China's flexo printing industry faces many "bottlenecks" to be solved

For more than 20 years, China's flexographic printing industry has gone through the ups and downs of the development process, has begun to step by step out of the dilemma of social awareness, has established a firm foothold in the market, showing a good image of new printed products, And gradually obtain the industry's recognition of quality. The current social development concept of low-carbon and environmental protection also provides greater space for flexo printing, and the flexo printing industry has also become an important industry to receive policy support.

In September 2010, the State Administration of Press and Publication and the Ministry of Environmental Protection signed the "Strategic Cooperation Agreement for the Implementation of Green Printing". At the same time, the State Administration of Press and Publication has deployed and implemented a pilot project for the green printing of textbooks in primary and secondary schools. These will definitely promote The rapid development of flexo process! However, the development of the flexo industry still lags behind people's expectations, just as industry insiders question: why the scale of the domestic flexo industry is still not large?

Compared with the long-established offset and gravure markets, flexo printing must solve several important "bottlenecks" in the development of the industry. It can be summarized as "expensive plate-making costs, less high-precision equipment, and understanding of the design, process, and characteristics of flexo printing. "Skills and lack of management personnel", we must rely on government policy support to promote the rapid development of industries. According to the analysis of industry experts, the "bottleneck" of the development of green flexo printing has the following aspects:

1. The concept of environmental protection and health and safety in the whole society in China needs to be improved. Most low-income citizens are not willing to spend more on environmental protection and health in their daily activities.

2. A new quality concept of product packaging must be established. Use appropriate packaging to eliminate excessive, unreasonable and luxurious packaging consumption patterns; in the packaging, decoration and printing of consumer products, it should be sufficient enough to facilitate multiple uses.

3. In view of the narrowness of the flexo market, the current flexo plate making costs are about 8 times higher than offset printing, which is difficult to promote on short-run printing; domestically produced plates, double-sided tape, sleeve rollers and Other equipment have not been localized Import prices remain high. Another problem is that digital proofing technology is not popular, often adopting on-board proofing process, resulting in low yield of film-making, affecting the reduction of plate-making costs and the time-consuming process of printing replacements.

4. At present, the wide-format satellite flexo printing machine that is suitable for printing high-precision products, domestic manufacturing enterprises lack core manufacturing technology (the key technologies are CI center impression cylinder, sleeve type plate roller / anilox roll, double-sided plate mounting) Adhesive tape, full-format online quality inspection system, etc.), resulting in the high price of imported supporting components after the localization of the host. This makes the development of flexo printing in plastic flexible packaging with strong tensile resistance encounter competitive resistance from gravure printing.

5. The structure of flexo printing machine with a width of more than 900mm is not suitable for the printing pressure of packaging materials with rough surface. Foreign wide-width units generally adopt a layered structure to improve the pressure-bearing performance of equipment and reduce manufacturing costs.

6. The lack of packaging and decorating designers who understand the characteristics of flexo printing technology, the lack of high-level flexo printing technicians and sufficient captain-level skilled technicians cause the embarrassing situation of requiring manufacturers to provide qualified captains when purchasing new equipment.

7. Lack of enterprises and national standards that meet the flexo process control, it is difficult to form a production process that relies on standardized process design to ensure product quality and production efficiency, weakening the principle of maximizing production benefits.

8. In terms of environmentally friendly printing inks, the gravure industry is also working hard to develop ink. At present, due to the slow drying speed of ink, the printing speed of the gravure printing machine is greatly affected. Once the technical problem of gravure ink is solved, gravure printing is no less inferior to flexo printing in environmental performance of ink. The development advantages of flexo printing will face challenges!

At present, many gravure and offset packaging and printing companies hold a wait-and-see attitude and have no special requirements from end users. In general, they will not easily change their existing production and business models. The flexo industry must take the initiative to introduce the green, environmentally friendly, and efficient features of flexo to end users and form a broad consensus in society.

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