Packaging Innovation
flexographic printing
January 21, 2016

Flexographic label printing: what does the future hold?

Flexographic printing has long been the reliable backbone of the label printing industry. Despite increased competition from other print technologies, experts feel that flexographic printing will remain the go-to technology for label printing in the next few years.

Flexographic printing more popular than ever

The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) reports that 72% of flexo printers and converters experience annual sales increases, with 86% of them even experiencing five consecutive years of improved bottom lines. In the label sector, the FTA forecasts an annual growth rate of 5.2%.

Landmark developments

The landscape of flexographic printing within the label industry is changing rapidly. Companies are tirelessly pushing the boundaries in what can be done, continuously improving the flexographic printing process. New curing methods of UV LED, for example, increase productivity significantly while reducing energy costs and downtime to an absolute minimum. Another landmark development that is expected to drive the flexo industry for years to come is the use of 7-color printing. This innovation not only allows for shorter make-ready times but also reduces waste and pushes flexo printing to rival the costs of digital printing.

Innovative inks

Label industry insiders are eagerly looking forward to the introduction of a wide range of innovative inks which they believe will help produce labels that are truly outstanding. Currently in the pipeline are inks that will have more solubility, allowing for cleaner printing, resulting in better stability on press. The inks will also have better acceptance and release to anilox rolls, printing plates and substrates.

Tackling sustainability issues

To remain competitive and as environmentally friendly as possible, the flexo industry focuses on providing more than just machines and inks. Keeping the environment in mind at all times, flexo suppliers and manufacturers continue to strive for and deliver technologies that tackle sustainability issues and reduce carbon footprints.   Inspired by Label & Narrow Web