Things You Need to Know About the Manufacture of Flexographic Printing Plates

Posted by hellensmith on March 2nd, 2013

In the printing industry it is the norm to use flexographic printing plates. They are able to provide better prints with better precision and the process of making them is shorter as it involves only a few steps. However, the use of top quality raw materials is an essential element when these printing plates are manufactured. With the arrival of these high quality printing plates, the old fashioned rubber printing plates were sidelined to a great extent. However, they are still being manufactured by some companies and also used for the purpose of printing jobs by others. With more advanced technology being injected to the process they also offer better quality these days.

Though many different materials are being used in the manufacture of flexographic printing plates ultraviolet light sensitive polymer is the material that is being used in the process of making them with exposure to ultraviolet light. When it comes to the preparation of rubber printing plates the process is similar with small changes. Instead of exposing a plate of polymer to UV light, after the image is left on the polymer, an aluminium plate is printed with the image and it is immersed in acid in order to create the image on the aluminium plate.

One of the most important factors that affect the quality of flexographic printing plates is the quality of raw materials that are being used. Therefore, in case you buy these printing plates it is necessary to make sure that you buy them from a manufacturer who uses high quality raw materials that are sourced from well recognized manufacturers. In case of rubber printing plates it is not such a big deal but still, quality standards need to be followed when buying raw materials required for their manufacture. Only then you will be able to make quality prints.

The skill of technicians who turn out flexographic printing plates also counts a lot. Since creation of these plates is a precision process in which quite a few steps need to be handled manually, the experience of the operators counts a lot. The same is true for rubber printing plates as well. Therefore, when you source these plates you must look at how experienced the operators attached to the company are. An experienced operator is able to create a precision plate and only then the high quality raw materials are used to their full potential.

Most printers outsource their printing plates as it is the companies that manufacture them that have the expertise to come out with best plates. Since the quality of a print always depends on the quality of the printing plate used, this has become the norm. Companies that manufacture printing plates in their turn create high quality plates irrespective of whether they are rubber printing plates or photopolymer printing plates. As such, in case you need to purchase printing plates of any type it is a must for you to source them from reputed companies that manufacture them. Only then you could ensure the quality of your prints.

Both flexographic printing plates and rubber printing plates are manufactured using similar technologies. But the former is able to provide better prints.

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