What is Flexography?

Flexography is a printing process that relies upon ink transferred directly from raised surfaces on a plate, normally made of rubber or plastic. Traditionally the plates were rubber and so could be “bent” or “flexed” around a cylinder in a rotary printing machine. The ink is transferred from a reservoir or “fountain” in the printing press to the surface of the printing plate by means of an anilox roller. The quantity of ink transferred is controlled mainly by the amount of raised area on the plate that is inked. Because the ink is transferred mainly by pressure between the plate and the material being printed, flexographic printing does not rely as much as other methods upon the absorbent qualities of the printed material. This has made flexography a preferred method for printing on plastics and led to its widespread use for printing plastic packaging.