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9 Different Pros and Cons of Flexographic Printing

If you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to use flexography for your next printing project, big or small, there are a few things you should take a look at. In addition to finding yourself a reliable service provider, you also need to take into consideration variables like price, the kind of materials you plan on using, and the flex storage solutions for your print accessories.

Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to flexographic printing. There are a few advantages and disadvantages before you decide whether or not flexographic printing is the right option for you. Here are the nine pros and cons of flexography printing:

Pro: Flexography is compatible with many different inks

Essentially a different take on rotary printing, flexography involves impressing a raised image onto a flexible surface. This action of ‘stamping’ works with many different kinds of materials and is also compatible with a large range of ink types. With the ability to be used on both porous and non-porous surfaces, flexo printing is a process that is ideally suited to all sorts of consumer and commercial needs.

Pro: Flexographic printing suits many different surfaces

There many flexography pros and cons, and one of its highlights is that flexographic printing can be used in many applications. With the ability to use fast-drying inks, for example, flexography is a great option when it comes to packaging, printing newspapers, and other similar publications. Also widely used from printing on everything from disposable cups to shopping bags and wallpaper, flexographic printing can use water-based, fluorescent and metallic inks in addition to traditional solvent-based inks.

Pro: Flexography offers a notable faster production speed over other printing techniques

If you’re looking to get the job done quick, flexography might be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Using a flexographic printing press significantly cuts down your press setup time and means you can get started on your project sooner. When compared to gravure or lithographic printing, flexography is ready in a much shorter amount of time.

The fact that it can use fast-drying ink doesn’t hurt either. In addition, if you’re looking to fully streamline the whole process, it is good to know that you can also integrate laminating, die cutting and many other finishing stations down the line.

Pro: Flexographic printing is fairly affordable

When project times are shortened, overall costs are reduced. You’ll end up benefitting from a higher ROI because you’ll be able to create more sellable output in less time. The relief plates used in flexography are also quite durable, which means you’ll only need to replace them after a few million impressions. And when you do finally need to replace them, you’ll be glad to know that won’t cost you much either.

Pro: Flexography can provide top-notch solid colour printing

On porous or non-porous surfaces, flexographic printing can give you that deep, saturated colour that you’ve been looking for. While other printing techniques rely on the presumption that you’ll be willing to do several layers of ink, flexography can give you impressive richness after just one go. Especially when dealing with solid colours, flexography is both faster and will save you money on ink.

Pro: Flexography is a green printing solution

An important advantage to some, flexography reduces your reliance on platemaking solutions, solvents based inks and cleaning materials that contain harmful chemicals. While the printing as a whole endures criticism for the effects it is having on the environment, flexography offers a more sustainable solution.

Con: Flexographic printing equipment are quite complex

Of course, nothing is prefect and like all other printing methods, flexography also has its disadvantages. One of these is the fact that it is quite complicated in nature and contains a number of integral systems built into the process. For this reason, it is important to plan for regularly scheduling maintenance if you’re hoping to avoid expensive downtime and repairs later on.

Con: Using flexography for small jobs can get expensive

Due to the fact that the plates used in flexographic printing are so durable, it really only makes sense to use this method when you’re doing a medium to large volume job. Also, keep in mind that is a job is made up of several colours, you will need to provide a plate for each colour.

Con: Flexography can take some time to set up

Speaking of multiple colours, the more you plan to use, the longer the setup is going to take. Due to the influx of new technology, some of the laborious methods associated with flexography can start to feel dated when compared alongside modern alternatives.

Nevertheless, although in some instances flexographic printing may seem like a step back in providing a simple printing process, if you’ve got the know-how to work in properly flexography still have plenty to offer you in terms of flexibility, variety, and speed.

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