Print Sizes: We can print on any size container from 3/8 inch to 12 inches diameter (from a 10cc syringe to a 6-gallon pail). The maximum print height on our equipment is 8 inches. We can print on cylinders, tapered shapes, ovals, and flat objects. Please feel free to contact us with your container measurements, so we can help you determine the printable area.
Materials/Substrates: To identify your material, look at the bottom of your packaging to see if one of these symbols is present...
PETE: Polyethylene Terephthalate is one of the most popular materials for containers, due to its clarity and recyclable nature. It is compatible with most products and does not react with many chemicals. It requires no pre-treatment for conventional screen printing. PETE packaging must be stack packed after each print pass, and the ink is not very scuff resistant. When treated with respect, the results are excellent and adhesion problems are rare. Reject rates can be slightly higher because misprints cannot be recovered.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): This is a translucent or opaque, flexible plastic used for personal care products along with industrial applications. HDPE needs to be flame treated before printing. We do not print on HDPE containers that have marginal or no flame treatment! You can find more info about flame treatment in the box below.
PVC: Polyvinyl chloride, also known as polyvinyl or vinyl, is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after Polyethylene and Polypropylene. The rigid form of PVC is used in making bottles, non-food packaging, and cards (such as bank or membership cards). PVC is a very printable material with no adhesion concerns. Reject rates can be slightly higher because misprints cannot be recovered.
Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): This is a translucent or opaque, flexible plastic used for personal care products along with industrial applications. LDPE needs to be flame treated before printing. We do not print on LDPE containers that have marginal or no flame treatment! You can find more info about flame treatment in the box below.
Polypropylene (PP): This is a more rigid plastic, often used for straight-sided single-walled jars. Polypropylene needs to be flame treated only if the product in the container will be oily (i.e. essential oils) or contain solvents (i.e. alcohol, mineral spirits).
Polystyrene (PS): Polystyrene is used for disposable cups, plates, and cutlery. For screen printing, its behavior is similar to PVC. Reject rates can be slightly higher because misprints cannot be recovered.
Polycarbonate: This is the typical clear and/or tinted plastic used for reusable water bottles. It requires no pre-treatment for conventional screen printing.
Acrylic: This plastic has a high level of clarity, and is used mostly for high-end jars. It requires no pre-treatment for conventional screen printing. Reject rates can be slightly higher because misprints cannot be recovered.
ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a common thermoplastic. It’s a popular plastic for injection molding and it’s used to make legos, instruments, sports equipment and more.
Coated Plastics: There are a number of surface treatments available for plastic containers (soft-touch, glossy coatings etc). Generally, when a coating is applied it will not negatively impact printability. Caution must be exercised when purchasing coated plastics because ink adhesion to coated plastics is often problematic.
Glass: Glass can have surface contamination that can negatively impact ink adhesion. Glass that is imported from overseas often has a coating that requires flame treatment. Pre-testing glass for printability is essential.
Metals: Most metals are printable without any pre-treatment. Metals can have surface contamination that can negatively impact ink adhesion. Pre-testing metal surfaces for printability is essential.
About Flame Treatment
Glass and some plastics, most notably Polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE) and Polypropylene (PP) have to be flame treated before they can be printed on. The flame treating process alters the molecular structure of the surface of the plastic, which allows printing ink to stick to it. Feel free to send us a sample container and we'll do a test to see whether the flame treatment is adequate for screen printing or not. This is a FREE test. Flame treatment on Polyethylene containers is usually done at the factory, and it is guaranteed for 3 months. Bottles that are older than that (prior to printing) will start to develop ink adhesion issues. When purchased from Amen, products may or may not be flame treated (especially glass). Check with your sales representative to find out details about your product.
Pre-Production Samples and Press Checks: Amen Packaging will provide an artwork proof on a sign off sheet. We can print a clear film with your artwork so you can check placement on the container. If you need to have a sample printed you will be charged at the 1000 piece price. (i.e. if the piece price is $0.20, you'll pay $0.20 x 1000 = $200). If there are subsequent changes made, the sample charge will be added to the order charges. We do require at least 12 (twelve) items to produce 3 to 6 good samples. If you have fewer items than that, it is more difficult to get the press fine-tuned well enough to obtain good samples. You are welcome to visit the shop for press checks once your job is ready to roll. Check with your sales representative regarding pricing for pre-production samples.
If You Supply Your Containers and Product: Blank containers to be printed should be provided clean and dust-free, packaged in boxes with closed liner bags. The containers must be clear of all flashing and other protrusions resulting from the manufacturing process. You should always test the compatibility of the printing ink with your product (We can provide a properly cured draw down of the ink on your container for testing). Especially products that contain a lot of oils or alcohol-based components can affect the adhesion and durability of the ink.
Ink Adhesion on Customer Provided Packaging: Amen Packaging does not guarantee ink adhesion on customer provided products that we do not sell. Any charges that are incurred, whether the products are printed or not, will be billed including a set-up charge, if the product provided cannot be printed due to poor ink adhesion.
Rejects: The accepted industry reject rate for screen printed packaging is 2% per print pass. Amen Packaging will return all rejects to customer upon request. Non-returned rejects are recycled by Amen Packaging.