Alexander's Print Advantage has been around for almost 40 years which means we know print, and that means we know printing machinery. Alexander's maintains a competitive edge in the print industry by keeping up with the most modern equipment which is capable of almost any type of print job. Here is just a small taste of the print equipment that Alexander's uses on a daily basis. Please contact us for an estimate or for more information about how we can tackle your print needs.
In order to understand digital printing, you should also understand offset printing. Offset printing is a printing process that uses plates (usually aluminum), which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber sheet, which is then used to transfer the image onto paper. Offset is the gold standard for low-cost, high-volume and high-quality output. Digital printing prints directly onto a substrait from a digital file which is sent directly to an inkjet, laserjet or other type of digital printer. Digital printing is becoming more cost-effective as printer costs go down and is much less expensive for short-run print jobs. For more information about the differences between digital and offset printing, go here and here. Alexander's prints with only digital presses. Here are some of the many important digital printers Alexander's uses every day:
HP Indigo 12000
HP Indigo 10000
HP Indigo 7900
OCE Black & White Sheet Fed
Large format printing is, as its name suggests, a large sized print. Large format is also referred to as wide format, and is a specialty type of printing because it requires larger than normal printers which are able to print on large rolls of paper or large substraits such as a thick foam core for a tradeshow booth, for example. Alexander's has many large format printers of different types and also machines that will cut out shapes from the printed piece for applications such as large magnets, logo display signage, and parts for our 'booth in a box' tradeshow booths. One of the most common examples of large format printing that you see every day are vinyl banners and car wraps. Most companies also utilize posters and signage to market their business to the public.
Colex Flat Bed Cutter
UV Flat Bed Printer
X/Y Auto Cutter
Every print job requires some sort of cutting and trimming of the paper somewhere along the process. Books of all sizes and thicknesses need to be trimmed to its final book block, which requires a Flat Knife Blade Cutter or a 3 Knife Book Trimmer (which slices off all three edges at the same time). To cut out large quantities of the same shape, we use a Die Cutter or, if there aren't large quantities needing to be cut, a Laser Cutter. There are also machines that cut tabs. We use a Cutter/Creaser which creases the fold into a saddle stitched book and cuts the creep waste off the fore edge of the book.
Flat Knife Blade Cutters
3 Knife Trimmer
An important aspect of print products are the different types of finishes and laminations that will be visible on the finished product. Finishes are meant to create a special look and feel to the product. Lamination is the process of adding a 5 or 10 mil thickness of clear plastic to the product that is applied to help the product last longer and to be sturdier. The MGI machine applies jet varnish and foil to the piece to make it shine with different colors of foil. This also makes the piece look embossed because of how the foil slightly protrudes from the paper incorporating new visual and sensory effects into your printing. Foil is commonly used for cards/invitations and book covers. Check out About The Print, one of Alexanders' brands, for wedding products that feature digital foil and varnish.
MGI Jet Varnish 3D
Screen printing is a fabric printing process characterized by pressing thick ink through a fine mesh screen onto a surface (usually a t-shirt or hoodie) and then sending the printed item through a dryer which hardens and drys the ink. The majority of t-shirts that have designs on them are screen printed. Because of the virsitility of screen printing, we can print on objects such as backpacks, aprons, flags, binders, ceramics, glass, wood, balloons, electronics, signs and displays, and sports equipment. A heat transferred image looks similar, but rather than printing wet ink on the surface, a vinyl cutout image is placed on the material and through heat and pressure the image is transferred onto the material.
M&R Diamond Back S Screen Printer
M&R Belt Dryer
There are many different binding methods we use to bind a book depending on the style, thickness, use, and size of the book. People come to Alexander's for all sorts of book printing. With photobooks becoming so popular, Alexander's has an entire online storefront brand called About The Print that specializes in wedding products including photobooks, guest books, Notebooks and Planners. Alexander's also owns MyCanvas which specializes in family history photobooks. It has never been easier to create automated custom photobooks! We also print saddle stitched books, spiral bound, wire-O, perfect bound, and case bound books.
Mita Case & Mita Book
Duplo Booklet Maker
Horizon Binder PUR & EUA
Alexander's uses many other pieces of equipment to get the job done. Because of the large volume of print jobs we do, we use a paper counter to check and double check that the correct quantities are being printed. We use shrink wrapping machines to shrink wrap and seal a finished product to protect it during shipping. A tunnel wrapper is a machine that can wrap an entire pallet of stacked products to keep it safe during transportation to its destination.
Shrink Wrapper/Automatic Sealer
Visit us on YouTube to see some more equipment in action!