What is Flexographic Printing and What is it used for?

Flexographic printing is a popular method of printing used for engraving packaging materials at very high speeds. It applies to a plethora of products such as corrugated containers, plastics, wrappers for candy, milk or beverage cartons, paper sacks, fabric, metallic films and cellophane among others. It isn’t necessarily a new tech since it has improved over the years to the top notch efficient technologies used in flexography today. Unlike thermal digital printers, flexography uses quick-drying less viscous inks for digital printing.

How does it Work

Flexography is relevant in manufacturing and process industries in packaging or product labeling where large orders need to be terminated in tight schedules. Flexographic printing makes use of flexible photopolymer printing plates rolled around cylinders on a web press. The plates are inked and set to rotate at high speeds with the desired engravings raised slightly to transfer the image to the substrate. The substrate usually passes through a series of units, each with a single color. Up to four primary ink colors can be overlaid in the series of units to provide the integrated tones and shadings in the wrappers. It only works well in printing continuous patterns such as product wrappers because there is need to minimize interruptions for large scale production in a short period.

Why is Flexography Preferred?

Flexographic presses can produce top quality impressions on several substrates cheaply hence its wide usage in decoration and package printing. Flexography is mainly gaining ground due to its simple operation process and adaptability to the water based inks. Water based inks are known to reduce VOC or toxic emissions, making flexography a more eco-friendly process than the other forms of printing.

Designs in Flexographic Printing

Just like the other printing techniques flexography has its designs and format styles. They are in the form of templates, drop shadows, fonts, ink shades, tones, image resolutions, and formats. When printing on the uncoated newsprint, corrugated coated paper, and polyester film, the sans serif font is applicable with a size ranging from 4point to 10point. The font type or template varies according to the substrate types.

New Trends in Flexography

Today the field of flexography has been revolutionized by technology to adapt high-quality flexo printing. The process is referred to as HD Flexo printing, and it applies in the making of digital flexographic plates. They are much more improved than the contemporary standard plates hence are of higher quality and more consistent in printing. Another bright side to it is that there is no need of scrapping off the current equipment and methods of operation. It is just an upgrade in the production process.

HD Flexo has bridged the gap between flexo and gravure printing bringing about consistent, vibrant colors and better print quality. It has given flexography a competitive advantage in the printing industry. If you visit the FlexStor website, they may be able to provide you with more information.

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