Welcome to the Label Tech Inc Blog.

Moving From Digital to "Flexo", the Tipping Point

There are a variety of ways to produce custom labels.  Two of the most popular methods are flexographic printing, also known as “flexo”, and digital printing. 

This blog will take a close look at both printing methods and help you decide which is right for your label.

Flexography is a printing process that utilizes plates made from rubber or plastic to transfer an image to a substrate.  This flexible plate is wrapped around a printing cylinder and adhered with sticky tape.  These plates pickup ink and transfer the image to the label material or substrate.   Due to its use of fast drying inks, it becomes a high speed printing process and is an extremely popular method within the food industry.  The substrate shoots rapidly through the press, resulting in speedy, economical and high quality label production.  Flexographic label printing is ideal for larger runs of custom printed labels.  Because of the high speed and volume capabilities of the press, flexo is typically a more economical alternative to other printing processes.  This printing method affords a wide assortment of materials and technical capabilities.  It is versatile and can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate, including polypropylene films, metallic films, and many papers.  Flexo does well printing metallic inks and opaque whites; flexo inks anchor well on a broad range of materials including polyester, polypropylene, florescent labels, vinyl labels, and most coated papers.  Most flexographic printing companies have the ability to make photopolymer plates on site.  Photopolymer plates withstand millions of impressions.  Plates, along with the presses inking system, can deliver a predetermined amount of ink with minimum on-press adjustments.  These fast-drying inks can be solvent based, water based or ultraviolet (UV) curable.  Flexographic printing is constantly evolving and manufacturers are taking successful steps to make flexo even more productive, cost effective, and sustainable while printing with even more consistent quality.

Digital printing is commonly used for short run, full color labels.  This process does not require plates, which makes it easy to implement changes or run multiple lots. 

Digital printing gives labels the professional appearance without the professional cost.

Labels can be printed easily with variable data.  This allows consumers to personalize labels with customer’s names or account numbers. Digital printing relies on CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key – black), also called 4-color process.  Digital printing is an excellent option for short runs with multiple designs.  The set-up costs for digital labels can be an ideal solution for smaller companies or those wishing to purchase a small quantity of product labels.  Also, the turnaround time for digital labels is quicker by eliminating the set-up time needed to create plates and set up presses.  One of the key advantages of digital printing is the accuracy of the proofing it allows.  Extremely detailed samples can be made of your print job quickly and cost effectively, enabling you to hold a sample in your hands that will be replicated in the final print run.

Digital printing has emerged as a viable option for customers to get high quality on smaller print jobs while also keeping costs down.   It has actually helped make flexo an even better process because of what it forced flexo to accomplish: better registration, rapid changeover, wider color gamut and higher quality prepress. 

 

Click me
Topics: digital printing Large Run Printing flexographic label printing

Flexo 101: 7 Helpful Hints to Choosing a Commercial Printer.

Hi, welcome back to one of this weeks label blogs! If you have been printing labels for any substantial amount of time and still have not found a printer that understands your needs then KEEP LOOKING!! Maybe there are some things that you can do to ensure you find the right company to work with. Here are some tips on choosing the right commercial printer.

decision making

1. Have you been Shopping Price Over Quality? The old saying "you get what you pay for" can certainly, at times, apply to printing. Every client wants to save money when they can and who can blame them? If a price is unbelievably low it can be assumed that the company either does very little work or in most cases very poor quality.

2. Why Should I Check References? Most commercial printing companies that have any kind of reputation for credibility will be eager to hand over references. Look for companies that give you references openly and willingly and then- CHECK THEM!

3. Don't Just Hire Anyone for the Job! Looking into the companies that you want to do your work is almost as important as creating the project you want to print! Giving the work to just anyone could create problems for you down the line. Costs that could have been avoided could become incurred. Make sure to ask your potential printer for samples of work they have done in the past to make sure they can produce quality work.

4. Guarantee My Work! A printing company with any kind of reputation to uphold will be willing to guarantee their work to some degree. If they make a mistake, they shouldn't be charging you for it. And, if there is a problem with the quality or they ran the wrong stock then again, you shouldn't be charged.

5. Rushing Every Delivery? Needing a rush job done from time to time is totally understandable, but asking your printing company to have insane turn around times on every order is a bit demanding and could cost you a fortune in the long haul. Make sure before you start placing orders there is a clear understanding of what your needs are and how they are going to be met.

6. How Much Capacity Can be Handled? If you are ordering large runs time and time again make sure that your printer has the capacity to meet your demands. A huge mistake can be going with a company that can't handle the demand. Ask your potential printing company what percentage of capacity they are operating at. If your company is growing make sure the company you go with can handle it!

7. Don't Create too much Competition Between Commercial Printers. A little competition never hurt anybody but too much of it can ruin a good relationship. Commercial printers rely on building a great relationship with their customers so they can lend a hand when it is needed. If a client is consistent with their commercial printer then they will be less likely to be frustrated or even worse turned away from when they require quick production at the last minute!

Stay tuned for more FLEXO 101!!

Click me

Topics: Large Run Printing label printer help me find a printer Pressure Sensitive Labels Choosing a commercial printer commercial printing new label printer new commercial printer
<--- Sales Loft Tracking Code ---> <--- End Sales Loft Tracking Code --->