DENMARK/GERMANY • Flexo machine and equipment provider Tresu and mounting tape manufacturer Lohmann have collaborated to show how flexo printing can efficiently meet brand-owners’ expectations for high-quality, impactful folding carton packaging.
Using Tresu’s Flexo Innovator printing line, with Lohmann’s compressible Duploflex 5.2 foam mounting tape securing high-definition plates, the companies reproduced in 60lpc resolution an 1889 self-portrait by post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, made challenging because of its vivid colour contrasts and fine brush strokes. The painting was printed in four water-based colours on 240 gsm full-coated paper, followed by UV-treatment with the Flexo Innovator at Tresu’s Kolding, Denmark-based demo centre.
The Flexo Innovator printing line, with its stable platform, unit-to-unit air drying and the company’s own enclosed chamber doctor blade system, ensured register accuracy and uniform, clean ink transfer at speeds up to 800 m/min (2625 fpm). The press has the capability to integrate water-based, UV and solvent ink sets as well as a host of added-value finishing processes inline.
To accurately reproduce the highlight areas, a soft Kodak NX plate was selected, with microdots capable of reproducing tonal ranges from 0.5% to 100%. Lohmann’s 0.55 mm 0.02”) thick Duploflex 5.2 compressible foam tape, with a pure polyethylene foam carrier, has a smooth surface, absorbing the excess pressure, to protect the plate’s microstructures but enable the desired level of ink transfer when the plate makes contact with the substrate.
Thomas Holzer, market manager graphics EMEA at Lohmann, comments: “The aim of this project was to print in flexo a job that normally executed in offset, and to compare results in terms of resolution, definition, register, tonal range and colour intensity. Using a challenging artwork, we have shown that through careful selection of compatible components, flexo printing quality is at least equivalent to other processes. This provides packaging converters and brand owners the opportunity to save costs thanks to flexo’s workflow efficiencies, higher speeds and versatility with many substrate types, while getting the same good results.”