6 advantages of flexographic printing for the hygienic sector

FLEXOGRAPHIC PRINTING | Danilo Gatti, 15 September 2020

Customers are often looking for more than pure functionality in their hygiene products, and when you think of baby diapers and femcare products it is easy to see why printing is so important – it significantly increases product marketability in the eyes of consumers and, more importantly, it can improve the producer’s brand awareness.

Flexographic printing is particularly suitable for this type of product, since there are some specific advantages of this processing method that are worth exploring.

1. Versatility

Flexographic printing can be used to print solid colors and patterns on a wide range of substrates, including materials that are porous, non-porous, flat, rough, absorbent and non-absorbent. In addition, if a C.I. configuration is used for the print setup, it allows for superior color-to-color registration on extensible substrates.

2. Wide variety of inks

Speaking of versatility, flexography allows the use of numerous ink types for the printing process. They are also chosen according to the type of application and the processes that follow the printing (heat sealing, lamination, etc.). However, it is crucial to select the ink primarily on the basis of the final product you want to obtain. Available ink types are:

  • Water-based
  • Solvent-based
  • UV-curable

Ink drying is another important factor in the printing process. Flexography makes it possible to use inks with a lower viscosity, allowing the printed images to dry more quickly. Last but not least, flexographic printing requires low ink consumption.

3. Performance

Flexographic printing is known for being a fast process. Once the initial setup is complete, the combination of quick-drying inks and automation result in very high performance.

In addition, this method gives you the possibility to preset the amount of ink used in the printing process. Thanks to the doctor blade chamber, only the necessary amount of ink will be applied uniformly on the printing plate, minimizing ink consumption (as mentioned above), saving resources and reducing process costs.

4. High quality image reproduction

Despite the high speed of the flexographic printing process, over the past decade, the quality of the images that come off a flexo printing press have grown to match that of rotogravure printing. Past image problems, like the halo effect or dot bridging, have been replaced with images and text that are clear and detailed and colors that are bright and crisp.

This improvement in print quality is thanks to the newest developments in flexo printing technology. With finer anilox line screenings, improved inks, repro tools that can create sharp shadows and highlights, and better plate exposure and ink transfer, the images obtained are of the quality that consumers expect from a top of the range product

5. Low production cost

Flexography printing has lower operating costs than other printing methods. This is due to the lower cost of materials (the ink is less expensive and the plates are cheap to replace), the durability of the plates (they last for millions of impressions), and the lower labor cost given by the fewer steps needed for the printing process. Furthermore, there are now technologies - like the ones you can find on the A.Celli IRIDIUM® line - that help reduce the waste of material that usually occurs whenever a setup change is made or whenever any necessary setting is not stable or set precisely.

These factors, combined with fast production and high-quality, quick-to-market products makes the flexo printing a cost effective solution with an excellent ROI.

6. Eco-sustainability

Since the printing industry is usually under scrutiny for its negative effects on the environment, flexography provides the needed tools to address this growing concern. In fact, this method reduces the reliance on platemaking solutions, solvents based inks and cleaning materials that contain Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). Given the fact that in many areas of the world solvent-based inks are being banned, the capability of obtaining high quality printing using water-based inks is an advantage that cannot be underestimated.

Optimize the printing process of hygiene products

In conclusion, when it comes to the printing of hygiene products, it is very important to know in depth the secrets behind the process, in order to speed up production and save time, minimize material waste and obtain a final product of unparalleled quality.

If you want to find out how to achieve this, check out our eBook "How to Optimize the Flexo Printing Process for the Hygiene Products"!

Exploring the Applications of Flexo Printing in Packaging