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Narrow Web Printing Guide

What is Narrow Web Printing?

Narrow web label (NWL) printing is defined as a rotary technique that incorporates any web with a width of 16 inches or less. The name can refer to multiple in-line converting processes. This unique printing technique allows your company to produce smaller print runs rather than focusing on high volumes of label printing at high speeds. 

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Wide Web Flexography vs. Narrow Web Printing

Narrow web printing addresses the challenges of smaller printing requirements without compromising on the cost-saving value for your company. Project size is a key factor that separates this technique from wide web flexo printing.

Wide Web Flexo Printing

Flexography provides expert-quality printing combined with efficiency for medium to long press runs. This analog printing method involves the use of flexible plates and rotary equipment. Printing plates feature raised graphics and text, and they wrap around a plate cylinder. The substrate feeds into the rotary press, where it rolls over the inked printing plate for manual transfer.

Wide web flexo printing is commonly used for fast printing of high volumes. This approach works well for larger companies with frequent reprinting or mass production needs. Some common applications for wide web flexography include printing for newspaper and magazine publishing as well as paperboard and corrugated boxes.

Narrow web printing

Narrow Web Label Printing

In comparison, digital narrow web printing is ideal for small print runs and flexible packaging solutions, such as poly bags and labels. This technique involves propelling ink onto the product or substrate with a jet rather than applying it via direct physical contact. NWL printing lessens the potential for human error involved with flexo printing. It also offers a quicker turnaround since there is no need to produce plates before printing.

Narrow web printing is versatile. Your company can take advantage of its ability to accomplish various in-line converting processes. You can also add numerous print stations for processes such as sheeting, coating, laminating, flatbed-die cutting, ink-jet printing, hot foil stamping and perforating.

This process dominates label printing, as progressive companies are utilizing the technology for flexible packaging.

When to Utilize Narrow Web Printing

Narrow web printing may be an ideal choice if:

  • You have narrow-width printing needs.
  • You require varied print designs.
  • Your order volume is small.
  • Your end product needs higher-quality images.

Types of NWL Fast-Drying Inks

We specialize in two varieties of quick-drying inks and coatings for narrow web printing — water-based and UV.

NWL Water-Based Inks and Coatings

Water-based inks and coatings provide ample environmental and safety benefits over solvent-based solutions. Our recyclable and nontoxic options produce limited volatile organic compound emissions.

NWL UV Inks and Coatings

Our narrow web UV inks are cured with ultraviolet light after application for a glossy finish and an abrasion-resistant coating. The curing process enhances the colors, offering a shinier, more vibrant appearance with less risk of wear and tear.

The Benefits of Working With Magnum Inks & Coatings

Achieve consistent results on foil substrates, paper and film with high-performing UV and water-based solutions. Work with Magnum Inks & Coatings to benefit from:

  • Quality: Our products provide strong adhesion and color fidelity.
  • Options: We provide extensive options for narrow web label coatings as well as inks for varying printing applications and substrates.
  • Expertise: We regularly develop new products, and we can customize our available offerings to suit your needs.

We maintain the highest quality standards as a member of the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), American Independent Corrugated Companies (AICC) and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI).

At Magnum Inks & Coatings, we also have some of the fastest NWL printing turnaround times in the industry. Work with us for the option of next-day shipping when you need it.

Contact us today for a cost-saving quote on narrow web printing.

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