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Resource-Saving Printing with Digital Printing

Industrial digital printers change the way we print

For companies that produce products, the challenge in package printing is reducing wastewater and materials and lowering the emissions of harmful chemicals used in the process. Brother aims to solve these problems with digital printing on films and labels attached to plastic bottles, cardboard, and other containers using digital printing machines from our group company, Domino Printing Sciences.

Mechanism and characteristics of analog printing

In general, printing on films and labels is done with a "plate," which acts as a large stamp, by applying ink to it before transferring it to the film or label. This method is called analog printing and is suitable for printing large quantities of the same information. However, a minimum print run is necessary to cover the costs of the expensive plates. Moreover, several hundred prints are required for color matching and test printing. In recent years, there have been more diversified demands. The number of requests for small quantities and a wide variety of products has increased, and if we use analog printing to meet these needs, resources will be wasted.

Digital printing enables the production of a wide variety of products in small quantities while saving resources

As opposed to analog printing, digital printing sprays ink directly onto film or labels without using plates. With on-demand printing, we can make copies for only the required amount, and only a small number of test prints are needed, saving film and ink.

Saving water resources

Analog printing requires a plate for each color in multi-color printing. A large amount of water is used to clean the printing press when changing the plates, and the wastewater may contain harmful substances. Digital printing does not require cleaning and does not use water, even for multi-color printing or printing different documents.

SDGs POINT

Goal 9.4 is to "upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes", and Goal 12.2 is to "achieve efficient use of natural resources". Target 12.2 is to "achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources", and Target 8.4 is to "improve ... resource efficiency in consumption and production". Digital printing by Domino Printing Sciences, a Brother Group company, contributes to realizing the SDGs by reducing the emission of hazardous substances and making effective use of resources.

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