Flexography is a type of printing press created in the 1890s. It is a rotary style printing press, which means the images are wrapped around a cylinder and printed by rotating that cylinder.
Originally, flexography was not a very reliable form of printing, as the ink would often smear. But technologies have changed and improved, and now flexography is an excellent printing choice for many reasons.
1. It’s versatile
This method is very useful for many different types of printing, but the most common use of flexographic printing is probably for printing labels, especially on materials that are generally difficult to print on like plastic, fabric and even cellophane. But it is also effective for printing on plain old paper too. The reason for this flexibility is that flexographic printers can print on both porous and non-porous materials, which some other types of printers are not able to do.
There are many different types of ink that can be used for these printers, and printing can be done in one solid colour, or a variety of different colours. In addition, there are many types of flex storage solutions to choose from as well, giving you plenty of options and flexibility.
2. It’s accurate
Because of the way the mechanism is set up, flexographic printers make very few errors. One part that helps aid in this is the doctor blade. The doctor blade removes excess ink on each rotation to avoid smearing, smudging, and dripping.
3. It’s cost effective
Flexographic printing is a cost-effective method for printing too, so it’s ideal for printing thousands of things like labels. Part of its cost-effectiveness is due to its reliability and consistency. With less smeared or badly printed items coming off the press, it saves money in the amount of waste caused by faulty printing.
Ink is not only a check mark in flexography’s versatility box, but also in its cost-effective box. The ink that is suitable for a flexographic printer can be much cheaper than the ink needed for other types of printing.
Another part of what makes flexographic printing cheaper is the costs that it doesn’t incur. Because it is so fast, clients get more content in less time, increasing output and decreasing labor costs.
4. It’s fast
Flexographic printers can print up to 250 meters of content per minute, which makes it one of the speediest printing methods out there. Flexography is a great option for continuous print jobs, for example, things like wallpaper. A flexographic printer can keep going and going until it runs out of material to print (or ink). The need for no human interaction with the machine means that it will do its thing quickly and efficiently on its own.
And again, with the ink. Yet another positive about the inks used for flexography is that they are all very fast drying, so another time-saving aspect of flexographic printing.
5. It’s healthier for people and for the Earth
At one point, it was decided that flexographic printing was not suitable for food labels because it was too toxic. Flexography became super unpopular at this time as companies were afraid to use it on their products.
Now the ink has been adjusted and is not only not going to poison your food, but the inks actually emit less chemical emissions in production than other inks commonly used today. Water-based and UV curable inks are recommended by researchers as the more eco-friendly option, and a better option for to ensure the safety of people who will be handling those printed goods.
From possibly one of the least efficient and most dangerous printing methods to one of the most effective and safest printing methods, flexography has definitely come a long way.