large Format Inkjet UV Printing FAQ's

What is the background to Large Format Inkjet Printing?

It was first established in the late 1980’s, the machines were oil or waxbased pen plotters. The early pioneers were architects and designers, there were a very limited range of substrates. The original machines were very slow and suffered with ink clogging and head strikes, the substrates were slow drying and needed lamination and in short this was highly technical sales area.

Today’s machinery could not be more different; there are various types of inks, UV in this instance, lamination is not required in many cases and there seems to be an endless and growing list of substrates which are inkjet printable.

Today’s machinery is affordable and easy to operate and Large Format Printing is prevalent across in many Commercial Markets across the UK and Ireland.

What is the Technology involved?

These machines use either Piezo or Thermal technology essentially using a combination of electric charge and heat to emit the ink from the printhead onto the substrate.

Who manufactures the Technology?

The major manufacturers are Hewlett Packard, Jetrix, Oce,Vutek Agfa, Durst, Hewlett Packard, Inca, Oce, Vutek

Are there different ink types?

No there is only one type of UV ink which is both very durable and solid and bonds to the surface of the substrate that it is printed on using UV light.

Are there differences between these printers and Waterbased/Latex/Solvent printers?

Yes; both in terms of the inks used and the fact that it is possible to print both flexible and rigid substrates.

Are there various types of UV printers available?

Yes; there are entry level UV hybrid printers which can print both flexible and rigid media at relatively slower speeds and at the other end of the scale there are UV flatbed printers that can print on virtually any substrate in some cases up to five metre width at much greater speeds. There are also mini UV printers which can print goods for the promotional goods market.

Is the media that is printed suitable for indoor or Outdoor use?

Both! Media printed with UV inks is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

What are the main applications?

As well as the applications  listed in the Waterbased and Latex/Solvent FAQ’s there are many applications for printed rigid media

Point of Sale Material

 Point Of Sale Material

 

Point Of Sale Material2 

 

 

Indoor and Outdoor Signage 

 Indoor And Outddor Signage

 

Indoor And Outddor Signage2

 

Hoarding Panels

Hoarding Panels

 

 

What products do Antalis sell for this Technology?

Antalis stock a range of market leading rigid substrates that cover all aspects of this market. Key brands include Antecote Lite, Axprint,Correx, Dibond, Dilite, Foamalite, Forex, Kapa and Libra. 

What collateral is available?

The range is illustrated in our excellent new Sign & Display brochure as well as this there are an excellent range of samples and brand specific collateral; please contact your local branch for more details.

How do I get further advice/information?

You can use the Online Printer Compatabilty Guide to search and source the right product for the right machinery as well as download a printable PDF of products suitable for your machine. Alternatively please contact your local branch for more details.

Large Format Inkjet Waterbased Printing FAQ's

What is the background to Large Format Inkjet Printing?

It was first established in the late 1980’s, the machines were oil or waxbased pen plotters. The early pioneers were architects and designers, there were a very limited range of substrates. The original machines were very slow and suffered with ink clogging and head strikes, the substrates were slow drying and needed lamination and in short this was highly technical sales area.

Today’s machinery could not be more different; there are various types of inks which will all be explained in this series over the coming weeks, lamination is not required in many cases and there seems to be an endless and growing list of substrates which are inkjet printable.

Today’s machinery is affordable and easy to operate and Large Format Printing is prevalent across our customer base and there is huge potential to sell our range of substrates.

What is the Technology involved?

These machines use either Piezo or Thermal technology essentially using a combination of electric charge and heat to emit the ink from the printhead onto the substrate.

Who manufactures the Technology?

The major manufacturers are Canon, Epson and Hewlett Packard.

Who ManufacturesWho Manufactures2

 

Who Manufactures3

Are there different ink types?

There are two different types of inks, Dye and Pigmented. Dye were the original ink technology and these were very vibrant but susceptible to fade. Pigmented inks were introduced later and are more light fast.

All Waterbased inkjet printers that are currently produced use Pigmented inks. There are still some machines that use Dye inks within our customer base so we have ensured that the range of products we sell are suitable for both.  

Is the media that is printed suitable for indoor or Outdoor use?

As the inks are Waterbased the media that is printed is not waterproof and is therefore for indoor use and can only be used outdoors if the climate is suitable.

What are the main applications?

Typical applications include the following;

Exhibition & Event graphics

 Exhibition Event Graphics

 

Fine Art

 Fine Art

 

Photo/Poster printing

Photo Poster Printing

 

Proofing/Plan printing

Proofing Plan Printing

 

 

Where are these machines found in our Customer base?

As well as Commercial Printers these machines can be found in the following;

Advertising agencies & Designers

Architects

Educational Establishments

Hotel/Leisure Industry

Photographers

Retailers

Is this a growing market?

Waterbased inkjet output has increased substantially in recent years. Waterbased was the original inkjet technology targeted at indoor graphics; the advancement in outdoor technologies has slowed the growth down however there are a huge quantity of machines spread throughout all sectors of our customer base.

Key to our success in this market will be establishing which machinery our customers have, logging it on our Vecta Machine database and using the available collateral and support tools to sell the right product for the right application.  

What products do Antalis sell for this Technology?

We sell the Coala range of inkjet media. Coala is our exclusive Antalis Pan European range which comprises of Adhesives, Films, Papers, Specialities and Textiles. 

What collateral is available?

The range is illustrated in our excellent new Sign & Display brochure as as well as this there are Coala brochures, these are both available from Marketing and there will be a new swatch launched in 2014.

How do I get further advice/information?

You can use the Online Printer Compatabilty Guide to search and source the right product for the right machinery as well as download a printable PDF of products suitable for your Customer’s machine.

For further information please contact the Digital Helpdesk digital.helpdesk@antalis.co.uk

 

Large Format Inkjet Latex & Solvent Printing FAQ's

What is the background to Large Format Inkjet Printing?

It was first established in the late 1980’s, the machines were oil or waxbased pen plotters. The early pioneers were architects and designers, there were a very limited range of substrates. The original machines were very slow and suffered with ink clogging and head strikes, the substrates were slow drying and needed lamination and in short this was highly technical sales area.

Today’s machinery could not be more different; there are various types of inks, Latex & Solvent in this instance, lamination is not required in many cases and there seems to be an endless and growing list of substrates which are inkjet printable.

Today’s machinery is affordable and easy to operate and Large Format Printing is prevalent across in many Commercial Markets across the UK and Ireland.

What is the Technology involved?

These machines use either Piezo or Thermal technology essentially using a combination of electric charge and heat to emit the ink from the printhead onto the substrate.

Who manufactures the Technology?

In terms of Latex the major manufacturers are Hewlett Packard, Mimaki and Ricoh will launch in Spring 2014.

In terms of Solvent the major manufacturers are Hewlett Packard, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland and Seiko

Are there different ink types?

There is only one type of Latex ink; in fact despite its name the inks are waterbased inks using aqueous-dispersed polymer technology.

In terms of Solvent there are two types of ink. Firstly Full Solvent, the original Solvent ink; machines that print these inks require ventilation in the immediate vicinity as these inks contain potentially harmful compounds. Secondly Eco Solvent inks have less harmful compounds and can be used without any ventilation.

What are the differences between Latex and Solvent technology?

Latex is the newer of the technologies and there are some major differences between this and Solvent. Firstly media that is printed using Latex inks will be dry immediately it is printed whereas media printed using Eco Solvent and Full Solvent inks takes time to dry and for the Solvents to gas off. Secondly Latex inks contain no Solvents therefore there is the potential positive environmental impact. Thirdly Latex inks are fused into the substrate using heat rather than solvent. 

Is the media that is printed suitable for indoor or Outdoor use?

Both! Media printed both with Eco Solvent, Full Solvent and Latex inks is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

What are the main applications?

As well as all the indoor applications referred to in the Waterbased FAQ’s there are many outdoor applications;

Outdoor Posters

Outdoor Posters

 

Printed Banners

Printed Banners

 

Mesh Banners

Mesh Banners

 

Vinyl for Vehicle Graphics

Vinyl For Vehicle Graphics

 

One Way Vision

One Way Vision

 

What products do Antalis sell for this Technology?

We sell the Coala range of inkjet media. Coala is our exclusive Antalis Pan European range which comprises of Adhesives, Films, Papers, Specialities and Textiles. 

What collateral is available?

The range is illustrated in our excellent new Sign & Display brochure as as well as this there are Coala brochures and trial rolls of many products in the range; please contact your local branch for more details.

How do I get further advice/information?

You can use the Online Printer Compatabilty Guideto search and source the right product for the right machinery as well as download a printable PDF of products suitable for your machine. Alternatively please contact your local branch for more details.

Over Laminating Films

What is the background to Over-laminating films ?
Print over laminate films have been available for over 25 years. The film and adhesive technology has improved over the period to produce the high tech over laminating films used today.
What types of adhesive are used?
Water based acrylic dispersions and solvent acrylics. Water based adhesives are used on our Interlam Pro, Bio and Eco ranges, while solvent acrylics are used on our Protac and WeatherShield ranges. Solvent adhesives are better for use in external applications.
Are there different surface finishes available?
Yes many different surface finishes are available. These include (but are not limited to) Sand / crystal textures, Linen, Canvastex, Steel and Leather effects.
What thickness films are used?
20 -200 micron. Glossy films tend to be thinner and more pliable, while heavy textures such as our 190 micron Canvastex film offers a realistic canvas effect on any laminated image.
What types of film are available?
PVC/Polyester / Polypropylene / Bio-degradable are the main types used.
•Polyester films include some of our Protac range
•Polypropylene films include our Interlam Eco range of over-laminates
•Bio-degradable films are our Interlam Bio range
•PVC films come in two varieties. Monomeric PVC includes our Interlam Pro range, and Polymeric PVC which includes our WeaterhShield range. The Polymeric PVC is much more stable, and therefore is suitable for longer term external use than the Monomeric PVC.
What formats are available?
All Drytac laminating films are supplied in roll format. Roll widths include 650mm, 1040mm, 1300mm, 1370mm, 1400mm and 1550mm wide, and rolls are slit to 25 / 50 / 100 linear metres. Rolls suspended packed in boxes. Due to the weight of the rolls, all wider width material is supplied in shorter length rolls.
For how long will the over laminating film give protection?
Depends on the film type and adhesive type. UV inhibitors are present in both films and adhesive used by Drytac, which protect against UV
degradation to the underlying printed image. Our WeatherShield range of laminates offer maximum UV protection, while the solvent adhesive in the WeatherShield range ensures that it continue to performs for up to 7 years.
How long should I leave a printed image before over laminating?
Normally 24 hours is a safe period.
What products do Antalis sell for this Technology ?
We are the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for the Drytac range of Laminates
Do I need special equipment?
• Simple hand fed laminators are available for small format
• Large fully automated laminators are available for large format
Is heat necessary when laminating?
Heat will help the adhesive bond to the printed image and mould to the print profile.
What collateral is available?
The range is illustrated in our excellent new Sign & Display brochure. As well as this there are Drytac brochures and swatches
How do I get further advice/information?
For further information please contact the Digital Helpdesk digital.helpdesk@antalis.co.uk

Recent Questions our experts have answered

Do you have in your range of Large Format of papers any products that are FOGRA certified ?

Yes indeed; our Coala Universal Photo Paper in 190gsm and 240gsm is FOGRA certified.

Can you supplier stretcher bars to use in conjunction with the Canvas you supply ?
Yes, although we do not stock these we can source cost effectively for you; please contact your local branch for details.
Do you supply business card boxes for the digitally printed business cards that we produce ?
Yes we have, full details can be found in the Antalis Packaging brochure.
Using HP Indigo, how can I improve print quality on textured stock ?

Input the media in the RIP as  5/10 points lower micron value which will increase the pressure and push the toner into the undulations.

Glossary of Terms