SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 6
Download to read offline
What is Flexographic Printing? 
Flexography is a roll-feed web printing process. Flexographic printing is commonly used to print high
volumes of labels and packaging. Presses can print on a variety of films, foils, papers, corrugated board,
and paperboard and achieve speeds of 500 to 2000 feet per minute.
Products printed on flexo presses include adhesive and shrink-sleeve labels (bottle wraps); ice cream
cartons; folding cartons; shopping bags; plastic bags; pouches; packets; gift wrap; tissue; envelopes;
wallpaper; and disposable plates and cups.
How It Works
A flexible, photopolymer plate is wrapped around a rotating cylinder for each color. Like the letterpress
printing process, the graphics and text for each color are raised from the surface of the plate. Only the
raised areas of the plate are inked.
The typical flexographic press includes four types of rollers; a fountain roller, an anilox roller, the plate
cylinder, and the impression cylinder.
The ​fountain roller delivers ink from an ink pan to a steel or ceramic ink-metering “​anilox​” ​roller ​and
then to the plate cylinder​. The ink is applied to the substrate as the paper passes between the plate
cylinder and a polished metal i​mpression cylinder​. The impression cylinder applies the pressure required
to transfer the ink from the plate to the substrate.
In flexography, the anilox roller is used to transfer a uniform thickness of ink to the flexible printing
plate. Each anilox roller has finely engraved cells that have a specific ink capacity. An optional ​doctor
blade scrapes the anilox roller surface to ensure that the only ink delivered to the printing plate comes
from the ink in the engraved cells.
As the substrate moves through the press, a different color or coating is applied at each ​printing deck​.
Drying units between the printing decks help ensure that each color of ink is fully dried. Dryers use hot
air or infrared or ultraviolet light, depending on the application.
In a ​stack press​, the printing decks are stacked vertically. The press can print on both sides of the
materials as it travels through the press.
In a ​central Impression (CI) press ​the printing decks are located around a single, large impression
cylinder. CI presses provide excellent registration.
In an ​in-line press, the printing decks are positioned in a straight line for easier handling of heavier
substrates such as corrugated boards.
Different models of wide-web presses are built to handle rolls of material from 21 inches up to 80
inches wide.
Narrow-web presses ​are typically 10 inches wide or smaller because they were originally developed to
print labels. Today, narrow-web presses up to 20 inches wide are being used to print shorter runs of
flexible packaging including bottle wraps and the smaller packets and pouches used for teas, drink
mixes, and single-serve packs.
Inks
Flexographic printing for packaging water-based, solvent-based, and energy-curable inks. Energy-curable
inks are quickly cured either by ultraviolet (UV) light or electron beam (EB) systems. EB curing systems
deliver energy directly to the inks in the form of energetic electrons and don’t require photoinitiators as
UV-curable inks do.
Water-based inks are popular for printing corrugated packaging Solvent-based inks are used for plastic
shopping bags and industrial films. UV and EB inks are used to print outer wraps for food packaging.
Substrates
Flexographic presses can print on uncoated or coated paper, carton board, liner board, aluminum foil,
and different types of plastic films, including low-density polypropylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP),
bio-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), and polyester (PET). They can also print on non-woven fabrics and
different types of laminates.
In the packaging world, laminates are multi-layered materials made from different combinations of
substrates, such as aluminum foil, film, and paper. Laminates provide the barrier layers that flexible
packages may need to keep the contents fresh or protected from air, moisture or chemical
contamination.
Prepress, Platemaking, and Press Set Up
Because flexography is such a high-speed process, a lot of ink and materials can be wasted if defects in
print quality are discovered during a press run.
Print quality can be affected by a number of factors, including the types of plates used and how they
were created. Because there are so many variables, preparing the artwork, images, and plates for
flexographic printing requires expertise and experience.
For example, the image elongates as the flexible plate is attached to the cylinder. This means images to
be reproduced should be created slightly shorter than their final specified size.
The dots in a screened halftone image can grow in diameter when printed due to the fluidity of the inks,
the nature of the substrate, and the pressure of the impression cylinder. This ​dot gain can cause colors
to look dark or muddy. Adjustments for the predicted amount of dot gain can be made during design
and prepress.
The first flexographic printing plates were made of rubber. Today, they are typically made from
photopolymers. These UV-light sensitive materials are either viscous liquids of solid sheets of a
designated thickness.
In traditional platemaking, a digital imagesetter makes film negatives of content that will be printed at
each print deck. Photographs and illustrations with tonal gradations are processed with halftone
screening methods that re-create tones with different sizes of dots, dot placements, and ink
combinations.
The film negative is placed onto the photopolymer plate material and loaded into an exposure unit and
exposed to controlled amounts of UV light. The exposed photopolymer plate material is then developed
with water or solvents that remove the unexposed image areas from the plate. (Dry thermal polymer
plate processing is an alternative platemaking method that eliminates the need to wash the plates after
exposure.)
Digital photopolymer plates eliminate the need to create film negatives. A black, light-sensitive layer
covers the surface of the plate material. A digital imaging device then uses a high-powered infrared laser
to remove the black layer where the image will be produced on the plate. This process is called laser
ablation.
When the digital photopolymer plate is exposed to UV light, the light activates the photopolymer plate
material where the black layer has been removed. The plate is washed, dried, and cut to the size that
will be mounted on the cylinder.
Some users of flexographic presses send digital files to flexo-printing experts at platemaking service
bureaus.
As expectations for fast turnaround times grow, makers of prepress software and equipment have been
automating the flexographic prepress and platemaking process. Automation will reduce the need to
outsource platemaking and minimize the risk of errors in designing files for full-color flexo prints that
will be converted into different types and sizes of packages.
For example, Esko packaging design software helps designers create and preview three-dimensional
designs for folding cartons, shrink sleeves, corrugated boxes, and flexible packaging. The Print Control
Wizard for Esko’s digital platemaking systems takes into account variables such as imaging resolution,
exposure settings, plate materials, substrate, anilox, press type, and inks to generate the proper screens
and dot-gain compensation curves for each application.
Registration (the precise alignment of ink combinations on the substrate) is also critical to color accuracy
and print quality. Registration errors can be caused by prepress or plate mounting mistakes, defects in
the impression cylinder, dirty cylinders or plates, lateral movements of the webbed substrate, the
improper surface tension of the substrate and other factors.
Post-press
Finishing processes such as die-cutting, cold foil stamping, and varnishing can be integrated into in-line
presses to improve the efficiency of producing ready-to-use rolls of labels.
Slitting machines are used to cut large rolls of printed materials to their specified width.
Specialized folders, gluers, die-cutters, and other converting equipment transforms the printed rolls of
materials into folding cartons, corrugated boxes, sealable pouches, and other forms of packaging.
Technology Advances
Flexographic technology is advancing rapidly to meet the growing demands for higher-quality prints,
shorter run lengths, and faster turnaround times.
Technologies are being developed to (1) reduce the time and expertise required for prepress,
platemaking, and plate changeovers; (2) improve the recyclability of printed labels and packages; and (3)
minimize the high levels of waste caused by prepress or press set-up errors.
In 2013, the flexo-printer manufacturer BOBST launched the REVO DigiFlex project in conjunction with
manufacturers of quality-control systems, inks, plates, color-measurement tools, and other pressroom
supplies. This consortium of companies has been collaborating to build an automated, extended
color-gamut flexographic printing system that will require minimal operator intervention. The goal is to
provide global color consistency and repeatability in labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons, and
corrugated boards. The project will also help ensure color matching between flexo-printed materials and
digitally printed materials.
Extended Color Gamut (ECG) flexo printing uses orange, green, and violet inks, in addition, the cyan,
magenta, yellow, and black inks to match a higher percentage of Pantone colors. Digitized systems will
control the mixing and delivery of these seven process colors of UV-curable inks. Systems to
automatically engage the plate cylinder set the proper impression, and register each color have also
been developed.
Hybrid flexo/inkjet printing systems ​are another avenue of technology development. Some flexographic
presses have been retrofitted with inkjet-printing units that can add full-color variable data to
flexo-printed materials. This allows flexo print shops to better serve customers who want to add codes
for tracking or authenticating packaging or enabling consumers to connect to online content.
Follow Us on Social Media
This post is part of a series we’re producing to explain the basics of different analog and digital printing
processes. At the end of this series, we’ll review the strengths and limitations of each process, provide
helpful glossaries, and talk about pricing models.
Follow Ordant on ​LinkedIn​, ​Facebook​, or ​Twitter​ to learn when the next post in this series is published.
Related Posts
What is Screen Printing?
What is Offset Printing?

More Related Content

What's hot

Advanced Garment Printing
Advanced Garment Printing Advanced Garment Printing
Advanced Garment Printing Azmir Latif Beg
 
Presentation on green chemistry in gravure printing
Presentation on green chemistry in gravure printingPresentation on green chemistry in gravure printing
Presentation on green chemistry in gravure printingAdesh Katariya
 
Flexografia
FlexografiaFlexografia
Flexografiadanrub
 
Tirupati Ink Presentation
Tirupati Ink PresentationTirupati Ink Presentation
Tirupati Ink Presentationpkumar1966
 
Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...
Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...
Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...Ajjay Kumar Gupta
 
Plastic Compunding
Plastic CompundingPlastic Compunding
Plastic Compundingpalash350
 
Printing ink manufacturer
Printing ink manufacturerPrinting ink manufacturer
Printing ink manufacturerjakespencer
 
Printing, lamination & material structure
Printing, lamination & material structurePrinting, lamination & material structure
Printing, lamination & material structureChaudhary Zubair Qadir
 
Printing techniques
Printing techniquesPrinting techniques
Printing techniquesJill Allden
 
Printing Techniques & Substrates
Printing Techniques & SubstratesPrinting Techniques & Substrates
Printing Techniques & SubstratesTukaram Karve
 
Understanding Plastic Extrusion
Understanding Plastic ExtrusionUnderstanding Plastic Extrusion
Understanding Plastic Extrusionwillamsdavid
 

What's hot (20)

Foil printing
Foil printingFoil printing
Foil printing
 
Colour management
Colour managementColour management
Colour management
 
Offset printing
Offset printingOffset printing
Offset printing
 
Advanced Garment Printing
Advanced Garment Printing Advanced Garment Printing
Advanced Garment Printing
 
Uv ink
Uv inkUv ink
Uv ink
 
Printing Ink
Printing InkPrinting Ink
Printing Ink
 
Ppi intro to inks
Ppi   intro to inksPpi   intro to inks
Ppi intro to inks
 
Presentation on green chemistry in gravure printing
Presentation on green chemistry in gravure printingPresentation on green chemistry in gravure printing
Presentation on green chemistry in gravure printing
 
Flexografia
FlexografiaFlexografia
Flexografia
 
Tirupati Ink Presentation
Tirupati Ink PresentationTirupati Ink Presentation
Tirupati Ink Presentation
 
Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...
Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...
Manufacturing of Printing Inks with Formulation (Flexographic Inks, Typograph...
 
offset printing
offset printing offset printing
offset printing
 
Plastic Compunding
Plastic CompundingPlastic Compunding
Plastic Compunding
 
Printing ink manufacturer
Printing ink manufacturerPrinting ink manufacturer
Printing ink manufacturer
 
Printing, lamination & material structure
Printing, lamination & material structurePrinting, lamination & material structure
Printing, lamination & material structure
 
Printing techniques
Printing techniquesPrinting techniques
Printing techniques
 
Printing Techniques & Substrates
Printing Techniques & SubstratesPrinting Techniques & Substrates
Printing Techniques & Substrates
 
Understanding Plastic Extrusion
Understanding Plastic ExtrusionUnderstanding Plastic Extrusion
Understanding Plastic Extrusion
 
Printing techniques
Printing techniquesPrinting techniques
Printing techniques
 
Film properties tests and details
Film properties tests and detailsFilm properties tests and details
Film properties tests and details
 

Similar to Flexographic Printing Explained: High-Speed Label & Packaging Process

Chapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.pptChapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.pptahflexomaster
 
Flexographic printing 1(9551)
Flexographic printing 1(9551)Flexographic printing 1(9551)
Flexographic printing 1(9551)Md Ali Hossain
 
Current trends in printing
Current trends in printingCurrent trends in printing
Current trends in printingGayatri Raikar
 
Wide format inkjet printing - part 2 flatbed & hybrid printer
Wide format inkjet printing - part 2  flatbed & hybrid printerWide format inkjet printing - part 2  flatbed & hybrid printer
Wide format inkjet printing - part 2 flatbed & hybrid printerUsman Ali
 
What is offset printing
What is offset printing What is offset printing
What is offset printing Usman Ali
 
Pad printing wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pad printing   wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPad printing   wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pad printing wikipedia, the free encyclopediaDeepak Kabbur
 
Wide format inkjet technology- part 3 grand format printers
Wide format inkjet technology- part 3  grand format printersWide format inkjet technology- part 3  grand format printers
Wide format inkjet technology- part 3 grand format printersUsman Ali
 
Corrugated white paper 04172011
Corrugated white paper 04172011Corrugated white paper 04172011
Corrugated white paper 04172011Timothy Gotsick
 
6 Digital Package Printing White Paper
6 Digital Package Printing White Paper6 Digital Package Printing White Paper
6 Digital Package Printing White Paperdiggum3
 
Chapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.pptChapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.pptahflexomaster
 
2 Printing Processes White Paper
2 Printing Processes White Paper2 Printing Processes White Paper
2 Printing Processes White Paperdiggum3
 
What is screen printing
What is screen printing What is screen printing
What is screen printing Usman Ali
 
Inkjet sublimation printing part 1 textiles and soft signage
Inkjet sublimation printing  part 1  textiles and soft signageInkjet sublimation printing  part 1  textiles and soft signage
Inkjet sublimation printing part 1 textiles and soft signageUsman Ali
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Adane Nega
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Adane Nega
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Adane Nega
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Adane Nega
 

Similar to Flexographic Printing Explained: High-Speed Label & Packaging Process (20)

Chapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.pptChapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -1 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
 
Flexographic printing 1(9551)
Flexographic printing 1(9551)Flexographic printing 1(9551)
Flexographic printing 1(9551)
 
Current trends in printing
Current trends in printingCurrent trends in printing
Current trends in printing
 
Modern intaglio
Modern intaglioModern intaglio
Modern intaglio
 
Wide format inkjet printing - part 2 flatbed & hybrid printer
Wide format inkjet printing - part 2  flatbed & hybrid printerWide format inkjet printing - part 2  flatbed & hybrid printer
Wide format inkjet printing - part 2 flatbed & hybrid printer
 
What is offset printing
What is offset printing What is offset printing
What is offset printing
 
Pad printing wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pad printing   wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPad printing   wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pad printing wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Wide format inkjet technology- part 3 grand format printers
Wide format inkjet technology- part 3  grand format printersWide format inkjet technology- part 3  grand format printers
Wide format inkjet technology- part 3 grand format printers
 
Corrugated white paper 04172011
Corrugated white paper 04172011Corrugated white paper 04172011
Corrugated white paper 04172011
 
Effectively Managing Print Production
Effectively Managing Print ProductionEffectively Managing Print Production
Effectively Managing Print Production
 
Sld toolkit print_production
Sld toolkit print_productionSld toolkit print_production
Sld toolkit print_production
 
6 Digital Package Printing White Paper
6 Digital Package Printing White Paper6 Digital Package Printing White Paper
6 Digital Package Printing White Paper
 
Chapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.pptChapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
Chapter -2 - Flexography & Packaging-MAH- 12-2022.ppt
 
2 Printing Processes White Paper
2 Printing Processes White Paper2 Printing Processes White Paper
2 Printing Processes White Paper
 
What is screen printing
What is screen printing What is screen printing
What is screen printing
 
Inkjet sublimation printing part 1 textiles and soft signage
Inkjet sublimation printing  part 1  textiles and soft signageInkjet sublimation printing  part 1  textiles and soft signage
Inkjet sublimation printing part 1 textiles and soft signage
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
 
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
Lecture 8 digital printing of textiles (condensed)
 

More from Usman Ali

What is digital textile printing
What is digital textile printingWhat is digital textile printing
What is digital textile printingUsman Ali
 
Reduce print shop customer acquisition costs
Reduce print shop customer acquisition costsReduce print shop customer acquisition costs
Reduce print shop customer acquisition costsUsman Ali
 
Seven ideas for print shop marketing
Seven ideas for print shop marketingSeven ideas for print shop marketing
Seven ideas for print shop marketingUsman Ali
 
Pros & cons of web to-print
Pros & cons of web to-printPros & cons of web to-print
Pros & cons of web to-printUsman Ali
 
Five benefits of becoming a sustainable print shop
Five benefits of becoming a sustainable print shopFive benefits of becoming a sustainable print shop
Five benefits of becoming a sustainable print shopUsman Ali
 
Print mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for you
Print mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for youPrint mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for you
Print mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for youUsman Ali
 

More from Usman Ali (6)

What is digital textile printing
What is digital textile printingWhat is digital textile printing
What is digital textile printing
 
Reduce print shop customer acquisition costs
Reduce print shop customer acquisition costsReduce print shop customer acquisition costs
Reduce print shop customer acquisition costs
 
Seven ideas for print shop marketing
Seven ideas for print shop marketingSeven ideas for print shop marketing
Seven ideas for print shop marketing
 
Pros & cons of web to-print
Pros & cons of web to-printPros & cons of web to-print
Pros & cons of web to-print
 
Five benefits of becoming a sustainable print shop
Five benefits of becoming a sustainable print shopFive benefits of becoming a sustainable print shop
Five benefits of becoming a sustainable print shop
 
Print mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for you
Print mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for youPrint mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for you
Print mis cloud-based vs hosted. which one works for you
 

Recently uploaded

GUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdf
GUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdfGUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdf
GUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdfDanny Diep To
 
Types of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdf
Types of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdfTypes of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdf
Types of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdfASGITConsulting
 
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdfShaun Heinrichs
 
Technical Leaders - Working with the Management Team
Technical Leaders - Working with the Management TeamTechnical Leaders - Working with the Management Team
Technical Leaders - Working with the Management TeamArik Fletcher
 
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdfShaun Heinrichs
 
Environmental Impact Of Rotary Screw Compressors
Environmental Impact Of Rotary Screw CompressorsEnvironmental Impact Of Rotary Screw Compressors
Environmental Impact Of Rotary Screw Compressorselgieurope
 
14680-51-4.pdf Good quality CAS Good quality CAS
14680-51-4.pdf  Good  quality CAS Good  quality CAS14680-51-4.pdf  Good  quality CAS Good  quality CAS
14680-51-4.pdf Good quality CAS Good quality CAScathy664059
 
Appkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptx
Appkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptxAppkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptx
Appkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptxappkodes
 
20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf
20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf
20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdfChris Skinner
 
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...Peter Ward
 
WSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdf
WSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdfWSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdf
WSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdfJamesConcepcion7
 
Effective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold Jewelry
Effective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold JewelryEffective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold Jewelry
Effective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold JewelryWhittensFineJewelry1
 
trending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdf
trending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdftrending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdf
trending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdfMintel Group
 
The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...
The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...
The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...Operational Excellence Consulting
 
Driving Business Impact for PMs with Jon Harmer
Driving Business Impact for PMs with Jon HarmerDriving Business Impact for PMs with Jon Harmer
Driving Business Impact for PMs with Jon HarmerAggregage
 
Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...
Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...
Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...ssuserf63bd7
 
Psychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh Ji
Psychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh JiPsychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh Ji
Psychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh Jiastral oracle
 
business environment micro environment macro environment.pptx
business environment micro environment macro environment.pptxbusiness environment micro environment macro environment.pptx
business environment micro environment macro environment.pptxShruti Mittal
 

Recently uploaded (20)

GUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdf
GUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdfGUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdf
GUIDELINES ON USEFUL FORMS IN FREIGHT FORWARDING (F) Danny Diep Toh MBA.pdf
 
Types of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdf
Types of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdfTypes of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdf
Types of Cyberattacks - ASG I.T. Consulting.pdf
 
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
 
The Bizz Quiz-E-Summit-E-Cell-IITPatna.pptx
The Bizz Quiz-E-Summit-E-Cell-IITPatna.pptxThe Bizz Quiz-E-Summit-E-Cell-IITPatna.pptx
The Bizz Quiz-E-Summit-E-Cell-IITPatna.pptx
 
Technical Leaders - Working with the Management Team
Technical Leaders - Working with the Management TeamTechnical Leaders - Working with the Management Team
Technical Leaders - Working with the Management Team
 
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
1911 Gold Corporate Presentation Apr 2024.pdf
 
Environmental Impact Of Rotary Screw Compressors
Environmental Impact Of Rotary Screw CompressorsEnvironmental Impact Of Rotary Screw Compressors
Environmental Impact Of Rotary Screw Compressors
 
14680-51-4.pdf Good quality CAS Good quality CAS
14680-51-4.pdf  Good  quality CAS Good  quality CAS14680-51-4.pdf  Good  quality CAS Good  quality CAS
14680-51-4.pdf Good quality CAS Good quality CAS
 
Appkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptx
Appkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptxAppkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptx
Appkodes Tinder Clone Script with Customisable Solutions.pptx
 
WAM Corporate Presentation April 12 2024.pdf
WAM Corporate Presentation April 12 2024.pdfWAM Corporate Presentation April 12 2024.pdf
WAM Corporate Presentation April 12 2024.pdf
 
20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf
20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf
20220816-EthicsGrade_Scorecard-JP_Morgan_Chase-Q2-63_57.pdf
 
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
 
WSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdf
WSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdfWSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdf
WSMM Technology February.March Newsletter_vF.pdf
 
Effective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold Jewelry
Effective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold JewelryEffective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold Jewelry
Effective Strategies for Maximizing Your Profit When Selling Gold Jewelry
 
trending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdf
trending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdftrending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdf
trending-flavors-and-ingredients-in-salty-snacks-us-2024_Redacted-V2.pdf
 
The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...
The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...
The McKinsey 7S Framework: A Holistic Approach to Harmonizing All Parts of th...
 
Driving Business Impact for PMs with Jon Harmer
Driving Business Impact for PMs with Jon HarmerDriving Business Impact for PMs with Jon Harmer
Driving Business Impact for PMs with Jon Harmer
 
Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...
Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...
Horngren’s Financial & Managerial Accounting, 7th edition by Miller-Nobles so...
 
Psychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh Ji
Psychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh JiPsychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh Ji
Psychic Reading | Spiritual Guidance – Astro Ganesh Ji
 
business environment micro environment macro environment.pptx
business environment micro environment macro environment.pptxbusiness environment micro environment macro environment.pptx
business environment micro environment macro environment.pptx
 

Flexographic Printing Explained: High-Speed Label & Packaging Process

  • 1. What is Flexographic Printing?  Flexography is a roll-feed web printing process. Flexographic printing is commonly used to print high volumes of labels and packaging. Presses can print on a variety of films, foils, papers, corrugated board, and paperboard and achieve speeds of 500 to 2000 feet per minute. Products printed on flexo presses include adhesive and shrink-sleeve labels (bottle wraps); ice cream cartons; folding cartons; shopping bags; plastic bags; pouches; packets; gift wrap; tissue; envelopes; wallpaper; and disposable plates and cups. How It Works A flexible, photopolymer plate is wrapped around a rotating cylinder for each color. Like the letterpress printing process, the graphics and text for each color are raised from the surface of the plate. Only the raised areas of the plate are inked.
  • 2. The typical flexographic press includes four types of rollers; a fountain roller, an anilox roller, the plate cylinder, and the impression cylinder. The ​fountain roller delivers ink from an ink pan to a steel or ceramic ink-metering “​anilox​” ​roller ​and then to the plate cylinder​. The ink is applied to the substrate as the paper passes between the plate cylinder and a polished metal i​mpression cylinder​. The impression cylinder applies the pressure required to transfer the ink from the plate to the substrate. In flexography, the anilox roller is used to transfer a uniform thickness of ink to the flexible printing plate. Each anilox roller has finely engraved cells that have a specific ink capacity. An optional ​doctor blade scrapes the anilox roller surface to ensure that the only ink delivered to the printing plate comes from the ink in the engraved cells. As the substrate moves through the press, a different color or coating is applied at each ​printing deck​. Drying units between the printing decks help ensure that each color of ink is fully dried. Dryers use hot air or infrared or ultraviolet light, depending on the application. In a ​stack press​, the printing decks are stacked vertically. The press can print on both sides of the materials as it travels through the press. In a ​central Impression (CI) press ​the printing decks are located around a single, large impression cylinder. CI presses provide excellent registration. In an ​in-line press, the printing decks are positioned in a straight line for easier handling of heavier substrates such as corrugated boards. Different models of wide-web presses are built to handle rolls of material from 21 inches up to 80 inches wide.
  • 3. Narrow-web presses ​are typically 10 inches wide or smaller because they were originally developed to print labels. Today, narrow-web presses up to 20 inches wide are being used to print shorter runs of flexible packaging including bottle wraps and the smaller packets and pouches used for teas, drink mixes, and single-serve packs. Inks Flexographic printing for packaging water-based, solvent-based, and energy-curable inks. Energy-curable inks are quickly cured either by ultraviolet (UV) light or electron beam (EB) systems. EB curing systems deliver energy directly to the inks in the form of energetic electrons and don’t require photoinitiators as UV-curable inks do. Water-based inks are popular for printing corrugated packaging Solvent-based inks are used for plastic shopping bags and industrial films. UV and EB inks are used to print outer wraps for food packaging. Substrates Flexographic presses can print on uncoated or coated paper, carton board, liner board, aluminum foil, and different types of plastic films, including low-density polypropylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), bio-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), and polyester (PET). They can also print on non-woven fabrics and different types of laminates. In the packaging world, laminates are multi-layered materials made from different combinations of substrates, such as aluminum foil, film, and paper. Laminates provide the barrier layers that flexible packages may need to keep the contents fresh or protected from air, moisture or chemical contamination.
  • 4. Prepress, Platemaking, and Press Set Up Because flexography is such a high-speed process, a lot of ink and materials can be wasted if defects in print quality are discovered during a press run. Print quality can be affected by a number of factors, including the types of plates used and how they were created. Because there are so many variables, preparing the artwork, images, and plates for flexographic printing requires expertise and experience. For example, the image elongates as the flexible plate is attached to the cylinder. This means images to be reproduced should be created slightly shorter than their final specified size. The dots in a screened halftone image can grow in diameter when printed due to the fluidity of the inks, the nature of the substrate, and the pressure of the impression cylinder. This ​dot gain can cause colors to look dark or muddy. Adjustments for the predicted amount of dot gain can be made during design and prepress. The first flexographic printing plates were made of rubber. Today, they are typically made from photopolymers. These UV-light sensitive materials are either viscous liquids of solid sheets of a designated thickness. In traditional platemaking, a digital imagesetter makes film negatives of content that will be printed at each print deck. Photographs and illustrations with tonal gradations are processed with halftone screening methods that re-create tones with different sizes of dots, dot placements, and ink combinations. The film negative is placed onto the photopolymer plate material and loaded into an exposure unit and exposed to controlled amounts of UV light. The exposed photopolymer plate material is then developed with water or solvents that remove the unexposed image areas from the plate. (Dry thermal polymer plate processing is an alternative platemaking method that eliminates the need to wash the plates after exposure.) Digital photopolymer plates eliminate the need to create film negatives. A black, light-sensitive layer covers the surface of the plate material. A digital imaging device then uses a high-powered infrared laser to remove the black layer where the image will be produced on the plate. This process is called laser ablation. When the digital photopolymer plate is exposed to UV light, the light activates the photopolymer plate material where the black layer has been removed. The plate is washed, dried, and cut to the size that will be mounted on the cylinder. Some users of flexographic presses send digital files to flexo-printing experts at platemaking service bureaus. As expectations for fast turnaround times grow, makers of prepress software and equipment have been automating the flexographic prepress and platemaking process. Automation will reduce the need to
  • 5. outsource platemaking and minimize the risk of errors in designing files for full-color flexo prints that will be converted into different types and sizes of packages. For example, Esko packaging design software helps designers create and preview three-dimensional designs for folding cartons, shrink sleeves, corrugated boxes, and flexible packaging. The Print Control Wizard for Esko’s digital platemaking systems takes into account variables such as imaging resolution, exposure settings, plate materials, substrate, anilox, press type, and inks to generate the proper screens and dot-gain compensation curves for each application. Registration (the precise alignment of ink combinations on the substrate) is also critical to color accuracy and print quality. Registration errors can be caused by prepress or plate mounting mistakes, defects in the impression cylinder, dirty cylinders or plates, lateral movements of the webbed substrate, the improper surface tension of the substrate and other factors. Post-press Finishing processes such as die-cutting, cold foil stamping, and varnishing can be integrated into in-line presses to improve the efficiency of producing ready-to-use rolls of labels. Slitting machines are used to cut large rolls of printed materials to their specified width. Specialized folders, gluers, die-cutters, and other converting equipment transforms the printed rolls of materials into folding cartons, corrugated boxes, sealable pouches, and other forms of packaging.
  • 6. Technology Advances Flexographic technology is advancing rapidly to meet the growing demands for higher-quality prints, shorter run lengths, and faster turnaround times. Technologies are being developed to (1) reduce the time and expertise required for prepress, platemaking, and plate changeovers; (2) improve the recyclability of printed labels and packages; and (3) minimize the high levels of waste caused by prepress or press set-up errors. In 2013, the flexo-printer manufacturer BOBST launched the REVO DigiFlex project in conjunction with manufacturers of quality-control systems, inks, plates, color-measurement tools, and other pressroom supplies. This consortium of companies has been collaborating to build an automated, extended color-gamut flexographic printing system that will require minimal operator intervention. The goal is to provide global color consistency and repeatability in labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons, and corrugated boards. The project will also help ensure color matching between flexo-printed materials and digitally printed materials. Extended Color Gamut (ECG) flexo printing uses orange, green, and violet inks, in addition, the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks to match a higher percentage of Pantone colors. Digitized systems will control the mixing and delivery of these seven process colors of UV-curable inks. Systems to automatically engage the plate cylinder set the proper impression, and register each color have also been developed. Hybrid flexo/inkjet printing systems ​are another avenue of technology development. Some flexographic presses have been retrofitted with inkjet-printing units that can add full-color variable data to flexo-printed materials. This allows flexo print shops to better serve customers who want to add codes for tracking or authenticating packaging or enabling consumers to connect to online content. Follow Us on Social Media This post is part of a series we’re producing to explain the basics of different analog and digital printing processes. At the end of this series, we’ll review the strengths and limitations of each process, provide helpful glossaries, and talk about pricing models. Follow Ordant on ​LinkedIn​, ​Facebook​, or ​Twitter​ to learn when the next post in this series is published. Related Posts What is Screen Printing? What is Offset Printing?