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What is Flexographic printing?

14th February 2017

Flexographic printing is a modern version of letterpress printing.

Despite the rise in digital printing, flexoprint has held its own during the economic downturn and has continued to go from strength to strength.

Thanks to constant improvements in the method, it is at the top of its game when it comes to printing most substrates, particularly the printing of plastic films. Flexographic printing works particularly well for long runs and continuous patterns, and therefore is an ideal printing technique for food packagingmagazine wraps and mailing bags.

 

So how does Flexographic printing work?

 

  • Artwork is broken down into individual layers, reflecting each colour needed within the design. Should the design require photographic imagery, four colour process plates are made with fine spots to create a full colour print from CMYK.

 

  • Next, flexible photopolymer plates are laser engraved to make stereos (printing plates) for each colour layer.

 

  • These are very precisely mounted onto sleeves that are known as printing sleeves or plate sleeves.

 

  • The printing sleeves, or cylinders, rotate against an anilox cylinder, that revolves within an ink filled chamber containing the relevant colour.

 

  • As the printing sleeves rotate, the substrate of choice feeds between the plate sleeve and the common impression cylinder. The required image is printed in an identical position on every unit of food packaging or mailing film. The ink is quick drying to ensure no smudging takes place as the substrate passes.

 

  • Once the substrate is printed it can go off for converting, or is supplied to a food packer or mailing house.

 

 We would love to help with your flexographic project.

Should you require flexographic printing for your business or project, call our experts today on 01603 721807.