requires a great deal of skill – not to mention a good dose of patience. To be more precise, there are (at least) 4 factors all high-quality flexo plates
have in common …
1. What a relief!
A flexo plate’s ideal relief depth (the difference in height between the bottom of the plate and the printing surface) of course depends on the thickness of the plate itself. Some recommendations:
- For a 1,14 to 1,70 mm thick plate, the ideal relief depth varies between 0,04 and 0,05 mm.
- For a 2,84 mm thick plate, the ideal relief depth varies between 0,05 and 0,06 mm.
- For a 6,35 mm thick plate, the ideal relief depth varies between 0,13 and 0,18 mm.
2. Imagine all the quality
Are you using film to make analog plates
? Make sure the film density is over 4.0. In the case of digital plates
, verifying with your digital imager supplier whether the imager’s focus and power settings are correct, is crucial. Know that the imager should be checked at least every 6 weeks to ensure top-notch digital plates.
3. Decent exposure
Don’t be tempted to extend exposure times to make up for bulbs that need replacing. Just replace them already! Unless you’re a fan of dot gain
and filled-in fine reverse details, that is.
4. Left hanging out to dry
Using flexo plates before they have completely dried
can lead to over-impression or poor registration. What’s more, it also decreases plate life. Hence, it certainly pays to allow the plate to cool for five minutes or so and check whether it has properly dried before using it. Is the plate no thicker than 0,05 mm
over its original gauge? Then you can rest assured it’s dry enough. (A plate that is not completely dry will remain swollen from the solvent it has absorbed.)
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