Providing the ability to perform ink printing on nearly any type of surface, the popularity of flexographic printing dates back to the late 1800’s in Liverpool, England, where it was known as Bibby’s Folly, named for its creators Bibby, Barrons and Sons. The versatility of the printer’s application across a wide range of industrial uses has made this type of printing extremely useful for a number of business uses.
This article discusses 5 important facts related to flexographic printing.
1. Flexographic Ink is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
According to a recent report by Coherent Market Insights, the global market size of the flexographic ink industry was 7.83 billion CAD in 2016, with a projected compound annual revenue growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6 percent through 2025. The market expansion has been driven by increased needs for brand promotion and advertising products, which have followed the rising consumer demands for packaged goods.
The largest portion of this flexo ink market has been dominated by water-based inks, used primarily in newspapers and plain paper and cardboard printing applications.
2. The Demand for Flexographic Printing Continues to Increase
Industry trade journal Flexo Magazine has reported that flexographic printing fulfills 72 percent of the printing demands of the packaging markets, noting that once a firm has transitioned to flexo printing, it only increases its investment in related hardware, inks and skilled employees.
Additionally, technological advances in printing setups and inks have helped flexographic printing to remain competitive with modern digital printing technologies.
3. It’s Canadian Environmental Law Compliant
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) have been associated with increasing the risks for developing respiratory disorders including asthma, lung and throat irritations, in addition to higher rates of cancers, kidney and liver damage and neurological disorders in exposed populations.
Meeting the demands placed by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999 to limit VOC’s emissions, including benzene and other toxic carcinogens, the attractiveness of UV-cured VOC inks has seen a steady increase in the country’s manufacturing demand, especially in applications for food labels printing in Canada as well as Latin America.
4. Extended Color Gamut (ECG) Outperforms Traditional Color Pallets
Increased needs for the efficiencies and the cost reductions to be had from transitioning to printing with a fixed number of inks in flexographic setups has caused CMYK+, an ECG pallette scheme, to replace the traditional CMYK pallettes, making it a suitable replacement for Pantone spot color applications in over 90 percent of applications.
The benefits of ECG printing include decreasing the press change-over and make-ready time-frames as well as frequently eliminating the requirement to perform a clean-up in between print jobs. Providing additional benefits such as reducing ink waste and the need to maintain large inventories, ECG delivers other attractive cost savings and process streamlining in flexographic environments.
5. A Flexcart and a Flexstand Can Help Preserve Your Flexographic Printer Investment
Investing in a flexcart and a flexstand can improve the lifetime of your flexo printer. Ensuring your printer is in a safe environment can help ensure that the printer is not accidentally damaged and that expensive printing jobs are not interrupted in a high traffic manufacturing environment.
It’s well-known in flexographic setups that once flexo ink has dried, it can be nearly impossible to remove from the printer’s rollers.
Flexcarts, specifically, are created to assist with maintaining the flexographic printer, keeping it cleaner. A flexcart, with its mobile casters can allow the printer to be set up in a variety of environments and support its safe transportation, while a flex stand can give your printer stability and access to the rollers to ensure adequate cleaning.