What is Flexographic Printing?

Combining high press speeds, excellent print quality and an efficient plate and colour change regimen, flexographic printing is recognized globally as the label industry’s leading printing technology. Unlike digital printing, which transfers ink directly onto a substrate, flexo printing uses a flexible printing plate wrapped around a rotary print cylinder to transfer an image. Combined with the use of fast curing ink and the ability to print on a variety of substrates, it provides a flexible, efficient and cost-effective solution to custom label printing. This is why insignia has invested in the latest flexographic label printing technology to ensure our customers are delivered a high-quality product every time.

Flexographic printing process

Flexo technology offers the ability to print precise CMYK & PMS spot colour matched combinations, for high quality multi-colour printing. To begin the flexographic printing process, a set of photopolymer printing plates are produced, each with a specific raised image of the design (one plate per colour). The plates are mounted onto print cylinders using a high resolution 50x magnification video plate mounting unit, and then the press is set up for the order, a process known as the ‘make ready’. The print cylinders are loaded in sequence into each print station before being set to exacting standards by our tradesman printers. Once the press has been set up the printing can begin. 

Transferring ink onto the substrate is very precise and is metered through a series of three primary rollers. The first roller transfers ink from the ink tray onto the anilox roller. This is a ceramic roller, laser etched with millions of cells which transfer an exact ink volume onto the printing plate. With the ink now on the print plate, the ink is then transferred onto the substrate with pressure from the impressions cylinder, forming an image. This process is repeated for each colour. At each new print station, the print from the previous station is positioned in lateral and longitudinal position, utilising the latest software to ensure an exact fit for every print. The result is a high-quality print with outstanding colour integrity.

Advantages of flexographic printing

Flexographic label printing offers many advantages, including:

Cost effective printing method for mid to large printing jobs

The ability to print on a wide variety of substrate materials

Requires less press time due to high printing speeds

Provides superior colour integrity and image quality through exact CMYK/PMS spot colour matching

insignia creates unique, tailored labels designed to bring your brand to life, and increase the visibility and shelf appeal of your product. The right adhesive, design and finish are crucial to ensuring the label is fit for purpose and not 'over-spec'ed. Check out our guide to custom product labels for more information on what to consider before you buy.

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Labels that are ‘over-spec’ed or failing to perform can cost your business greatly, diminishing the perceived quality of your product, and your brand’s reputation. Our team of experts can work with you to design a label that brings your brand to life, and lasts the life of your product. Simply fill in your details below and we'll be in touch.

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