GERMANY • In order to further differentiate between the current and future status of flexo printing formes, whether it be plates or sleeve systems, Flexo & Gravure Global’s editors have asked several suppliers of printing formes and prepress service companies for their opinions. Below are the responses of Udo Linke, team kind’s managing director.
- Is there any further optimisation potential for flexo plate-making (plates, sleeves) processes?
I believe that the many possibilities the market offers should be used in a more consistent way. Many trading companies create workflow interfaces that make a better and faster result almost impossible. A harmonised, integrated workflow would often be helpful and more result-oriented.
- Does fixed colour palette printing contribute to a further increase the performance in flexo printing?
This idea only works if there is a common concept from the design, the artwork and the repro to the final print. We are a long way away from this! However, if you succeed, it would be rewarded with many advantages.
- The aim of Industry 4.0 or Print 4.0 respectively is the comprehensive networking and automation of the whole production chain. During drupa 2016, suppliers like Esko, Vianord and AV Flexologic introduced solutions for the further automation of the flexo plate-making processes. Do you consider this as indicative of a trend towards a sustainable change of the whole flexo industry?
Flexo printing is almost customised and very difficult to define, automation would require clear standards. In some areas this is certainly possible and would of course change flexo printing. To what extent automation can be driven forward will depend on the segment. In the end, the result and the competitiveness of the flexo printing is what counts. I think that at the moment automation and quality is not always achievable when it meets special conditions.
Please note, we welcome and encourage any interested readers to send in their own answers to the above questions to firstname.lastname@example.org