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September 6, 2011
Many people are saying that Flexo is capable of producing anything that offset or gravure can do, and for less; how true is this?

     As a Flexographer for almost 40 years my reaction is and always has been absolutely, yes! Experience has also shown me that in reality when attempting to convert a package from any other print process  there is a considerable amount of effort that has to be put into any design and that is just the same for Flexo.

     There is no doubt in my mind that if you have a great team in your prepress and print department and a customer that is aware of the capabilities of the flexographic process that you will be capable of producing outstanding printed product that can in many instances look as good if not better than offset or gravure printed materials. With the state of the art digital prepress software and hardware, new plate materials and tapes, in the round sleeve technology, new ink chemistries and new servo press technology, the companies that continue to stay ahead of the curve with these products and have the right expertise both in-house and externally can often produce as good a product for less.

     The question is: Are you prepared to place yourself and your company at the cutting edge of technology by investing in the products, equipment and people that will enable you to also say, yes we can! You might think that the equipment makes all the difference and of course it is critical but probably greater than all of this is the caliber of your team and the constant need for retraining and evaluation. There is so much information available now and so many options that making the right choice for your business and your customer is key to you and their success.

     New screening software is now enabling the modern flexo printer to print up to and beyond 200 lpi and EGC technology and is allowing almost unlimited colors to be achieved. Even the range of substrates, which has always been almost unlimited for flexo, is continuing to be extended with non- woven materials and many other exotic laminates and extruded materials. I have to say it is much easier to create flexo from a new design than from an existing printed product as the buyer will always have a fixed perspective as to what to expect and see but with adequate communication at all stages of the process flexo is often showing that it can indeed produce world class print that is a more than a match for any other print process regardless of what name. However, it is up to you to prove if it can be done for less! 

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