Custom printed banners are printed using various methods of printing, such as offset, screen-print, and digital. The roll-to-roll banners in large quantities printed using an unlikely method of flexography or roll-to-roll printing.
This article will not fully detail the ins and outs of the flexography printing method. If you would like a full detailed understanding of this method of printing please read my previous article Flexography printing what is it? At the following location http://www.decalfactory.com/wp-index.php/2010/01/flexography-printing-wh…
Custom printed banners printed as individual banners not on a roll in small quantities usually digitally printed. In larger quantities, the method of printing used is either screen-printing, or offset printing.
The roll-to-roll custom banners are printed using two methods of printing; the method of printing determined by the quantity, width, and repeat or length of the banner on the roll. To define some terms would help at this time. The width of the roll banner called the web width and the length of each banners image on the roll known as the repeat size.
The digital method of printing would be selected for a small quantity of banners on a roll. The digital method prints any substrate on a roll with web widths ranging from one foot to as large as sixteen feet wide. This method of printing does not have a restriction on repeat length, but because of the slow speed of this method the roll lengths tend to be shorter.
The flexography method of printing is the only economical choice when a large roll length is required. The minimum roll length for a roll-to-roll banner usually is one thousand feet long. Some printing manufacturers using this type of printing may have smaller roll lengths, but not many have lengths less than 500 feet.
Flexography methods of printing roll-to-roll banners also have two other limitations, web width, and image repeat lengths. The largest image web width is thirty-six inches, and the longest image repeat lengths are seventy-two inches long. Since flexography, printing uses printing plates. The printing plate image width would be three feet by six feet image repeat length, if we printed the maximum size available.
Using this method of printing for roll-to-roll banners is very inexpensive, except for the first time set-up charge to produce the printing plates. This printing method can print one color up to four-color process or CMYK. The cost of the printing plates could $500.00 for one color to many of thousands of dollars for the four-color process image.
The question is who uses this type of banner? The number one industry that uses the roll-to-roll banner is the radio broadcast companies. I am sure many of you have seen a particular radio station in your town or city broadcasting in front of a retail store.
If you remember in the background was this long ribbon of material with the stations logo call letters and frequency number printed and repeated along the entire length of the ribbon of plastic. The roll-to-roll banner you have seen, but most of us did not know what it was.
The question is how a banner printed using flexography printing. The reason using this style of printing works is the banners used by the radio station after two to three days on location the banner are trashed. The next time the station goes on location another section of the one thousand foot banner roll is used.