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FLEXO Magazine : May 2013
Technologies & Techniques Rigidity Required: Indirect Flexo Seen as Alternative to Dry Offset Berry Plastics’ Hybrid Process Wins 2013 FTA Technical innovation Award By Robert Moran Flexo is forging forward and moving into the high quality, formed 3-D rigid container and drink cup market. In the process, it is creating an identity as an alternative to dry offset printing. And, its new—some say revolutionary— “ indirect flexo” (IDF) hybrid process is even winning conver- sions from in-mold labels, shrink sleeves, heat transfer labels, and pressure sensitive labels. The attraction: lower costs, consistent output, reduced press downtime, and clear, crisp, package print. Leading the charge is plastic packaging and engineered material manufacturer Berry Plastics of Evansville, IN, and Italy ’s OMSO S.p.A ., a manufacturer of automatic direct printing machines. The process, described as versatile and customer oriented, is derived from, and somewhat similar to, tube printing in the extruded cosmetic container industry. OMSO makes a Servotube press and recently introduced a Servocup model. Berry Plastics is the only provider in North America with this unique process. The patent-pending modified approach to producing excellent photographic quality graphics—on white, clear, and colored substrates—with softer edges and better highlights (IDF), secured Berry Plastics the Flexographic Technical As- sociation’s prestigious 2013 Technical Innovation Award. COLORFUL, CONSISTENT, COST-EFFECTIVE • Directly prints on to a cup or container in flexographic process • Surpasses dry offset print quality limitations • Offers alternative decoration technique to in-mold label, shrink sleeve, pressure sensitive or heat transfer label • Compensates for the angular speed differential existing between the top and the bottom of a tronconic cup by adding a blanket in the flexographic printing principle • IDF allows for flexographic printing on 3-D substrate, such as thermoformed or injected cups • IDF has the opportunity to replace other decorating technologies; rotogravure, offset, dry offset, and digital • Customers continue to push to reduce lead-times, reduce inventories, and improve print quality; and the Servocup printer can offer a more cost-effective, high quality printed container to meet and exceed expectations. The proof is in the print! 42 FLeXO MAy 2013 www.flexography.org