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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
Technologies & Techniques Flexo EB & Its Evolution Presses optimize ink Control & Delivery By enrico Rimini The world is changing quickly. Through globalization, needs and key business drivers are spread openly. These factors deeply affect one of the main industrial ap- plications linked with modern way of life: flexible packaging. Marketers and end-users are calling for and insisting on: eco friendliness, reduction of carbon footprint, reduction of energy consumption, use of materials that are recyclable and/or inert to the environment, increased safety in food packaging, increased safety in manufacturing plants, high print quality, efficiency for short/medium printruns, and of course, user friendliness of the printing process. In printing plastic films for flexible packaging, electron beam flexo (Flexo EB) offers many advantages over tradi- tional flexo using solvent inks. Flexo EB is now even pos- sible to consider as an alternative to rotogravure and offset technologies. In particular, compared to offset, Flexo EB has lower operating costs in short and medium runs and can print flexible substrates. At the same time, compared to UV flexo, EB curing is, “by its very nature,” better suited for printing food packaging. ADVANTAGE EB • Instant & full curing through power of emitted electrons • High resolution • Bright colors • Low dot gain • High opacity • Excellent resistance to abrasion, aging, chemical agents, humidity and light • Flexo EB does not contain substances that may migrate through the print substrate and/or by contact setoff • Flexo EB does not alter the organoleptic characteristics of the food packed, it gives no smells in the cured inks and does not release volatile organic compounds or other aerial pollutants, thus presenting itself as eco-friendly. 50 FLeXO august 2012 www.flexography.org onyx eB press. Photos, graphics: uteco. Press Buyer’s Guide