Flexography (often abbreviated to flexo) is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. Which can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate, including plastic, metallic films, paper stock and Labels. It is widely used for printing on the non-porous substrates required for various types of food packaging (it is also well suited for printing large areas of solid color).
Flexo has an advantage that it can use a wider range of inks, water based rather than oil based inks, and is good at printing on a variety of different materials like plastic, foil, acetate film, and other materials used in packaging. Typical products printed using flexography include flexible packaging including shopping bags, food and hygiene bags/sacks, self-adhesive labels, and wallpaper. There has also been a move towards laminates, where two or more materials are bonded together to produce new material with different properties than either of the originals.
This type of printing enables faster drying time and, as a result, faster production, which results in lower costs.
Printing press speeds of up to 600 meters per minute (2000 feet per minute) are achievable now with modern technology high-end printers. Flexo printing is widely used in the converting industry for printing plastic materials for packaging and other end uses. For maximum efficiency, the flexo presses produce large rolls of material that are then slit down to their finished size on slittingmachines.