The most popular flexographic ink vs packaging gra

2022-08-03
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Flexographic ink vs packaging intaglio ink for a long time, flexographic ink has the advantage of being cheaper than intaglio or offset printing ink. With the improvement of flexographic ink quality in recent years, it has been involved in many packaging fields. According to NAPIM estimates, flexographic ink sales in 2002 were about 950million US dollars, accounting for 67% of the packaging ink market. The growth of flexible packaging further stimulated the growth of flexographic ink solvents. Water based flexographic inks occupy the largest market share, about 570million US dollars. Solvent based flexographic inks account for 26% of the packaging ink market, with sales of about $365million. Overall, flexographic inks are likely to grow further in the near future when constant radius samples are used

shah pointed out, "with the growth of flexible film, flexographic printing is also growing. At the same time, in the field where flexographic printing technology is favored, the label market also shows great growth."

dedman pointed out that flexographic inks "have sustained slow and stable growth in the 'high-end' label field - combined printing, printing, official adoption in 2017 due to the wear of the blade, the increase of the complexity certified by Boeing and the decorative characteristics - and the steady decline in the 'traditional' label field."

printers try to seek higher quality from flexo printing inks, which urges ink manufacturers to develop better ink products

impastato pointed out that "in the past few years, the trend is to use other printing methods to make flexo printing inks more competitive. There are non film plate making, finer lines, higher strength inks and finer silk in the market. All these provide us with higher quality products, which can be comparable with lithographic and gravure printing inks."

mullen added that a trend of flexo packaging is to use finer lines to achieve finer quality of printed products. This trend therefore drives ink manufacturers to develop ink products with higher pigment strength to maintain ink density

in the field of book printing, gravure printing is regarded as a high-quality and expensive process that is most suitable for high printing number. According to NAPIM, solvent based gravure inks account for 13% of the packaging ink market, about US $180million; The water-based gravure printing ink accounts for 6% of the share, about 80million US dollars

once the quality of flexo printing ink is improved, many packers turn from gravure printing ink, but this change has eased in recent years because the cost of gravure printing ink began to decline. Impastato pointed out that "people focus on the cost of gravure printing ink. For many years, it has been regarded as a high-quality and high-cost technology suitable for short and medium printing. In the past few years, gravure printing ink has made a lot of efforts on how to reduce its cost in medium printing. Now gravure printing ink is quite competitive in these fields."

shah believes that the packaging gravure printing market has been quite stable in the past few years. He believes that in the past few years, there have been products that use flexo printing ink to replace gravure printing ink

manufacturers are still looking for printing with smaller printing numbers to meet the needs of special regions or customers, so as to compete with gravure printing

there is no industry standard to limit the material performance or grade Kelly pointed out, "When flexographic printing ink continues to meet the flexibility required by customers' packaging needs for printing, gravure printing ink is more transferred to large print quantity printing than ever. This is not a new thing, but just a continuation of the trend. However, some customers claim that the real consideration about the cost of printing plate, corrugated board, backing and spare parts for wide width printing is approaching the direction of gravure printing ink."

gravure printing ink is prominent in some fields and is not easy to be replaced. Shah said that gravure printing technology maintains its irreplaceable position in terms of products and needs for some purposes. Printing fluorescent ink is a good example. It is difficult for flexographic printing to obtain the quality and color intensity of this kind of ink. Therefore, gravure printing is still the main printing process for most soap and detergent packages requiring fluorescent ink on films and folding cartons

dedman also foresees the development opportunities of gravure printing in the label field. He pointed out that in the narrow width printing industry, there is an increasing interest in the use of gravure ink in the printing process of label production

radiation curing

radiation curing has found more and more new opportunities in the packaging field

dedman said that energy curing - ultraviolet (UV) curing and electron beam (EB) curing products are growing steadily, and continue to steadily obtain a considerable market share from water-based and solvent based technologies

mike McGovern, marketing director of sun chemical energy curing products, pointed out that "as the capital cost of EB curing products decreases, people pay more attention to the flexible packaging market. In addition, many packaging processors begin to use EB surface coating to replace the traditional packaging ink, so as to produce 'laminated appearance' packaging."

shah said, "we noticed that the demand for radiation curing inks was not as good as the industry expected for wide flexo inks. On the other hand, the demand for finishing oil and color inks for narrow flexo printing was the most growing part."

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