BS in Graphic Communication
Graphic Communication Department
The purpose of this study is to appraise typical components used in flexographic printing to provide more knowledge on the use of printing with functional inks on filmic substrates when printing packaged products inline. An oxygen barrier coating was applied using different plate-screening technologies and anilox rolls. Comparing two plate-screening technologies and three different anilox rolls using oxygen permeability tests helped to conclude the optimum plate and anilox roll solution that best apply the ink for proper functionality of the coating, with minimal ink application as to reduce waste.
Further knowledge of printing oxygen barrier coatings inline will yield results that benefit in both production and cost areas. Selecting the right combination of plate technology and anilox roll that achieves similar results of barrier properties available in pretreated films will allow companies to achieve maximum barrier assets in their packaging in a more cost effective manner.
The first print run comparing the different plate screening technologies, revealed that the capped plate technology provided much higher barrier properties than the cell patterned technology. As the capped plate technology was used with the second print run comparing the anilox rolls, optimum results disclose the combination of these two flexographic components for achieving maximum functionality of barrier inks. Using the 360 CPI, 6.53 BCM anilox roll with the capped plate technology provides barrier properties that are competitively comparable with pretreated films. Benefits of inline printing versus pretreated films are found in both cost and production areas of the company.