This chart (very simplified), we can see how a rotary flexographic:

  1. Prepare the grill (1) with a flexible, rubbery material, the printed image upside down (mirrored). The areas that will be printed in relief in respect of non-printing areas.
  2. The iron cylinder is consistent with portaplancha portaforma or (2).
  3. Attaches paper or substrate to the system (3).
  4. A ceramic or steel cylinder (4), covered with thousands of holes in the form of cells, receive the ink.
  5. Once under way, a closed chamber provides ink to the cylinder (4). A strip on cutting edge or (6) extremely precise, it removes the excess ink from the cylinder and prevents the ink from the chamber exhaust.
  6. In turn, the cylinder goes down into direct contact with the plate, located on the plate cylinder (2) and provides ink in the areas of relief. The lower areas are dry. The use of the cylinder is essential to distribute the ink evenly and continuously on the plate.
  7. The iron, ink and keeps turning and into soft contact with the substrate (which may be paper, cardboard or any type of substrate).
  8. The substrate receives the ink image of the plate and already printed out, drying very quickly.

This process prints a color. Each set of cylinders / iron / wet / inking is a rotating body capable of printing a color. To print four colors are needed four bodies, but the variations and possibilities are numerous.

Advantages and drawbacks

  • Flexible plates, adapts easily to uneven surfaces reasonably, so that you can print on materials such as corrugated cardboard and other packaging without applying much pressure (kiss printing).
  • printable substrate characteristics and make flexo plates is not a printing process similar to Rotogravure precision.
  • Although a relatively simple system to maintain a high level of quality must be maintained strict control, otherwise the color can be very uneven and the impression may have unequal areas.
  • The speed of the fast drying system and helping to keep the traps (trapping) of the process are less than the lack of detail of the substrate and the iron may need.
  • The characteristics of the iron and substrates make the line screens and font sizes for reproducible are more limited than in processes such as the Rotogravure.
  • Minimum levels of waste