Flexographic printing: what it is and what it is for
Flexographic printing is a particular direct rotary printing method used mainly in packaging. Flexography involves a rotation of the packaging material through the rollers, where the ink passes from one to the other, finally reaching the material to be printed.
This technique is particularly used in food packaging because it allows you to print quickly even at low temperatures, creating ideal creations for different types of products.
Flexographic printing machines provide for food packaging both on paper and on aluminum, plastic and wood.
The importance of ink in flexography
The inks used represent the real added value of flexographic printing. The use of solvent-based and water-based products allows printing even on very delicate materials such as biodegradable ones, protecting the safety of the consumer and the properties of the food.
The EC Regulation 193572004, which concerns materials and objects intended to come into contact with food products, in fact requires that packaging does not transfer their properties to the food, as they are potentially harmful to health.
Flexographic printing technology has made great strides over the past decade. In addition to the use of a single cliché for each color, the variety of usable inks has increased considerably, favoring the eco-sustainability of flexography through the use of water-based inks.
The ink is applied to the flexographic plate by means of a steel, aluminum or carbon fiber roller, covered with a layer engraved with cells. These cells come in different shapes, depths and sizes. A higher number of cells allows the printing of smaller details, while a lower number favors the printing of solid backgrounds.
The material that can be printed with flexo is very varied. Even substrates with rough surfaces, such as corrugated cardboard, can benefit from its use.
Flexographic printing guarantees flexible packaging
Flexography is perfect for any packaging project that seeks a good compromise between costs, results and customer service. Among the most common packaging, the food and cosmetic ones require, for example, types of resistant packaging that can be customized in formats, materials and functions.
Flexographic printing – which also ensures rather rapid production times – is therefore proposed as a technique that allows you to better customize packaging, designing it tailored to the “needs” of the product.