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Print Process Descriptions: Printing Industry Overview: Flexography

The process of printing each color on a flexo press consists of a series of four rollers:

  • Ink Roller
  • Meter Roller
  • Plate Cylinder
  • Impression Cylinder

The first roller transfers the ink from an ink pan to the meter roller or Anilox Roll, which is the second roller. The Anilox roller meters the ink to a uniform thickness onto the plate cylinder. The substrate then moves between the plate cylinder and the impression cylinder, which is the fourth roller.

The impression cylinder applies pressure to the plate cylinder, thereby transferring the image onto the substrate. The web, which by now has been printed, is fed into the overhead dryer so the ink is dry before it goes to the next print unit.

After the substrate has been printed with all colors the web MAY be fed through an additional overhead tunnel dryer to remove most of the residual solvents or water. The finished product is then rewound onto a roll or is fed through the cutter.

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