Each element of the process continues to advance, meeting the needs of an evolving industry.
With so many stories of digital press launches and installations dominating the label industry news feed, to some, flexography has become an afterthought. However, despite the inroads digital printing has made in recent years – and they are indeed significant – the majority of PS labels and packaging printed around the world are done so via flexography. In fact, it’s really not even close.
There are several reasons why the tried and true flexo print method has been the backbone of the label industry for decades. As the name of the process suggests, flexo is flexible. Its versatility plays a pivotal role in its adoption and success. Flexo attributes that set it apart from competing technologies such as offset, litho, gravure and digital, include high press speeds, low equipment and maintenance costs, low cost of consumables, suitability for medium to long runs and ease of integration with other printing processes.
Furthermore, flexo’s flexibility allows the process to continue to evolve, with suppliers responsible for every element in the process working in lockstep to keep moving forward into the future.
Flint Group Narrow Web has recently announced developments in the up-and-coming UV LED flexo and shrink sleeve sectors, as well as addressing the extended gamut trend.
“We knew from interviews with clients specializing in the short-run shrink sleeve market, that they want a UV dual-curable ink with better adhesion and increased curing speed to boost productivity and reduce yield losses,” states Kelly Kolliopoulos, global marketing director for Flint Group Narrow Web. “Our experience in LED and conventional mercury curable ink system technology, combined with our understanding of the shrink market, enabled our R&D team to develop this best-in-class system.” She concludes, “EkoCure XS combines the latest ink chemistry, including novel binders, that provide perfect cure and sufficient flexibility of the cured ink, allowing the adhesion to remain fool-proof – especially after post shrink processing is completed. The full range of Pantone shades and opaque white are available.”