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Flexography Printing

Fundamental of Printing Process

Iryn Zahiryn

on 23 May 2012

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Transcript of Flexography Printing

What is Flexographic Printing??
Fundamental of Print Process
PDT 501
Mr. Muhammad Yusuf
Flexographic Printing
Who? When? Where?
in 1890
Liverpool, England
Bibby, Baron and Sons
The Early day....
It was then called an aniline printer because of the ink it used.
These printing presses were made throughout England until the 1920's, when Germany began to produce the majority of them.
the aniline dye inks - water based inks
These printing presses were used mainly for food packaging, until the FDA banned the inks they used.
Banned from the food packaging because of their toxicity.
This caused the sales of flexographic printing presses to plummet in the 1940s.
Since then, the process has been labeled antique
Others coloring agents were developed which were safer, but the name aniline printing persisted.
Because the name still carried bad connotations, Franklin Moses in 1951 started a campaign to change the name of the process.
Over 200 possible names were submitted by readers
Flexographic process has been choose because the felxible plate that use for printing process.
Flexographic has been improve in the quality of printing and pushed them into a position more prominent than even lithography printers.
until the last decade...
Syed Muhd Zahiryn
Mohd Asmih Bin Pidih
Developed primarily to print materials used in packaging.
Because the early quality of flexography was not high, the process was used mainly as a way to print low-quality corrugated materials.
However, a series of technical advances in flexography starting in the late 1980s resulted in dramatic quality improvements and rapid expansion in the use of flexography to print high-quality packaging materials.
1990's - flexography experienced an average annual growth rate of about 6%, which was above the average for the printing industry.
Divided in 4 groups :
Tags and Labels
Corrugated and Preprinted Containers
Flexible Packaging
Folding Cartons
Popular printed product
The tag and label market includes many consumer applications requiring high-quality graphics, such as hair care and pharmaceutical products.
Flexography dominates the printing of tags and labels.
This segment had revenues of $10.2 billion in 2000 (US market), or about 9% of the total packaging market.
Tags and Labels
Syazalina Binti Rossidi
Corrugated containers provide an economical source of strong, versatile packaging.
Corrugated board is typically made of kraft linerboard, which uses virgin, unbleached, softwood pulp.
Corrugated materials are characterized by irregularities, which in the past made it difficult or expensive to print high-quality graphics directly on the board.
As the role of corrugated packaging has expanded from simply protecting its contents for transport and handling to generating customer interest at the point of sale, technology has also improved.
Corrugated and Preprinted Containers
Printing Process
Nurnajihah Binti Muslim
Flexible packaging is a package or part of a package with a thickness of ten millimeters or less whose shape can be readily changed.
Most printing of flexible packaging is done by flexographic processes.
The demand for flexible packaging is driven by food products (particularly fresh produce and snack foods), pharmaceutical products, surgical and medical equipment, agricultural products, industrial chemicals, household goods, garden supplies, pet food, cosmetics, and retail merchandise.
Flexible Packaging
Flexible packaging accounts for about a fifth of the total packaging market.
In 1998 flexible packaging employed 375,000 people.
Food products alone account for about half of flexible packaging; medical and pharmaceutical products constitute another 25%.
Flexography prints about 85% of all flexible packaging.
In 2000, flexographic printing of flexible packaging totaled over $20 billion.
Polyproplene, polyethylene, polyester, plastic and foil.
Info Video
Folding cartons differ from corrugated containers in the type of substrate used (usually a high-quality, smooth paperboard), in the generally fine quality of the graphics, and in the types of inks used.
Folding cartons are used in a variety of applications requiring colorful, complex graphics (foods, personal care products, etc.).
About a fifth of all folding cartons are printed with flexography.
Folding cartons accounted for $14 billion of revenue in 2000 - about 13% of the total packaging market.
Sales of folding cartons grew by about 10% per year during much of the 1990s.
Folding Cartons
Print and Folding Process
Wan Mohd Nabil
Flexographic presses are capable of producing good quality impressions on many different substrates and is the least expensive and simplest of the printing processes used for decorating and packaging printing. The use of flexographic printing presses is on the rise.

1) it is a relatively simple operation
2) it is easily adapted to the use of water-based inks. The widespread use of water-based inks in flexographic printing means a large reduction in VOC emission compared to the heatset web or gravure printing processes.
There are 2 reason for this:
The major unit operations in a flexographic printing operation are:
Image preparation
Major Unit
begins with camera-ready (mechanical) art/copy or electronically produced art supplied by the customer.
Images are captured for printing by camera, scanner or computer. Components of the image are manually assembled and positioned in a printing flat when a camera is used.
This process is called stripping.
Image Preparation...
When art/copy is scanned or digitally captured the image is assembled by the computer with special software. A simple proof (brown print) is prepared to check for position and accuracy.
When color is involved, a color proof is submitted to the customer for approval.
Flexographic plates are made of a flexible material, such as plastic, rubber or UV sensitive polymer (photopolymer), so that it can be attached to a roller or cylinder for ink application.
There are three primary methods of making flexographic plates; photomechanical, photochemical and laser engraved plates.
Plate Making
Rubber Plate
A negative of the image to be printed is placed on top of a metal alloy coated with a light-sensitive acid resist.
Manufactured either from sheet photopolymer or liquid photopolymer materials.
Plates are mounted on the plate cylinder either by an adhesive backing or by other means, such as plate clamps.
The five types of printing presses used for flexographic printing:
the stack type
central impression cylinder (CIC)
newspaper unit
dedicated 4-, 5-, or 6-color unit commercial publication flexographic presses.
Printing Presses
Stack Press
The stack press is characterized by one or more stacks of printing stations arranged vertically on either side of the press frame.
Like the common impression rotary letterpress, use a single impression cylinder mounted in the press frame. Two to eight color printing stations surround the central impression cylinder. Each station consists of an ink pan, fountain roller, anilox roll, doctor blade, and plate cylinder.
Central impression cylinder (CIC)
In Line flexo printing is similar to a unit type rotary press or the stacked press except the printing stations are arranged in a horizontal line. They are all driven by a common line shaft and may be coupled to folders, cutters, and other postpress equipment.
In Line Press
A newspaper flexographic press consists of multiple printing units, each unit consisting of two printing stations arranged back-to-back in a common frame.
The use of paired stations allows both sides of the web to be printed in one pass. Multiple printing stations are required to print the many pages that make up a typical newspaper.
Single and double color decks, stacked units, or 4-, 5-, or 6-color units are sometimes positioned above those units where the publisher wants to provide single or multiple spot color, spot color for both sides of the web, or process color, respectively (Buonicore).
Newspaper Flexographic Press
Commercial publication flexographic presses are compact high-speed presses with wide web capability that utilize dedicated 4-, 5-, or 6-color units.
Typically, two four-color units are paired in one press to allow printing on both sides of the web. Publication flexographic presses generally incorporate infrared dryers to ensure drying of the waterborne ink after each side of the web is printed (Buonicore).
Commercial Publication Flexographic
Flexographic inks are very similar to packaging gravure printing inks in that they are fast drying and have a low viscosity.
The inks are formulated to lie on the surface of nonabsorbent substrates and solidify when solvents are removed.
Solvents are removed with heat, unless U.V. curable inks are used.
Flexographic Ink
There are three main types of ink:
water based
UV curable
The printing surface (substrate type) dictates what ink type it is advisable to use.
Flexo ink, typically a thin, volatile liquid ink, is stored in an ink pan, where a rubber-covered fountain roller rotates.
The fountain roller picks up a thick film of ink and transfers it to a metering roller, typically known in flexography as an anilox roller.
The anilox roller is a chrome- or ceramic-covered roller whose surface contains small, engraved pits or cells (typically from 80:1,000 cells per inch).The pressure between the fountain roller and the anilox roller is set so that the excess ink pools up at the top of the nip between them.
Ink Fountain
After printing, the substrate may run through a number of operations to be "finished" and ready for shipment to the customer. Finishing may include operations such as coating, cutting, folding and binding.
Fatihah Amira Bt Abdul Talib
Mohd Ersyad Bin Jamaluddin
Rozaidah binti Khair Johari
Fatin Aqilah Bt Mohd Noor
Mohd Sahril Azham
Muhammad Azmeen Bin Aziz
Physical Profiles of Print Image
• The“ring of ink”effect is a typical characteristic of letterpress and flexography printing.
• This is caused by the accumulation of ink at the edges of printed letters caused by the high printing pressure
Farah Wahida Bt Abd Aziz
Full Process of Printing
A number of factors affecting the print quality for flexographic printing of toweling substrates have been investigated in a laboratory study.
The correct choice of ink can have a significant impact on print quality obtained, but may also impact factors such as runnability. Press conditions can be optimised by the selection of the printing plate material and press conditions such as printing pressure. Flexographic presses are low cost with high productivity and efficiency. Press make-ready is quick. Flexo printing plate cylinders are removable ; therefore plates can be mounted to the cylinder off-line to accommodate production demands. Photopolymer plates are durable, lasting as long as several million impressions. Inks are fast drying and there is no complex multi-component ink balancing to do, as there is with offset printing. Good quality print can be obtained within the first few revolutions of the printing cylinder. Many flexo presses are equipped with in-line finishing capabilities such as coating, laminating, slitting and diecutting, which increase productivity.
Label Sticker
The End! ;)
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