A few years ago, printing companies rarely used flexo printing machines (mainly narrow web flexographic printers) to print labels. When it comes to label printing in China, everyone thinks more about the printing machine. However, in developed countries in Europe and America, the label printing market is quite mature. More than 90% of labels on the market are printed by flexo printing machines. At present, the label market in China is growing at a rapid rate of more than 30% every year. The position of label printing as a professional printing and processing industry has become increasingly prominent. Flexographic printing represents an increasingly popular application for the development of label printing.
For product labels that require automatic labeling, flexographic printing is now playing its strengths. Compared to letterpress printing, flexographic printing has the following advantages:
1. Fast printing
Usually, the normal printing speed of the flexographic printing plate can reach more than 100 m/min, but the speed of the rotary embossing printing press is generally 30m/min ~ 50m/min. That is, the efficiency of a flexographic printing press is almost equal to two or even three sets of rotary convex The efficiency of the press. More importantly, today's flexographic presses have also installed a number of post-press processing devices, which can realize rapid indentation, bronzing, and die cutting (including roll-to-roll and roll-to-single sheets) to achieve one-stop processing. Forming, this can effectively guarantee the timely payment of loans for mature brand products.
2. More suitable for standardization
Flexographic printing presses have a distinct advantage over embossing presses in that they are more suitable for standardization. Industrial products need to be standardized. Before and after batches of label products are required to be manufactured with a uniform color standard. Moreover, label products usually require a lot of spot colors, and their sensitivity to chromatic aberration is quite strong. The rotary printing press adjusts the printing color difference by controlling the flow rate of the ink in the ink fountain and the printing pressure, and is very unstable in the printing process, and often needs to rely on the operator's experience to adjust in real time. The flexographic printing press prints the ink volume from multiple mesh points on the reticulate pattern. The amount of ink can be adjusted by changing the anilox roll. Once the appropriate anilox roll is selected, the color difference during the printing process changes little, to some extent. This can reduce the basis for the operator's experience. This is very important for the labeling of mature consumer products. Customers do not want their product labels to have a deep and shallow phenomenon in the market.
3. More uniform performance on spot colors
As mentioned earlier, spot colors are often used for label printing, especially for large areas. The rotary printing machine is printed on a large area, and it is easy for the ink layer to be uneven or even white. However, this phenomenon is hardly seen in flexo label products. This is also determined by the two printing transfer methods mentioned above.
4. Flexo label products are more vivid and saturated:
Rotational embossing products generally have less color and saturation than flexo label products. This is determined by the composition of the two inks. In our company, the label needed to polish the ink printed by the rotary embossing printer is transferred to the flexo printer. After the label is printed on the flexographic printing machine, the glossiness required by the customer is often not required. The day-to-day products often use transparent labels, and the transparent labels printed by the rotary index printing machine are dimmed even after printing. This is especially true for patterns with white background, but printing can be performed on flexographic printing machines. It is very bright and saturated.
5. Flexo printing press easier to achieve the need for combination printing
Nowadays, many exquisite labels, especially those on daily chemical products, often use combination printing, usually combined with several printing processes. Compared to rotary rotary letterpress printing, the unit-type narrow-width flexo press can easily fulfill this requirement. It can be flexo + screen printing, or flexo + plain printing, or flexo + gravure, or even flexo printing. More than one combination of printing processes. Personally, I think this is a direction for the printing requirements of high-end label products.
6. Flexo printing is more environmentally friendly than embossing
Regardless of flexo printing, UV inks are used, which are flexo inks. They are all environmentally friendly. The inks are non-toxic and tasteless and meet the FDA's hygiene requirements. At present, the packaging of medicines and foods of many multinational corporations requires the use of flexo instead of embossing. Now the packaging of food and pharmaceutical products has become the main source of customers for our company's flexo.
Of course, flexo printing has some limitations relative to rotary flexo printing:
1. There are certain limitations in printing
In terms of fine text and thin lines, the performance is not as good as that of the embossing; the gradient of the screen is not as soft as the embossing. However, with the development of CTP plate making and the progressive development of flexo printing equipment, this problem has basically been solved. After the company's products from embossing to flexo printing have been printed on a flexo press, almost all of them have been printed using flexo printing machines. Overcome the above problems and get customer's approval.
2. There are certain requirements on the number of prints
Compared to the rotary printing press, due to the longer fuselage machine body, the loss of startup is greater. In addition, the requirements for flexo plate making are relatively high and the cost is relatively high. Therefore, the flexographic equipment has certain requirements for the number of prints. The larger the number of orders, the more flexibly the advantages of flexo printing.
The entire customer market of the label is not yet familiar, most of the orders are still in various varieties, and the quantity is small. The printing market has not started yet. The printing market shows that the low-end labels are mainly label machines, and ordinary automatic labeling is used to rotate the labels. Embossing mainly, high-end products mainly in flexo.
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