When it comes to flexographic printing, the good news is that for packaging and labels it has resisted economic downturns and competition from digital while also becoming a more efficient, higher quality production method in its own right. The even better news is that continuing technical improvements are carrying flexo toward higher levels of performance.
Focused primarily on label and package printing segments, flexographic printing has been the least affected of all of the traditional printing processes by the rising of digital on the one hand, and by the decline in graphic printing markets in the West as well as some transitional and even up-and-coming economies in some instances.
With corrugated packaging usually growing in line with our global economy, and also flexible packaging taking share from other pack types, flexographic printing has performed creditably and there are many growth opportunities on offer around the world going forward. Only with labels has digital printing began to make real inroads into flexographic printing, even though, in the long run the trend towards shorter run lengths can also have an impact in areas like flexibles and cartons, albeit mostly in niche areas at the margins.
Flexographic printing continues to improve as a result of various developments. These include advancements in plate technology and exposure methods, better methods to mount plates, anilox rollers, print unit and press design, inks and curing/drying systems.
From now up until 2019 there will be continuous improvements in the process as suppliers continue to innovate in order to win share of a market with growth aspects. If an individual flexographic printing concern will grow or not in the new environment will depend a large extent on its technological investment decisions and also how it adapts to changes in technology.
Below are five critical steps to drive your business forward:
- Improved plate materials and imaging.
- Optimising prepress workflow in order to boots quality and turnaround.
- Growing use of process colour, replacing multiple spot colours and reducing changeover and waste.
- Improved press control through the use of independent servo motors to improve setup.
- Anilox technology – link to link and also plates to boost process colour – developing maximum process colour gamut to minimize press downtime.
Visit the Peak Pak website to learn more about the various types of packaging we have to offer.