Packaging Innovation
flexo printing
September 15, 2016

Thinking about switching to flexo printing? Now is the time!

Flexo printing is more popular than ever, rivalling the quality of offset and gravure, and withstanding the competition of digital printing solutions. Its success will continue at least through 2020, according to Smithers Pira, thanks to increasingly innovative technologies as seen at drupa 2016.

Flexo printing with more vibrant colours

Leading flexo printers did not hesitate to switch to fixed colour palette printing when it was first introduced, and smaller players are now following in their footsteps. Fixed colour palette printing, or extended colour gamut (ECG) printing, uses CMYK combined with green, orange and blue or violet. This technique yields more vibrant colours than when CMYK is used alone, and in many cases eliminates the need for Pantone spot colours as it is able to match up to 80 percent of them.

Boosting press uptime

Optimising ink transfer and thereby reducing the number of press wash-ups and ink changes needed, flexo printing with a fixed colour palette not only minimises waste but also boosts press uptime. Additionally, flexo printers opting for ECG printing have an easier time combining multiple jobs into one run and can use expensive substrates more efficiently.

Improved flexo plates

High-quality fixed colour palette printing requires ink registration to be extra precise and calls for meticulously controlled dot gain. The flexo industry responded by raising its standards for flexo plates – and the results are astounding. Upping the quality and printing more consistently than digital flexo plates in the past, the new generation of flexo plates finally closes the gap between flexo and offset and gravure. This is thanks to innovative flexo plate-making processes such as HD Flexo, which can easily be implemented into existing procedures and equipment.   Inspired by David Galton for drupa