Flexographic Printing is a method of printing that uses presses to produce a good quality outcome on different non-porous substrates. It is the easiest method of printing utilized in the decorating and packaging printing. Flexographic printing works well on the self-adhesive labels, flexible packaging, envelopes, brown corrugated cartons, flexible plastics, cellophane, metallic films, and disposable cups and containers. The printing method is very easy to use on large orders of custom labels in a very short time. Additionally, it is easy to incorporate the water-based inks with the printers, therefore reducing the emission of VOC.
Process of flexographic printing
Among the chemicals used in flexographic printing, include water and solvent-based inks, roller cleaning solvents and plate making solution. The method of printing is a combination of the letterpress and the rotogravure forms of printing. The additional features in the flexographic printing include the relief plates (photopolymer or rubber), a viscous solvent, and the inks from the two roller inking system. The process of printing involves mounting the plates onto the printing cylinder. The variations of the machines used in the printing involve the use of the 12-color presses instead of the usual six and addition of thin metal sheets on the plates attached to the printing cylinder.
Acquiring the flexible relief plates is a bit expensive, and one would require extra care while handling them. Therefore, one should employ the use of flexcarts, flexstands, and flex storage solutions to ensure a safe way of handling the plates.
Flex Storage Solutions
Ensure proper storage of the flexible plates to preserve them and prevent a lot of wear and tear that tends to reduce their lifespan. The traditional methods used in preservation included the stacking, associated with a lot of wear and tear. The modern method used involves the use of the plate and sleeve storage racks that are either mobile or fixed racks. To ensure maximum efficiency in handling racks, use the fixed ones rather than mobile ones.
A flexcart is a machine used in moving the flexographic printing equipment from one place to another. A good flexcart should be lightweight, durable, compact, and easy to maneuver, as well as a functional wheel style. Sometimes, smaller and narrower carts may be more capable and deliver more service than the bigger one. A flex part comes with over 100 set of tools and a tool bag that has more than 80 tools that every Flexographic printer needs to operate.
Engineers and operators use a flexstand to secure the rounded Selfeeders and Synchro Tappers in a flexographic printer. There are different models of flexstands available in the market depending on the layout of the machine they have. They include the base support stands, column parallel, swivel flexstands. The stands allow the use of the machines at any angle. The Flex Essentials website has more online resources available.