Summit Printing uses a variety or printing equipment based upon the specifications or each particular order. Printing equipment sizes and capabilities vary widely. Just as you wouldn't ride a bicycle across 2 states, nor charter a jet across town, it is important that each customer's project is paired with the correct printing press to meet client cost efficiency and turnaround time needs.
Large Sheet-Fed Presses
The use of large, sheet-fed presses used to be primarily focused on the printing of catalogs, big sheets of paper, and longer run printing. Quality and image resolution on these big offset presses is phenomenal, but these large presses do have a significant set up charge to start a print run.
There is an alternative!
Economical “Gang-Run” Printing
Summit Printing gathers multiple orders from many clients aross the USA and then combines their printing orders into one print run. The set up costs of each customer's print order are thus “split” with all of the other printing orders that are in that print run.
This offers tremendous advantages to our customers, giving them the highest possible quality printing with minimal setup costs.
Most of the full color printing prices on this site print at 500 DPI. NOTE: art files must contain only high-resolution images to reproduce at that resolution and clarity. Consult Summit Printing if you need assistance with your artwork.
Jet Offset Presses
Printing envelopes on a small offset press is somewhat slow and cumbersome, especially if it is not equipped with an envelope feeder. With speeds of up to 60,000 impressions per hour, a Jet Press can be a more efficient and economical way of printing envelope orders of 1,000 or more. Many can print on both sides at once (perfector capabilities) and some can print a full bleed on the front and back of the envelope in one pass.
Really long runs of envelopes (50,000 or more) are run even more economically on larger specialty web presses that print on a continuous roll of paper and are then die cut and converted into envelopes after they are printed.
Indigo Press Printing
Indigos are digital presses that print on paper, plastic and label materials without films or plates, enabling them to create personalized short runs with text or image variations without having to stop the press. Particularly well-suited for variable data printing, an Indigo can perform direct-mail addressing, consecutive numbering, smart barcoding, or any other variation throughout the run where each piece is unique, without the expensive make-ready charges or off-line finishing that other presses would require.
A Web Press prints on a continuous roll of paper rather than individual sheets. Best suited for longer runs, they can often produce printing at a lower price than a sheet-fed press when the quantity is high enough.
Ranging from 1 to 4-color printing (or more), web presses often have inline finishing capabilities well suited for business forms printing: collating, numbering, perforation, folding and gluing. Heat-set web presses can run coated paper, whereas cold-set web presses can only print on uncoated paper.
Wide Format Printing
Wide-format printers (or large-format) are all-digital and print with liquid inks kind of like an oversized ink-jet printer. The main difference is that they can print 24″ and wider. They are commonly used to produce smaller quantities of posters, banners, window graphics and other point-of-purchase advertising.
Wide format printers generally print on a roll of pliable print material: paper, vinyl and other thin substrates. More versatile models are flat-bed that can print on individual sheets that are thicker and/or stiff, such as rigid plastic. Inks can be aqueous (water-based), solvent, dye sublimation and UV depending on the intended use of the product. The inks vary in quality of continuous-tone, whether the product is indoor-only or can be used outdoors, and it's fade resistance when exposed to sunlight.
Screen Printing (serigraphy)
Screen printing is used to print logos on T-shirts, signs, bumper stickers and other flat substrates. Is a method of printing an image on an object by pressing ink through a screen. Also called silk screening, this method of printing uses a frame with a mesh or screen stretched across it. The design is created on the screen; this entire apparatus is referred to as the stencil.
Pad printing is required to print irregular (not flat) objects that screen printing can not, such as a coffee mug. Pad Printing uses a different process that creates semi-sticky inks. The pad picks it up and transfers it to the surface that the ink is to be printed on.
Flexographic (Flexo) Printing
Flexographic printing, often called flexo printing, is the main process used to print labels and packaging materials. It is the most prevalent printing process in use to make labels, corrugated containers, boxes, sacks, plastic bags, wrappers and cartons.
Flexo presses use water or solvent-based inks, and can produce pressure sensitive labels at speeds of 6,000-24,000 ft/hour with in-line variable data printing & die cutting.
The above list of printing equipment summarizes some of the most common press types and printing processes, but is far from being a comprehensive listing. Additionally, within each type of printing process there are numerous press sizes and capability variations as well.
In many cases a printing project may be performed on more than one piece of equipment. Each process has their own strengths and weaknesses, revealing the importance of having a variety of printing equipment at your disposal for any particular job.