Flexo Printing

Flexo

Flexo is a relief printing process, where the image to be printed is raised away from the non-printed areas.

Recent improvements in the flexographic printing process have raised the print quality to the same level as more expensive offset lithographic and rotogravure printing. This, together with the very wide range of possible substrates, has resulted in a rapidly growing demand for this process.

The majority of our conventional presses at AJS Labels use flexo technology. These include the very top-of-the-range 8 colour Gallus RCS and state-of-the-art 12 colour MPS EC combination press. The process is fast and the print quality excellent making it the ideal solution for any label from added value through to high volume commodity products.

Flexo process

Flexo printing employs a flexible plate with a raised image or text that is attached to a roller. Each colour of uv ink to be printed has its own plate and ink unit. A second anilox roller applies a specific amount of ink to the plate. The Anilox roller has thousands of tiny cells across its surface, which hold the ink whilst transferring it from the ink unit to the printing plate. The size of these cells dictates the volume of ink transferred. Finally, a third roller keeps the substrate pressed firmly against the flexographic plate as it passes between plate and anilox rollers.

Advantages of flexo printing

  • Quick set up
  • Fast changes between variants
  • High quality image printing
  • Vibrant colours through UV process
  • High speed and volume making it the economical alternative to other printing processes
  • Inline capability to coat, laminate, hot stamp, rotary screen and die cut
  • Can print on a wide range of absorbent and non-absorbent substrates - paper and film
  • Photopolymer plates withstand millions of impressions
  • Wide range of inks, including fluorescents and metallic

Disadvantages of flexo printing

  • Can have low opacity on spot colours
  • Very fine detail can be lost without expert artwork techniques
  • Flexo plates can be time consuming to make