JK Labels

What is Flexographic Printing?

Flexographic printing or flexography is a process that utilizes a flexible relief plate in the printer. These plates are often made of rubber or plastic. Label manufacturers use flexographic printing for printing labels on plastic, foil, paper, metallic films and other forms of substrates used in packaging industry. Among other types of substrates, flexography is primarily used to produce printed labels on non-porous substrates like plastic used in food packaging. This is why flexographic printing is synonymous with plastic printing.

The Flexographic printing process

The flexographic printing process involves the substrate being fed into the printer in roll form. The substrate then moves through different print units that only prints a single colour. The various tones and shades of colours are achieved through processes similar to that in lithographic printers where the basic shades of ink- magenta, cyan, yellow and black are overlaid.

Four basic operations are involved in a flexographic printing process: image preparation, plate-making, printing and finishing. Image preparation is where an electronic copy of the art is supplied by the customer. It is assembled onto the computer through special software and simple proof is prepared before the final printing is done. Plate-making process in flexographic printing is similar to that in other printers. It is just that the relief printer is made out of flexible material so that it can be attached to a cylindrical roller for ink application. Flexographic printing for self-adhesive labels makes more and more use of UV cured inks as they are less toxic and much easier to handle as compared to heat-cured inks. The final stage of flexography is the finishing. Here processes like cutting, folding, coating and binding etc. may be carried out. Flexography is a boon for printing bottle labelsand has found extensive usage in sticker labels meant for food packaging.

JK labels’ infrastructure includes the seven-colour UV flexographic label manufacturing machine- Gallus EM 280, manufactured by world’s best manufacturer of label printing machines, Gallus. Visit www.jklabels.com to know more about the printing service offered by JK Labels.

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