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Flexography – For Fast And Impressive Printing
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The major printing process that is involved in the printing of packaging materials such as plastic bags, labels, adhesive tapes, wrappers, envelopes, folding cartons, paper sacks, corrugated containers, beverage cartons, not reusable cups etc. is called Flexography. Simple, fast and cost effective printing of packaging materials and decorative items is made possible by the Flexographic presses. Nowadays this type of presses is widely used owing to their simple method of operation as well as easy adaptability to water-based inks. The use of water-based inks in this process has helped to reduce VOC emission on a large scale. This is a great advantage of printing with water-based inks over gravure as well as heatset web printing. This type is in fact a type of rotary web letterpress. It can be considered as a perfect blend of letterpress and rotogravure technique. The relief plates are made of either flexible rubber or photopolymer plates. Low viscosity fast drying solvent is used. The water-based inks are fed from the two-roller inking system known as ‘anilox’.
In the publishing industry Flexography is used for production of newspaper inserts, comics, catalogs and directories whereas in packaging it is used to produce labels, packaging materials and folding cartons. The Flexographic presses use large quantities of inks. Some of the presses recycle the spent inks as well as wash waters. Apart from water and the water-based ink, the other chemicals that are used in this type are the roller cleaning solvents and the platemaking solutions. In order to make the best quality printing, thin sheets of metal are fastened to the cylinder. The plates with the metal sheets made much difference in the quality of printing. This type is comprised of four different operations – image preparation, plate making, printing and finishing. In this type, five types of printing presses are used – central impression cylinder, in-line, newspaper unit, stack type and dedicated 4, 5 or 6 color unit commercial publication press.
The inks that are used in this type of printing are similar to the gravure inks that are used in packagings. These inks dry very fast and have low viscosity. These inks have the characteristic of remaining on the surface of non-absorbent substrates. On removal of the solvent these inks get solidified. Finally, the substrate is subjected to ‘finishing’ that includes four different operations like coating, cutting, folding and binding. Separate plate and inking assembly is to be provided for each color of the ink.
The flexographic is the best printing press and it is flexible for packaging and converting. The Flexo Printing Supplies a complete selection of equipment, materials and software for designing the flexo. Now we can find a wide variety of material options and design enhancements for flexo printing service. To know more visit us.
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