Flexography is a type of letterpress printing that is often used on corrugated cardboard, fabric, plastic, cellophane or metallic film. Flexography is usually done using semi-liquid inks that dry out fairly quickly. Photopolymer printing plates are used to transfer images to the material or substrate. Flexography is commonly used on wrapping papers and wallpapers.
Some industries that frequently use this form of printing consist of construction companies, industrial companies, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Flexography has been used by various industries for nearly 30 years. The primary reason why more and more industries are now opting for flexography is that it can be used on a wide variety of products. Flexographic printing works on a very simple model, too.
First, the artwork is created for the image that is required. The image is then engraved on polymer plates. Cylinders are covered with these plates and installed. Every plate is coated with ink which is what eventually prints the image onto the selected material.
Here are five things you should know about flexography:
1. Fast and Affordable
Flexography can be done very quickly and is quite affordable for businesses that need to print in bulk. Flexography printing can be done at very high speeds and can also be used to print on a wide variety of materials. Also, a big advantage of flexography is that it does multiple things in one go including printing, varnishing, laminating and cutting.
2. The 3 Types of Flexography Printing
There are three main types of flexography printing methods:
- Traditional flexography which uses blades to spread the ink onto the material.
- Enhanced flexography that uses central impression cylinders for higher quality printing.
- Process flexography which uses the CMYK colors during all printing jobs.
3. Choosing the Best Material
The type of material that is used is very important for the quality of the final printing. It is important to know the material that will be used including its color, opacity, and lucidity. This is because you want to be aware of which colors might fade or change on a certain type of material. Paper absorbs more ink compared to film while matte paper results in a more subtle or dull output. Whenever you decide to use flexography, make sure you select the proper material and the quality flex storage solutions depending on the final product that you need.
4. Getting the Layout Right is Paramount
Ensuring the right layout is also extremely important when using flexography. If it’s printed boxes you need, make sure both your printer and designer know what you need. If it’s a sleeve pouch, the printing design and strategy will be different. The final quality is greatly dependent on proper layout. Keep in mind that flexography may have higher initial costs, but once it’s functional, it can be used for bulk printing at very economical rates.
5. A High Set-Up Time
While flexography offers many advantages, you need to be aware that the set-up time is high, especially if the printing job is fairly complex. If the final product requires lamination or die cut or even varnishing, the time required to complete the job will increase.
Also, flexography uses quite a bit of material during set-up time which could result in wastage.
Overall, flexography is a very popular method of printing that is used by many different industrial segments.
The fact that flexography has bulk printing capability at very economical costs makes it an ideal choice for businesses that need to use different types of materials for multiple products and in large quantities. Initial set-up costs may be high, but as more and more printing jobs are performed, the savings overcome the initial costs.
Finally, the quality of output is very good, making it an altogether great printing choice for different industries.