This, combined with an exploding demand for new flavors in the convenience food and beverages sector has seen the landscape of the liquid packaging board industry enter into a state of creative flux.
What is the impact for liquid packaging board printers?
In order to increase the visual effects of smaller pack sizes so that they might attract more consumers, packaging designers are working on more challenging and creative design elements, all of which lead to higher print quality requirements. Furthermore, the increasing number of unique and complicated product designs pushes the industry to re-think existing production methods. This is vital in giving producers the opportunity to react to changing conditions and remain efficient and competitive in the market.
Proof of performance on the TRESU Flexo Innovator press
To prove the influence on print quality tesa often test the tesa Softprint® plate mounting tape on-site at industry leading print manufacturers. One of the latest tests was performed in the technical center of TRESU Group in Denmark. The goal was to evaluate the impact on print quality when using different foam hardness levels to print on paper carton board.
The trial was conducted on the TRESU Flexo Innovator press with a 6 color (CMYK + 2 spot colors) test form. This printing press is designed to print on a variety of paper board material and thanks to their innovative machine concept, fast job changes with low waste rates can be achieved.
The outcome of the print test
The general belief regarding foam hardness is that plate mounting tapes with harder foams are recommended for solid motifs while plate mounting tapes with softer foams are recommended for screen motifs.
During the trial we tested a four main tesa Softprint® plate mounting tape hardness levels under identical conditions. For the printing plate, we used a 1,14 mm Kodak NX plate with 60L/cm and an anilox roller with 400L/cm and 4,6 cm³/m².
The evaluation of the samples showed that the SOFT Foam (red color code) produced the best results. Even on solid prints, low dot gain and equal ink laydown without pin-holing effect can be achieved.
Perfect ink laydown with Soft foam hardness
Low dot and perfect dot shape with
The evaluation of the print samples produced results that slightly differed from the expected theoretical outcome. The reasons for this are mainly related to the paper substrate which behaves completely differently to materials such as film in the flexible packaging industry. Equally, the printing plate technology used (Kodak NX) has micro structures (or enhanced surface technologies) which provide a particularly high ink transfer to the substrate. These factors have to be considered when selecting the appropriate anilox roller and plate mounting tape foam hardness.
If each of these disparate components is perfectly coordinated then the whole process is significantly simplified, leading to a more streamlined and efficient process, and ultimately higher print quality.
If you want to know more about our tesa Softprint® products or TRESU Group flexo printing presses please contact your responsible tesa and TRESU sales representative.
The secret of the tesa foam plate mounting tapes:
To provide excellent print quality, tesa Softprint® plate mounting tapes are equipped with a closed cell PE foam which offers excellent resilience and cushioning properties throughout the press run. In addition to this the foam in our smart tape production process is handled with the utmost care to avoid any mechanical stress, resulting in more intact cells for better cushioning and resilience over time.