A streamlined printing process on the print shop floor, that’s what you are looking for as a production leader. To achieve that goal, you need a stable and predictive flexo printing process with consistent high-quality output. That’s obviously easier said than done, as many factors influence the level of output. In this blog, I describe how presettings help you achieve a more streamlined process, so keep on reading!
What are presettings?
In digital printing, presettings are common ground. Digital label printers read digital design files to print designs directly onto label materials. These files contain all the necessary data you need to run a job:
Type of colour, pms and designer colors
Substrate types and color profiles
In flexo printing, this data is still manually inserted by operators — but things are changing. The new generation of flexo printing presses all have a certain degree of automation, which is required to include presettings in your printing process.
Thanks to the use of servo-drives and MIS (Management Information System) connection, print settings for initial and repeat jobs can be retrieved (and stored) automatically. Therefore, flexo printing comes close to digital printing. Operators only need to change print sleeves and aniloxes.
Your entire flexo printing process becomes less dependant on your operators. Due to printing automation, printing errors are eliminated, resulting in consistent high-quality output.
The benefits of presettings for your flexo printing process
To be able to (re)call presettings has various benefits:
Reducing printing costs and turnaround times because of less setup and printing waste, and the elimination of human error
A predictable printing process;all results are known in advance
Less operator-dependant; the output depends on the process. If a job doesn’t produce the desired result, it means that you have to make adjustments at the base. This also means the operator’s role is changing. My colleague Richard Meurs wrote a blog about this, including some bold statements on how their life looks like in 2025.
Hybrid printing is the future
Due to this new generation of flexo printers, flexo printing comes close to digital printing in terms of process efficiency and predictability. But eventually, you need both printing techniques to retain a competitive position in the market. You need to be able to run short, medium and large print jobs at a low cost.
For small to medium runs, digital printing is the best option. But for large runs, flexo printing is your go-to printing technique. Also special applications like cold foil, varnish and metallic colors need flexo. Therefore, hybrid printing is the future.
Speaking of the future, do you have any idea how future-proof your printing process is? How viable is it in the long term?
To receive an indication on this viability, we have a useful tool that gives you more clarity on this. The only thing you need to do is answer 9 short questions.