Flexographic Printing Industry. Flexography or Flexo Printing Business. Business Opportunities in Printing Sector
Flexography is a modern version of letterpress printing. This traditional method of printing can be used on almost any type of substrate, including corrugated cardboard, cellophane, plastic, label stock, fabric, and metallic film. The flexographic printing process uses quick-drying, semiliquid inks. In this age of digital printing, flexography holds its own in the areas of large orders and long print runs, particularly of packaging products and labeling.
Flexographic printing uses flexible photopolymer printing plates wrapped around rotating cylinders on a web press. The inked plates have a slightly raised image and rotate at high speeds to transfer the image to the substrate. Flexography inks can print on many types of absorbent and nonabsorbent materials. Flexography is well-suited to print continuous patterns, such as for gift wrap and wallpaper.
Flexographic printing is a popular method for printing large orders of custom labels at rapid speeds by transferring ink onto the paper or film material using flexible printing plates mounted on fast-rotating cylinders. Flexographic printing plates allow customization options that aren’t possible with some other types of presses. A variety of products can be printed on flexographic presses like pressure-sensitive labels, shrink sleeve labels, flexible packets, multi-ply labels, double-sided printed labels, and more.
Flexographic printing, or flexography, is a type of printing process that uses a flexible relief plate. This type of printing is mostly used for non-porous materials like food service paper, plastic, foil, brown paper, and packaging materials.
Flexographic printing is unique because it adapts well to different materials and can use a wider range of inks, like water based rather than oil based inks. Because the type of printing holds up and is adaptable, it is used for flexible plastics, retail bags, and wallpaper and beverage cartons.
In addition, flexographic printing usually uses low viscosity inks to allow faster drying time and speedier production for lower costs.
Flexographic printing is used widely for the best printing of bold designs and extremely attractive effects can be achieved using 3 or 45 colors. Printing also depends on the printing inks properties. It is used widely for printing on paper, laminated Aluminium Foil, Cellophone Film, Polypropylene, and Polyethylene.
Advantages of Flexography
The flexographic printing process:
· Runs at extremely high press speeds
· Prints on a wide variety of substrate materials
· Uses cost equipment that requires little maintenance
· Uses relatively low-cost consumables
· Is ideally suited for long runs
· Handles all printing, varnishing, laminating, and die cutting in a single pass
· Excellent quality reproduction of logos and text, adding value to your product
· Simple and economical to maintain compared to ink jet printers
· Printing dies are easily changed for different production runs
· Use specialized inks for printing porous or non-porous surfaces: metals, rubber, plastics, textiles, paper, and more
Flexographic printing has a number of advantages over traditional lithographic printing presses. It has a faster startup time and can print using a wide variety of ink on almost any substrate. It can also print on plastics, metallic films, cellophane, paper, and even on corrugated surfaces. Flexographic printing has extremely high press speeds and is suited for long runs – a good consideration for medium to large print jobs that need to be completed as quickly as possible.
Here are some of the most common and important uses of flexographic printing:
Brown Corrugated Boxes
Flexographic printing’s ability to print on a wide variety of substrates and surfaces make it an ideal method for printing on brown corrugated boxes used in shipping and storage businesses.
The ability to print on flexible, non-rigid materials makes flexographic printing useful when printing on rolls of material used for plastic and paper bags. Flexographic printing is an ideal choice for industrial converters that make printed plastic and paper bags.
Flexographic printing is quick drying and able to use non-toxic inks. These factors make flexographic printing desirable in the printing of food packaging. It can basically be used on packaging like milk cartons, beverage containers, food containers, as well as disposable cups and containers.
Since flexography is food safe with the right ink, it can also be used to print packaging for medicines and other medical supplies. Flexographic printing can be used on foil wrappers, hygienic bags, plastic, and cardboard packaging.
Newspaper and Other Print Media
Even with the prevalence of e-books and the internet, there is still a market for newspapers, magazines, and books. The production of flyers, posters, and newspaper inserts also greatly benefit from flexographic printing’s ability to quickly print large print jobs.
These are not all the applications that flexographic printing can be used on. It can be also used to print envelopes, containers, and even wallpaper. Flexographic printing’s capabilities are flexible enough that they can be used on other surfaces. Advances are still being made in the manufacture of ink and plates to improve print quality. There is even research being done on the possibility of using flexographic printing to print electronic circuits and solar cells – an exciting future application of the technology.
Flexo printing is becoming more and more attractive to brands all over the world. Flexographic printing is an economical alternative to digital printing for medium-to-long print runs, simple designs, and color combinations. It uses flexible plates to transfer the ink onto a substrate and can achieve quick line speeds. Hence, they can be used to print large orders in short lead times. The production speed of flexographic label printers is high, and the inks cost less than digital label printers.
Flexographic printing also allows operators to alter labels without any additional expenses. Such benefits of flexographic printing have increased its usage in producing labels for applications such as packed food products, apparels, toiletries, health information labels, kitchenware, chemical labels, and others.
The Future of Flexographic Printing to 2023 tracks and quantifies these trends, from a global market value of $35.76 billion in 2018 to $40.11 billion in 2023, an annual increase of 2.6%.
Perceived to be a high-growth printing process; flexography is examined in depth to provide an understanding of opportunities and threats through 2020. A key focus area is flexible packaging (corrugated is excluded) for the food, beverage, medical, bag, industrial and other.
The flexographic printing market is one of the fastest growing print segments in North America. The market’s need for flexible packaging is driving this growth. Flexible packaging appeals to consumers’ preferences for convenience and portioning. Flexography is well positioned for growth, with trends in both product run length and substrate usage favoring flexo printing inks over gravure and litho. There have been many advances in flexographic printing over the past few years to improve its print quality and the types of substrates that can be printed.
The market of global flexographic printing technology is anticipated to be driven by increase in the demand for low cost packaging solutions primarily for food & beverage industry. Moreover, technological advancements in flexographic printing technology such as high quality digital flexographic plates and printing software optimization is mainly driving the consumer preference towards flexographic printing solutions. Besides this, flexographic printing process offers complete product at the end of the process as it includes varnishing, die cutting, lamination, embossing, foiling, etc. which has significantly impacted the growth of the market and is anticipated to be the major growth driver during the forecast period.
The major players identified across the value chain of global Flexographic Printing Technology market include BOBST, SOMA Engineering, Uteco Group, Focus Label Machinery, Consolidated Label Co, Flint Group, Flexographic Printing Plate Co., Inc., de Elliotte Co Inc., Ligum, 3M and others. The companies are emphasizing on research & development and new product development in order to maintain the competitive advantage in global flexographic printing technology market during the forecast period.
In order to meet the increasing demand of printing seamless motives and high resistance to solvent, companies all over the world are focusing towards the development of sleeves types and rollers in order to expand their product portfolio and increase global footprint. The companies are also focusing on different strategies in order to maintain the market share in the global flexographic printing technology market.
Indian Printing Industry
The Indian printing industry is increasingly being driven by growth in packaging and labels. The print media also continues to grow at a healthy annual pace of four percent. As its growth trends continue to be well over the world averages, in print volume terms, India is set to become the fifth largest market by 2018 moving up five notches from its present tenth slot. Therein lays a great opportunity for the Indian & International print suppliers.
The global printing industry is forecast to reach $980 billion by 2018. Global printing markets are changing, many publishing products have electronic versions replacing previously printed volumes. E-books, on-line newspaper and magazines are taking significant sections of their respective markets, while directories, catalogues and brochures have electronic alternatives, more transactions are electronic reducing demand for currency and cheques and advertising spend is moving into new areas including on-line. These factors, alongside the continued growth of social networking, result in declining volumes of many print products, but not packaging and labels where demand is growing.
The greatest growth opportunities for print products are concentrated around revenues from print packaging and print publishing (specifically newspaper printing), with the growth potential in package printing, which is expected to increase 7.8% between 2012 and 2017.
The market size of the package printing sector is expected to increase from INR 53,374 crore in 2012 to 77,714 crore in 2017, and will make up 43% of total print product sales in 2017.
Within the package printing sector, label and tags printing is expected to grow the most quickly of any product, at a rate of 11%, a result of increased demand from the emerging middle class in the region and India itself.
Insert printing and corrugated package printing are also forecast to have high growth rates, again reflecting the expanding segment of the population in the region capable of, and interested in, greater consumer consumption. This factor also accounts for the rapid growth of magazine printing, which is expected to grow 8.4% between 2012 and 2017.
The publishing printing market size is supposed to grow from INR 20,859 crore in 2012 to 27,607 crore in 2017 with population increase, rising literacy rates and a growing economy.
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