Wide Web Flexographic Printing

Bags, Banners, Rollstock & Poly Signs

The primary difference between wide web and narrow web flexo printing lies not only in the difference of printing width but in the speed of the printing process. Whereas a wide web printing application can run at speeds above 1,000 fpm, narrow web flexographic printing speeds are often in the range of a few hundred feet per minute. This difference in press speed has a major impact on the ink formulation composition. Wide web inks utilize faster drying solvents, and most jobs require very low solvent retention levels. This is particularly the case with laminating inks. ~Dr. Richard M. Podhajny

Creating plates specifically designed to run wide web inks at the speeds of Wide Web Flexo is critical. Combining this with the challenges associated with transferring these inks to to substrates that are often difficult to work with make plate creation one of the most important steps in the printing process.

Today’s printers have to deal with shorter job runs, higher set-up costs and increased quality demands. Due to flexo plate mounting mistakes, printers are continuously dealing with press downtime. ~Anderson & Vreeland 

There are a variety of methods that printers can use to mount plates to the cylinder for wide web printing. From advanced automated mounting machines to hand mounting on press and making adjustments as needed. Printers must make the cost benefit analysis to determine what level of investment is appropriate to save press time in the setup phase. Whichever method the printer deems appropriate needs to have plates designed to meet those specifications. From critically placed microdots to common centerlines to the exact amount of trap to compensate for mounting and press variance: correct plate design is the most important aspect of keeping press downtime to the bare minimum.

Unlike in narrow web printing, the cost of making plates in house for a wide web printer is almost never a viable option. Wide Web Printers must rely on trade shops that have the ability to serve the bag printing industry with artists who understand wide web printing and plates specifically designed to transfer ink cleanly onto film or any other substrate that may be utilized.

PlateCrafters is uniquely positioned to help any wide web printer. We provide 4000 DPI flat dot PCX plates for those bag and banner customers printing high quality four color process. For less complex jobs and line work that need a more price conscious approach, we also provide traditional analog flexo plates. We offer a full range of materials, thicknesses and sizes ranging all the way to 50”x80”. With our large capacity, we can meet any turn around requirements you might have. To speak to a wide web flexo expert: 888-Flexo-Plate.

Mission Statement

“To honor God and our fellow man through the quality manufacturing of printing plates, enhancing the world we live in via numerous industries; while handling business in such a way that leaves our employees, customers, vendors, and society blessed through our conduct.”