Current situation and development of the hottest f

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The current situation and development of flexographic printing technology

Outline of the development of flexographic printing

the development of flexographic printing can be summarized into three main stages

1. Early flexographic printing technology

flexographic printing originated from aniline printing technology. According to the data, the world's first aniline printing machine was successfully developed in Britain in 1905, and obtained the British patent on December 17, 1908. Aniline printing technology in this period has the following main characteristics

(1) use aniline ink

(2) the printing plate used is hand carved rubber relief, so it is also called rubber relief printing

(3) the printing quality level is low, and only color blocks, lines and simple graphics and texts can be printed

for the above reasons, aniline printing has been mainly used for printing paper bags and packaging paper with general quality requirements for a long time

2. Medium term flexographic printing technology

cellophane was invented in the 1930s. This transparent, non absorbent substrate material is light and thin, which is not suitable for embossing and lithographic offset printing, and the plate making cost of gravure printing is high. Therefore, aniline printing has become a more suitable printing method, and the most original satellite (CI) aniline printing machine was developed in 1940. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, polyethylene packaging materials appeared. At the same time, molded rubber relief plates and chrome plated metal rollers were developed successively. Printing ink also replaced aniline ink with pigment ink of synthetic resin, so that flexographic printing as an independent printing method began to be widely promoted and applied

however, because aniline ink is toxic, it can not be used in the packaging and printing of food and drugs, so aniline is no longer the main component of the ink. Therefore, aniline printing named after aniline ink can no longer represent its actual meaning. Therefore, aniline printing was renamed flexographic printing at the "14th Symposium of the American Packaging Society" held in October 1952. Since then, flexographic printing technology has entered a relatively rapid development period

flexographic printing at this stage has the following main characteristics

(1) strictly restrict the use of aniline ink, which not only protects the interests of consumers, but also is conducive to environmental protection

(2) the use of molded rubber plate and chrome plated metal roller improves the quality of prints, which can not only print color blocks, lines and words, but also print 60 lines/inch of eye tone images

(3) the range of substrate is expanded. In addition to printing paper bags and packaging paper, it can also be widely used for printing cellophane and various plastic films

3. Modern flexographic printing technology

after entering the 1970s, flexographic printing technology has made a major breakthrough and entered a period of rapid development, mainly in the following aspects

(1) the photosensitive resin plate with high performance and high resolution has been put into use, and the prepress system has been controlled by data and standardization, which can copy 133 line/inch, 150 line/inch or even 200 line/inch visual images

(2) what is the verification method of universal material testing machine for pushing ceramic corrugated rollers with high precision and high line number? The verification method of universal material testing machine is widely used, and the reasonable configuration of closed inking system realizes the high-speed and high-quality quantification of flexographic printing

(3) the use of alcohol based inks, polyamide inks, acrylic inks, and the development and application of water-based inks,

uv/eb inks not only improve the quality of prints, but also reduce pollution and protect the environment

(4) flexographic printing technology is developing synchronously with CTP direct plate making technology, and is becoming another important printing method after lithographic offset printing and gravure printing. It not only shows a strong development momentum, but also has great development space, especially in packaging printing

characteristics of modern flexographic printing market

1 The market share of flexographic printing

Europe and the United States are the regions with the fastest development of modern flexographic printing technology. According to the survey of the share of various printing methods in the printing industry conducted by European and American printing market research institutions, the following two conclusions can be drawn from the change data of the market share of various printing methods since 1970

(1) after nearly 35 years of development, the market share of flexographic printing has increased from 10% in the 1970s to about 33% at present, becoming the second largest printing method slightly lower than offset lithography

(2) more than 30 years ago, offset lithography and gravure printing accounted for 80% and played a leading role in the printing industry; By 2000, the market share of offset lithography and gravure printing had fallen to 65%, and this year it has fallen to 50%. Due to the significant improvement of the comprehensive performance of flexographic printing in terms of print quality, printing cost and environmental protection, its market continues to expand and has been in a rapid rising stage. Especially in recent years, the development is particularly prominent, which has a great impact on offset lithography and gravure printing

2. Share of flexographic printing in packaging printing

due to its irreplaceable characteristics of other printing, flexographic printing has been expanding its application in packaging printing

it can be seen that as early as around 1985, flexographic printing in the United States has been dominant in packaging printing; At present, there is no reliable fixture in the EU, and more than 30% of the packaging adopts flexographic printing. It can be asserted that the share of flexographic printing in packaging printing will continue to expand

in packaging and printing, different packaging products have different requirements for flexographic printing. Flexographic printing is widely used in flexible packaging material printing, label printing, corrugated board printing and carton printing, which also indicates the development trend of packaging printing

in the past 30 years, the world flexographic printing market has been in a steady growth stage. In some economically developed countries that advocate environmental protection, the market share of flexographic printing is close to that of offset lithography, and far more than that of gravure printing, which is installed in the frame with the welding machine base as the main body. The United States first introduced flexographic printing into newspaper printing, and now 38 newspapers have adopted it, accounting for about 30% of newspaper printing; In Western European countries, 14 newspapers adopt flexographic printing, among which 25% of newspapers in Italy have adopted flexographic printing

current situation and development of flexographic printing in China

for a long time, China's flexographic printing technology has been in a relatively backward state, mainly in the following three aspects

1. Flexographic printing started relatively late

the global flexographic printing technology rose in the early 1970s. After decades of efforts, it has formed a relatively perfect system from process to equipment, equipment, technology to management. In contrast, the application of flexographic printing in China started very late. During the "sixth five year plan", "Seventh Five Year Plan" and "Eighth Five Year Plan" (1980-1995), although China's printing technology has made great progress, the development focus at that time was offset lithography, and basically did not pay attention to the development of world flexographic printing technology, which virtually widened the distance between the originally backward flexographic printing technology and the world level

2. Flexographic printing market is small

the strength of flexographic printing in China is relatively weak. As a major printing method, it attracted the attention of the industry until the middle and late last century, mainly in the promotion and application of packaging printing. According to relevant information, so far, the proportion of flexographic printing in the whole printing industry in China is only about 1%, even in packaging printing, the share is only nearly 7%, and newspaper printing is still neglected. It can be said that the overall level of flexographic printing technology in China is far below the world average level, which is basically in the primary stage

3. Equipment and equipment can not meet the requirements

(1) domestic equipment and equipment

in the past 10 years, China has designed and manufactured more than 50 flexographic printing machines (narrow flexographic printing production lines), which belong to the medium and low-grade technical level, and can only meet the general quality requirements; There are more than 30 professional flexographic plate making factories, mainly producing text, line version and low line number eye tone version; The supply channels of a series of supporting equipment such as water-based ink, ceramic roller, tape, gasket, printing plate sleeve and die-cutting tools have been preliminarily established, which can not meet the market demand, and some high-quality equipment and equipment still rely on imports

(2) imported equipment and apparatus

① from 1999 to 2004, more than 350 narrow width flexographic printing production lines and more than 40 wide width CI flexographic printing machines were introduced across the country. These equipment are mainly from Taiwan Province of China, Britain, Japan, Canada, the United States, Germany and other countries

② although photosensitive resin plates can be produced in China, high-precision printing plates still need to be imported

③ some high-quality water-based inks, UV inks, double-sided tapes, round pressing die-cutting tools and other supporting equipment still need to be imported

through the above analysis, it is not difficult to see that due to the domestic flexographic printing equipment and equipment can not meet the market demand, China's high-precision flexographic printing is still dependent on imports, which will inevitably lead to high printing costs, which is also the main obstacle to develop China's flexographic printing market. Therefore, for China, a large country of packaging printing, book printing and newspaper printing, increasing investment in flexographic printing technology, developing medium and high-end flexographic printing equipment, developing key equipment for flexographic printing, and improving the localization level of flexographic printing equipment and equipment as soon as possible are the only way to change the backward situation of flexographic printing technology in China

information source: printing technology - packaging printing

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