HD Flexo is a new process for making digital flexographic (flexo) plates. The improved plates are higher quality and print more consistently than standard digital flexo plates. HD Flexo may be implemented without scrapping existing equipment and working methods.
The quality of offset and gravure printing has always been somewhat of a Holy Grail for flexo. But, with HD Flexo, the gap is closed. Bringing consistency, vibrant colors and increased print quality, HD Flexo raises the industry standard in flexo printing.
Flexo printing can now compete with offset for quality labels and with gravure printing for flexible packaging. In addition, digital plate exposure ensures greater consistency in plate production and in printing.
HD Flexo combines 4000 dpi HD optics with unique printing screening technologies to achieve sharper and more accurate imaging. The result is excellent print quality and a simplified plate production because the high-resolution optics deliver sharper imaging of text and lines and more clearly defined, better shaped screen dots.
High resolution imaging on the CDI creates a textured surface on the plate, improving ink lay-down and increasing ink density on the final print. The result is improved image richness and contrast. This is especially helpful for PANTONE® colors, and for white underprints.
HD Flexo delivers exceptional printing throughout the entire tonal range; dazzling highlights, stable midtones, smooth gradients and solids, along with higher solid ink densities.
With HD Flexo, the screen rulings in flexo printing can be increased, while at the same time reducing the size of the smallest printable dot. This is achieved using a special screening technology and the higher imaging resolution, resulting in sharper images, smoother tints and a greater color gamut.
With HD Flexo, makeready time on the press is reduced and plates deliver greater run lengths. Fewer washing cycles make sure that the press is optimally used.
Converters and brand owners want to improve quality while reducing costs both on press and in prepress. Time-to-market is reduced through simplified prepress.
There is a sustainable benefit as well. Printing flexible packaging on a flexo press instead of gravure reduces energy use and CO2 emissions by as much as 50%. Converters and brand owners can improve sustainability by taking advantage of the higher quality offered by HD Flexo.
Several recent flexo print runs have evaluated HD Flexo against competing technologies. Evaluation print runs have proven the excellent color gamut of HD Flexo. A wide color gamut means that more PANTONE and brand colors can accurately be matched by process color builds. This was achieved without fundamental changes like forcing printers to use different inks. With such results, it’s no wonder that brand owners start switching gravure work to flexo.
HD Flexo operates with the user’s existing CDI equipment, plates and working methods, completed with specifically tuned dots and without tying the customer to specific plates or other consumables. There’s no need for complex and expensive process changes. And, what’s more, HD Flexo improves the quality and performance of your existing press equipment!