What is the Flexographic Method and How Does it Work?

27 Oct 2023, By Adam

What is the Flexographic Method and How Does it Work?

Introduce Flexographic Printing:

As a printing industry or business owner member, you must come across the term flexography while customized packaging. It's okay if you do not have much understanding about it. It is one of the traditional printing procedures. It is utilized to print logo, artwork, images, illustrations, and contact information. It is easy to apply on paper, fabrics, plastic films, vinyl, and corrugated. 

You must be wondering what is actual this printing method is and how it functions. Does it have particular benefits? Stay at this page. This article is going to answer all your questions.

Flexographic: An Effective and Flexible Printing Method:

Flexography is not a modern-day printing method. Its history goes back to the decades before. But, over time, the efficiency of the printing method is enhanced due to the advancements made in the procedure. It is also called modern-day letterpress because of its versatility. Unlike other printing methods, flexography can be printed on various substrates, including plastic, paper, metal, films, cellophane, and fabrics. The flexographic printing method is time and cost-efficient. In addition, it also offers unlimited options in printing. Let's proceed towards the flexographic printing method and how you can use it to advance your business. 

List of Processes Involved in Flexography Printing:

The method of flexography involves the following steps:

  • Image preparation 
  • Placemaking 
  • Mounting 
  • Printing
  • Finishing 

The flexographic printing method utilizes a flexible plate made from soft plastic, rubber, and UV polymer. After that, the ink is applied to the plate images. Then, the substrate is pressed against the plate. The images are transferred on the surface as a result of pressure. Lastly, IR dryers and a series of UV lamps are used to dry the ink before starting the next round. As flexography utilizes low verbosity of inks, it will likely dry out quickly. As a result, the probability of smudging decreases, and you can move toward the next procedure without worrying about destroying the quality of the printed image.

Application of Special Finishings on Flexographic Printing:

One of the best features of flexography is that you can employ a plethora of finishings within the printing procedure that include:

  • Embossing 
  • Debossing 
  • Die-cuts
  • Foil stamping 
  • UV coating 

The incorporation of these additional procedures makes printing more vibrant and attractive. You can do the job of finishing in a single pass-through. 

Pros and Cons of Flexographic Printing Techniques:

The history of flexography goes back to previous ages. Since 1890, it has been in use. Still, it is included among the top-rate printing methods. What makes it the most famous printing procedure? Each coin has two sides. Similarly, flexographic methods have merits and demerits as well. We will bring into light both aspects of flexography in detail.

Advantages of Flexography Printing

Let's start with the benefits of flexography. Later on, we can see its disadvantages. 

Absolute Solution for Printing on a Wide Range of Materials:

Unlike other printing methods, flexography is an ideal option for printing on any substrate, such as plastic, vinyl, brown paper, corrugated, etc. 

Utilizes A Huge Variety of Inks:

This printing method allows the application of any kind of oil or water-based inks. 

Elaborate Description of Details:

Flexography plates produce accurate prints, excellent artwork design, and striking color-printed images. 

Flexible and Effortless Printing Procedure:

The flexography method can print millions of impressions and is accommodable following the client’s specifications. 

Vibrant in Colors:

Flexography results in producing rich and stunning color prints. It is finalized through both color models, CMYK and PMS

Budget and Time Efficient Printing Method:

Compared to other printing methods, the flexography method is more affordable. Apart from it, it is also a less time-consuming method because of its high production speed.

Disadvantages of Flexography Printing

After getting through the benefits of flexography, let'' delve into the cons of flexographic printing.

Regular Printing Procedure:

It is a common printing method. Like offset, it cannot create impeccable artwork designs. 

Use of High-Cost Equipment:

It is a costly printing procedure because of the following reasons:

Printing plates are costly. You have to purchase distinctive plates for separate colors. 

Wrapping cost is also high.

You have to pay extra for distorted images as well. 

Inappropriate for Small Quantity Prints:

Flexographic printing is an optimal choice for large-quantity prints. Like the digital printing method, it is not suitable for short-quantity prints. 

Disclosing Environmental Impacts of Flexographic Method:

Just like other printing methods, flexography has a harmful impact on the health of the planet. The disaster effects involve:

  • Huge consumption of energy 
  • Waste generation as a result of unused inks
  • Usage of toxic chemicals and material 
  • Demands a huge amount of water 

But you don't need to be worried. Companies can adopt some approaches to minimize the impact of flexographic printing methods and contribute towards a sustainable printing industry.

How Do Flexography and Offset Differ?

Offset vs flexography is the most common question that we come across. That’s why we have decided to deal with it. Flexography and offset printing produce remarkable results. That's why it becomes difficult to make distinctions in the final product. So, you need to become familiar with the differences. It will help you pick out the best ones.  The major differences between the flexography printing method and the offset printing method involve the following:

Flexography Printing Offset Printing 
Uses rotary flexible plates for printing on a substrate object  Printing is done indirectly via a series of offset plates
Combines exclusive finishings through a single pass  Combines exclusive finishings through a single pass Finishings like die-cuts, embossing, UV coating etc. are integrated after the offset printing procedure
Easily printable on any kind of surface  Viable to print on flat, smooth surface 
Less time, money and energy consuming Costly printing procedure and consumes plenty of time 

Final Words:

Flexographic printing is the most reliable option If you require prints for professional or brand marketing. However, you can contact us at Urgent Boxes for guidance regarding flexographic printing.


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