Grafixx Digital Heat Transfers

With its entry into the commercial transfer industry in 2006, CDigital launched this decades old industry into the digital age. Today, under the trade-name of Grafixx, we are the leader in producing digital heat transfers.

Heat transfers are traditionally printed using conventional silk screen, offset, or gravure printing technologies. While very economical for large runs of one or two colors, these technologies involve set-up and tooling costs that make short runs prohibitively expensive. And, these costs escalate as more colors are added.

Meanwhile, the market has changed:

  • Sports, entertainment, and other licensed product sellers want to produce decorated product on demand rather than order in large quantities and long lead times from China.
  • Promotional products suppliers need to respond to their customers' demands for economical full color decoration for short run orders.
  • Many manufacturers, especially in healthcare, are being required to print individual numbers, or other variable data, on each of their products.
  • ther manufacturers have seen their large runs of one artwork get smaller as their customers reduce target inventory levels or change artwork more frequently.

In short, the market now demands a digital solution - economical full color, short run, fast turn, variable data product decoration.

There are lots of ways, including transfers, to digitally decorate flat objects. A transfer, since it is flexible, is one of a few methods of decorating shaped products.

With the development of its Grafixx digital heat transfers, CDigital was able to enter this market niche and, today, provides a means of bringing the advantages of digital transfer technology to an increasing percentage of the product decorating industry.

For each application, the process is the same. A full color cmyk+w version of the customer artwork is digitally printed on the underside of a polyester film and coated with an adhesion promoter. The film is then slit into various widths, wound on cardboard cores, and shipped to the customer. The customer uses conventional hot stamp equipment to transfer the image from the film to its products.

From the beginning, we've recognized that success requires coordinated progress on three fronts:

Systems: We define a system as a specific combination of a particular film and a particular adhesive that enable a certain substrate to be decorated. With a full time chemist on board since 2006, we currently have 18 proprietary systems incorporating 9 different films and 16 adhesives. These systems enable our digital transfers to decorate a wide variety of plastic, metal, glass, and ceramic products.

Equipment: CDigital started with Xeikon printing technology and in 2013 we upgraded to two of their new X-3030 printing presses. These high speed 1200 dpi presses employ new toners and developers to print a vibrant full color image. Perhaps more important, the opacity has improved so that the image looks great on products of any color. A custom built finishing machine is in-line with each press to coat the film with adhesive, then dry, slit, and core the film.

Fast Turn Production: While most of our customers want full color print and economical short runs, they all want fast turns to meet their production requirements. We are constantly working with our customers to shorten the print cycle. For one this means housing over 2,200 separate artworks on our servers, reducing their order to a daily email of the artwork numbers and the quantities of each that they want printed. For several others, a faster turn is achieved by working with their art departments to enable their orders to go directly to our presses with little or no processing in our plant.

While we believe we're still in the early stages of developing new applications for our digital print technology, we've come a long way in the last decade. Using proprietary systems running on state-of-the-art equipment, we can quickly enable our customers to economically decorate their products in full color.

For customers new to using heat transfers, CDigital has, over the years, become familiar with most of the manufacturers of the hot stamp transfer equipment they will need to apply our digital transfers. We are always pleased to provide contact information and will work with the manufacturer eventually chosen to assure that the machines delivered will work well with CDigital's film.

Thank you for visiting our website. Please contact us for additional information or to introduce your products to our digital world.