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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Digital Printing: Scodix Enhances Metallics and Textures

I did some research today after reading an article on Scodix in PackagingEurope (5/6/13). Scodix allows custom printing vendors to digitally print multiple metallic colors on a single press sheet, in one pass, without foil stamping or dies. Scodix also allows providers to offer variable density embossing and textures. All of this is digital, and any combination can be produced on the same commercial printing press sheet.

The Scodix Digital Enhancement Process

The Scodix process involves laying down multiple passes of clear polymer in precise locations on the press sheet using inkjet technology. Moreover, the presses are of sufficient size to accept up to a B2 custom printing sheet (27.8” x 19.7”), making them competitive with other full-size commercial printing presses.

The Components of the Process

Scodix can be broken down into a number of components, including Scodix Rainbow, Scodix Metallic, and Scodix Inkjet-Braille. Printers can integrate these modules into existing Scodix equipment, such as the Scodix S52 and S74 presses.

Using ordinary in-house equipment, the commercial printing vendor applies a special lamination to any substrate from paper to PVC to label stock. Then he prints CMYK toners on the laminated stock (or an alternate silver paper) with an HP Indigo digital press. Following the initial digital imaging process:

    1. Scodix Metallic applies multiple layers of clear polymer in small droplets (Scodix SENSE TM) to create any number of metallic colors on the same sheet.


    1. and/or Scodix Rainbow digitally applies “glitter powder” over the CMYK toners.


  1. and/or Scodix Inkjet-Braille adds layers of polymer to create a raised surface up to 250 microns thick.

Scodix’s patented RSP (Rotate, Scale, Move) technology, which is based on two CCD cameras and mathematical algorithms, allows for the precise positioning and thickness of the polymer.

The Implications for Commercial Printing and Marketing

    1. All the work can be done in-house with no outsourcing. This gives custom printing vendors greater control over the production process and costs, while shortening overall job production times.


    1. There are no dies or other foil stamping elements to create. This reduces costs and preparation times, while providing a final product that is more resistant to scuffing than traditional metallic foil.


    1. Multiple digital effects, from textures to metallic colors to embossing, can be positioned with “pinpoint accuracy.”


    1. Unlike traditional foil stamping, multiple metallic colors, embossing, and/or textured effects can all be included on the same press sheet.


    1. To be relevant, commercial printing must offer an experience unavailable on a smartphone or tablet. The Scodix process provides a tactile experience unmatched by digital-only media.


    1. There are no pollutants, and the process uses less energy than traditional foil stamping and embossing. There’s no need for solvents, chemicals, or plates because Scodix is an entirely digital, polymer-based inkjet process.


    1. Scodix digital enhancement is perfect for packaging printers for a number of reasons. Increasingly, packaging manufacturers are opting for shorter runs of multiple versions, and Scodix excels at short runs. In addition, for such applications as cosmetic packaging, being able to integrate metallics, virtual foils, and graduated textures is ideal.


  1. The process is infinitely variable. You can change the placement of the metallics and embossing effects from copy to copy, or you can print 1,000 identical copies. This is ideal for variable data commercial printing, since traditional, die-based foil stamping and embossing yield static (or unchanging) metallic or embossing effects throughout the press run.

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