What we do

Flexographic Printing

Flexographic printing has grown to the most used print technology in the label printing industry today, providing an optimal combination in quality, productivity, and flexibility. But what is flexo printing and how does it work?

Flexographic printing is a technique that uses a flexible printing plate made of flexible photopolymer. The plates are wrapped around cylinders on a web press. The inked plates have a raised image and rotate at high speeds to transfer the ink through small holes from the anilox roll to the substrate; each color requires a different printing plate.
Flexo printing is unique because it adapts well to different materials such as thin film, paper, carton board, shrink sleeves, inmould, lamitube and flexible packaging) and can use a wider range of inks, including water-based inks and UV inks. Because this type of printing holds up and is adaptable, it can be printed on almost any kind of substrate, like plastic, metal, and paper. Here at Ariel our Flexographic printing machine is used almost exclusively for labels of every kind.

Offset Printing

This printing technique is called ‘offset’ because it does not transfer ink directly onto paper like other printing methods do. Instead of going from plate to paper in two steps, ink is transferred first to a rubber cylinder and then printed on paper. The three-step offset method reduces wear and tear on the lithographic printing plate, thus prolonging its lifespan.

An offset printer includes three cylinders:
Plate cylinder
Offset blanket cylinder
Impression cylinder
In offset printing, the image area and the non-image area co-exist on the same flat surface.

Offset lithography works on the principle of oil and water separation. The plates have been treated to make image areas attract ink and non-image areas attract water to repel the ink. When water and ink are applied by the rollers to the plate, the oil-based ink sticks to the image while water sticking to the non-image area repels it.

Some offset printing presses use a silicone layer that repels ink instead of water. These systems are called ‘dry’ or ‘waterless’ offset presses.

Offset printing presses are fast and efficient – they can print up to 18,000 sheets per hour.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is when you print a digital-based image onto print media. Whenever you print a file from your computer, phone, or flash drive, that’s digital printing at work.

At Ariel, we print with several digital printers depending on the result required.

Our Xerox Versant 180 has the capability to print a very fast speed. It can print books with different medias, and completely finish them including folding and stapling. It is used for short runs of posters, books, brochures, business cards, stickers, anything that can be printed on paper.
It is a laser printer, where basically, a laser traces your document or image onto an electromagnetic canvas, upon which electrically charged particles of toner attach. Toner is a printing material that’s unique to laser printers. The image is fused by heat to the paper or card, and therefore colour fast.

Our Roland is our wide format printer. It is highly versatile for an endless range of applications. With just this device, Ariel can produce decals, labels, stickers, posters, and other promotional items of any size, on demand for both indoor and durable outdoor display. We use a wide variety of media, including adhesive-back vinyl, banners, paper, poster paper, pull up banners and much more. It also has a top cutter feature, which means we can produce vinyl labels of any size or shape, be it very simple, or quite complicated.

Binding and Finishing

Almost all print jobs require some form of finishing.

With simple jobs, it may just be guillotining the job down to its finished size.

Cards and sometimes covers for books may require cello glazing or lamination. Celloglaze and laminate are the same, a clear coating that finishes off your printing nicely. You can choose either shiny gloss, or silky matte celloglaze. Matte celloglaze is suitable for writing on, however shiny gloss laminate is not so much. We can laminate one side only or both sides, whatever suits your needs.

With booklets, they will require folding, stapling and guillotining. They may be saddle stitched or perfect bound, depending on the number of pages in the book.

Invoice and receipt books are collated, padded or stapled, quarter bound, and finished with sturdy covers and taped up, so they will survive all manner of rough handling by drivers and tradesmen.