An Ideal Flexographic Plate Making Process Must Have the Following
Plate making is a science and not artwork, and quality printing can be affected by many factors, one being the types of plates used and how they were created. The Flexographic plate making process is delicate but not as complex as many thinks. With the automation level in the flexo plate-making machines, the process has become pretty simple and easy in making these plates. But more requires expertise and experience are needed during the making process.
This article has put together several features that make an ideal flexographic plate-making process. See below
The exposure unit is where the images are printed on the plate. This is the first stage and the most crucial. Plates’ exposure unit should have instant light up with high-intensity lamps to provide light. Also, there should be unique digital timers that are easy to set for back/main exposure. To ensure maximum quality plates, these bulbs should be monitored regularly and replaced at the end of their useful time.
Wash out unit
During plate making, the liquid is used to wash away unexposed photopolymer in the plate’s non-printing area. And to avoid this liquid coming into contact with the dissolved polymer, it’s advised to keep the concentration of solid below 6 percent, especially in solvent plate making. By so doing, the saturation level won’t dramatically affect the plate’s quality and equipment maintenance. Whether solvent or aqueous plate making, ensure optimal plate wash out, and these will keep the equipment maintenance to a minimal
Complete drying of the plate is very crucial to consistent plate making. It’s one of the most important factors, especially in solvent plate quality control, yet the most overlooked factor. Incomplete drying of the plate can be caused by removing the plate from the dryer before the set-up time, improper drying temperatures, and poor air circulation in the dryer. To be sure your plate is completely dry, remove it from the dryer for a few minutes and let it cool. In the next step, you should measure its thickness and ensure it’s compatible with the given specification.
Plates should be handled with care and treated as fragile components of the printing press. No object should be placed on top of plates and should not be folded when storing; instead, they should be stacked flat between form paper to prevent direct contact. Good plate handling and storage practices will save you a lot of money and time, and this will help you experience fewer press downtimes while printing and fewer plate remakes.