By Erik Andriessen, Marketing Manager at Contiweb
Offset might not be the most commonly used technology for printing flexible packaging and labels. But because the accent nowadays is more and more on achieving fast setup times, quick job changeovers and highest printing quality, the advantages of offset printing technology have become particularly relevant. We at Contiweb believe that offset technology has everything to meet new demands. Five reasons for offset.
The market for printing flexible packaging is growing from year to year, but run lengths are becoming smaller. Press speed and material costs are no longer dominant, determining profit margins. The game now revolves around job changeovers. This is exactly the reason why offset technology is a perfect fit. Offset plates can be produced in-house, much quicker and more economically than flexo clichés and gravure cylinders. They can be changed in just 2 minutes per printing unit, using the variable sleeve system.
Also, because offset prints high definition line screen as standard, it is possible to print a higher gamut of colors with a standardized 7-color process. There is therefore less need for changing inks in the press units in between jobs, thus saving a lot of time.
Another important reason why offset is very suitable for printing smaller jobs is the possibility to produce different color densities right next to each other. This is possible as no anilox roller is required in the offset printing process. The zonal density control makes it possible to combine similar jobs in the web width in one production run. It is ideal for printing multiple SKUs in one run, allowing print providers to profitably print small runs.
Marketeers look for new ways to grab attention and packaging is an important instrument. Packaging must stand out in the supermarket shelves to be noticed by consumers who are already overwhelmed by the gigantic selection. Offset delivers supreme print quality. It is possible to print in high resolution and extremely tight register, allowing brands to achieve stand out shelf appeal.
In addition, everything is measurable and verifiable in the offset process, from plate to design to print. This ensures that you can always achieve exactly the same high print quality with repeat orders.
Last but not least, flexo or gravure printing units can easily be integrated into the offset press line. This way you benefit from the advantages of the various printing techniques so you can offer products of highest quality.
Ink migration is a prime concern for brand owners and converters. The slightest hint of change on a packed product could have huge ramifications and cause long-term damage to a brand – sometimes even destroying the business.
Electron-Beam /Ultra-Violet offset is a certified and working solution for converters operating in the food packaging industry with a wide variety of proven chemistries (inks and coatings) and curing solutions available. Both curing options meet the requirements of food safety and can be applied to offset printing technology.
Brand owners and consumers increasingly call for environmentally friendly products. Packaging printers can contribute to this demand by offering offset printed packaging and labels. In offset printing for packaging, highly viscose energy curable inks (Electron-Beam/Ultra-Violet) are used. These inks have the major environmental advantage, that they do not contain solvents or a water component that needs to be evaporated using energy and gas consuming installations.
Why would you offer your customers exactly the same services and technology as your competitors? Knowing that your competitor offers a comparable product, your customers can conveniently negotiate prices, squeezing out your profit margins. Offset technology helps you to stand out from the pack, providing your customers with premium print solutions that meet new demands in a rapidly changing market environment.
If you would like to know more about offset technology for printing flexible packaging you can download the Contiweb Guide to Offset Printing. In this extensive guide you will find information about offset printing technology in general, the offset process, environmental aspects and costs.
In case you would like to more about the Contiweb Thallo, Contiweb’s hybrid web offset press for flexible packaging and labels, you can click here for more information.