In the world of commercial printing, there are many ways to create lasting product label graphics. Inkjet, dye sublimation and other printing methods definitely have their advantages, but these techniques are only cost effective in shorter runs of less than 5,000 copies. Flexographic printing, on the other hand, fulfills the needs of larger volume jobs, and it produces results of comparable quality.
Is modern flexo printing the superior choice for your next adhesive product label? Consider the following benefits:
Greater Material Choice
Flexographic printing is known for functioning with a wider range of substrates and materials. It can be used to create impressions on various forms of papers, plastics and films. These materials can then be combined with other label layers.
Experienced print services use flexo techniques to create finished labels that exhibit many desirable features. These products have specific optical, physical and even chemically resistant characteristics that make them fit for diverse applications.
More Freedom to Choose Ink Types
Many digital printers require inks with specific consistencies. For instance, you may have experienced a clogged office inkjet printer that required cleaning or servicing after the wrong ink was used or the ink dried out. These ink delivery mechanisms are far less adaptable than what can be done with flexographic printing machinery.
Flexo employs a press and flexible relief plates that have been cut into the shapes of the images that will be printed. The machine transfers ink from anilox rollers to the plates in a precise, even fashion. Then the stock to be printed is pressed between the inked plate and a cylinder to transfer the ink to the paper or film before the press moves it all to a drying area.
This process gives printers more freedom to modify ink formulations and consistencies. They can use inks that resist UV radiation, are lightfast and have various other properties. This makes it easier to create a lasting product label that successfully survives its intended usage environment. Another appealing aspect of these inks is that they can be formulated cost effectively using ecologically friendly techniques and source materials.
More Accurate Color Matching
The more traditional ink delivery style used in flexo printing also has the benefit of being easier to duplicate. With a digital printing process, you might need to print numerous test runs to ensure that you’ve achieved a specific hue. As the printer runs out of ink, you may also waste money creating copies that contain unacceptable deviations.
Flexo printing lets printers mix and assess inks in advance. They can also create quick test swatches so that you can adjust and review before you actually commit to buying a costly batch of thousands of labels.
Should You Choose Flexographic Printing?
The advantages of flexo printing are many, and the discounts that come with high quantities are impossible to ignore. Of course, each job is unique, so it pays to obtain an expert’s opinion. To learn more about the best options for your next batch, contact a T&L Graphics product label specialist.
Photo by Dale Simonson from Flickr using Creative Commons license.