Development and trend of flexographic printing technology

Jan 16,2023

Flexographic printing is a branch of letterpress printing. Flexographic printing is similar to letterpress printing in terms of printing principle, but different from traditional letterpress printing in terms of the composition of printing plate, ink and embossing process. The transfer of images in the printing process is completed by a flexible photosensitive resin plate (Printingplate) or a rubber stick with patterns. Originated in the United States in the early 1920s, the aniline ink used in the early stage was toxic and failed to develop. Since then, ink manufacturers have begun to use acceptable color reagents, which were renamed Flexographic Process at the 14th packaging seminar held in 1952 in the United States.

Main advantages:

1. The substrate has strong adaptability;

2. Fast printing speed: normally, the normal printing speed of flexo can reach more than 100 m/min;

3. The UV ink or ordinary ink used is environmentally friendly;

4. Large amount of ink, good saturation, suitable for large color blocks, freehand design, soft gradient, good virtualization effect;

5. More suitable for standardization: the amount of ink can be transferred through the mesh hole on the anilox roller, and the amount of ink can be adjusted by replacing the anilox roller. Once a suitable anilox roller is selected, the color difference changes little during the printing process, which can reduce the basis for the experience of operators to a certain extent;

6. With rich post-processing, it is easier to realize the needs of combination printing.

Application: It is applicable to mass printing of paper, plastic and self-adhesive labels.

Future trend: offset printing, intaglio printing and other printing methods are preemptive. People are used to comparing the advantages of these printing methods with the disadvantages of flexographic printing, but the characteristics of flexographic printing are often ignored. In fact, foreign experience has proved that flexographic printing can completely print high-grade prints. However, there must be corresponding equipment, corresponding plate raw and auxiliary materials, mature technology and high-level operators. With the continuous improvement of people's living standards, flexographic printing is also promoted to carry out a new round of technological innovation. The innovations of flexographic printing mainly include:

① Shaftless independent drive of flexographic printing machine;

② Sleeve technology is widely used;

③ Digital plate making;

④ CDI imaging technology;

⑤ Automatic registration control technology;

⑥ UV drying technology.

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