The days of badly printed packaging are numbered: Flexicon AG, an internationally leading prepress provider for consumer goods packaging, has now developed a new process that enables flexographic printing results that are as good as gravure printing.
Full-surface black and sophisticated motifs with many nuances between light and dark have always posed the greatest challenges in flexographic printing. At the same time, the market is demanding higher quality in packaging printing: with the market share of discounters climbing, less and less merchandise is unpacked – and the packaging itself assumes a greater role in consumer purchase decisions.
The NExT process for plate exposure for flat top dots developed by Flint and an HD resolution of the motifs offered a solid foundation for further in-house development by the experts at Flexicon’s Service & Innovation department, and they began to work on the development of other new HD surface grids in order to significantly improve the printing results of highly complex motifs. The second logical step was the decision in favour of the hybrid process. “It’s the best of both worlds”, says Bernd Sanning, head of S&I, in describing the effect.
The method works like this: Before colour separation, and depending on the technical circumstances of the printer, the decision is made whether a round or flat dot shape must be used, or both. An advantage of the hybrid process is its different dot geometries, making rich full-surface printing just as possible as sharp lights, that is, finely shaded areas of the motif.
This new HighQuality hybrid process from Flexicon thus not only makes the print motifs on brand-name goods glow, but also the eyes of flexographic printing specialists. Less plate vibration enables higher printing speeds. Even the deepest black can be printed in one printing process. And the significantly higher ink transfer with lower pigment content reduces ink costs.
www.flexicon.de / source: www.packagingeurope.com