In the typical flexo printing sequence, the substrate is fed into the press from a roll. The image is printed as the substrate is pulled through a series of stations, or print units. Each printing prints a single color. As with Gravure and Lithographic printing, the various tones and shading are achieved by overlaying the 4 basic shades of ink:
Magenta being the red tones and cyan being the blue, however, we are capable of printing up to 10 colors where four are process colors (CMYK) and 6 are spot colors to color match a logo to perfection.
Below is a diagram and further description demonstrating the flexo printing sequence:
The process of printing each color on a flexo press consists of a series of four rollers:
- Ink Roller
- Meter Roller
- Plate Cylinder
- Impression Cylinder
The first roller transfers the ink from an ink pan to the meter roller or Anilox Roll, which is the second roller. The Anilox roller meters the ink to a uniform thickness onto the plate cylinder to avoid bubbling or spots on the label. The substrate then moves between the plate cylinder and the impression cylinder, which is the fourth roller.
The impression cylinder applies pressure to the plate cylinder, thereby transferring the image onto the substrate. The web, which by now has been printed, is fed into the overhead dryer so the ink is dry before it goes to the next print unit.
After the substrate has been printed with all colors the web MAY be fed through an additional overhead tunnel dryer to remove most of the residual solvents or water. The finished product is then rewound onto a roll or is fed through the cutter.
Below is the typical process for label production or download here: