With flexo printing machines, the ink is transferred from the plate directly to the substrate. Flexography is actually a modern version of letterpress printing. Flexographic printing uses quick-drying, semiliquid inks. The inks can print on many types of absorbent and non-absorbent materials. It is also very suitable to print continuous patters, for example for wallpaper or gift wraps. The rolls of material used in flexography allow large orders to run with few interruptions to reload the substrate. This, in contrary to offset printing where one uses individual sheets of paper.
Flexo printing presses use flexible plates for a rotary printing process. The plates are flexible enough to be wrapped around a printing cylinder. The relief image on the plate is fixed, via a laser image-setter and the polymer in the ‘non-print’ areas is washed away in a processing unit, where it is dissolved into a solvent or water solution. The ink is transferred from the ink well via a rotating ‘anilox’ roller onto the flexo plate. A separate printing station and matching flexo plate is required for each colour to be printed. Next, the image is directly printed onto the substrate.
The kind of materials to print on is different with flexo printing machines. Flexography can be used on both absorbent and non-absorbent materials, such as cellophane, foil, cardboards, fabric, plastic and so on. Flexo printing is mainly used for packaging, like envelopes, retail bags, wallpaper or newspapers. Flexographic printing can be used on almost any substrate, even when it is a flexible one.
The type of press to choose for, depends what kind of product the customer desires, as well as the required volumes and substrates. Let our team of skilled professionals advise you in what kind of printing press is best for you.
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