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 60 lpc 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 g/m2 full coated paper, followed by UV treatment with the Flexo Innovator at Tresu’s Kolding, Denmark based demo centre.
Tresu’s 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 metres per minute. The press has the capability to integrate water based, UV and solvent ink sets as well as a host of added value finishing processes in line.
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 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, commented: ‘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 excellent results.
‘This self portrait was selected, in Lohmann´s new marketing campaign, to pay homage to the printers, because every print should be a masterpiece,’ continued Thomas. ‘It goes to show that getting maximum quality out of flexographic printing is real artistry.’
Allan Sander, vice president, Tresu Solutions, commented: ‘Trialling and testing to find the optimum combination of materials and equipment is crucial for advancing print quality and efficiency. The Flexo Innovator at our demo centre is proving a fast and cost-effective way of bringing value adding product innovations to market, in conjunction with supplier partners, converters and brand owners.’