Demand for high-quality printing on biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films has never been higher, due to both brand and consumer expectations around visual appearance, as well as stricter industry codes requiring traceable markings and codes.
There are various printing processes available for flexible film packaging printing, such as rotogravure, digital, and nanoimprint lithography. Your choice will depend on your specific project requirements; each method offers advantages and disadvantages that should be discussed with an experienced packaging specialist to find out which option best meets them. They feature excellent print receptivity while simultaneously protecting against chemicals or abrasions - providing your packaging with optimal print receptivity while doubling as protective barriers against chemicals or abrasions.
When selecting the type of film to use for your product, its fitness for purpose and physical capacity must be taken into consideration. The physical capacity of a film can be determined by its thickness and tensile strength; additionally, it must also be capable of handling certain levels of air, heat, and moisture which could have an impact on the safety, shelf life, and stability of its packaging product.
Printing on plastic film often brings with it concerns regarding ink solvents. Residual solvents may hinder recycling efforts and even degrade or discolor printed images over time, while chemical composition should also be taken into account - thermoset inks should ideally not react with thermoplastic components of the film material.
Rotogravure printing on flexible film packaging is one of the most commonly utilized techniques. This technique utilizes dots filled with ink to form an image on a steel cylinder, which then transfers it onto film. Rotogravure allows multiple colors to be printed simultaneously on one sheet but may be expensive and require substantial maintenance costs.
Flexography, another method for printing packaging film
, is similar to rotogravure but uses aluminum plates instead of rubber blankets for its printing process. While cheaper than its counterpart, this technique does not produce images with equal quality.
Lithography printing on flexible film is one of the more expensive methods, yet provides the highest image quality without banding. Used primarily in high-end packaging such as luxury goods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals; its printing process requires great skill for maximum effect; thus beginners should avoid it as setup and maintenance can take much longer. For your lithographic printing projects, it is wise to partner with an experienced packaging supplier.