Technical Centre - Flexography

“I am Bhargav Thesiya from India. I chose Print Media Technologies because the packaging printing industry is rapidly growing, not only in India, but also in the whole world. This study program is perfect for me since it is taught in English and it is international. It has different course modules which include digital printing, flexography, gravure printing and many more…

Above all, flexography is the course in which I am particularly interested. Moreover, flexographic printing is considered as one of the biggest markets in the packaging industry. It is employed for print-ing on flexible substrates, paper and cardboard with the most common usage being in packaging.

In Hochschule der Medien, we have a large technology centre, where we observe the machines running and understand how they work. For flexographic printing, we use a 6S-8 flexo press from the company Fischer & Krecke. It belongs to the DFTA, the so called “German Flexographic Technical Association” and it is primarily used for research and development.

Talking about choosing the right country for stud-ying, the first choice for me was always Germany because of its geographical location and culture. It is located in the heart of Europe which makes this country special. The people, language, and strong traditions are the reasons why German culture is so interesting for me. As a matter of fact, Germany is known as the country of poets and thinkers back home. The German culture has been influenced and shaped throughout Germany‘s rich history, since the country has had a key role in the history of Europe.”

With bag and baggage!

“Hi, I am Amanda and I’m from Canada. Print Media Technologies interested me because it enables me to apply my knowledge from my Business Management Marketing degree to my studies. A background in print media is important in my pursuit of a career in business and is important in marketing and advertisement.”

Flexography is a printing process which utilises a flexible relief plate. This may be a photopolymer or rubber plate. The technology is used for printing non-porous, flexible substrates, which are required for various types of food packaging. An example is the household sugar package.

A flexographic print is made by creating a positively mirrored master of the required image as a 3D relief in a polymer material. The image areas are raised above the non image areas. The ink is transferred from the ink roll which is partially immersed in the ink tank.
Then it transfers to the anilox or ceramic roll whose texture holds a specific amount of ink since it is covered with millions of small cells holding the exact same volume that enable it to meter ink to the printing plate in a uniform thickness evenly and quickly. The required amount of ink is transferred by using a chambered doctor blade system which removes excess ink from the anilox roller before inking the printing plate.

The substrate, usually a web, is finally sandwiched between the plate and the impression cylinder to transfer the image. The web is fed through a dryer, which allows the inks to dry. The Flexopress 6S-8 from Fischer & Krecke belongs to the DFTA (German Flexographic Technical Association). They are using it for research and ink testing, for example.

The Equipment

Fischer & Krecke 6S8

Fischer & Krecke 6S8: The heart of the DFTA Technology Center is the central cylinder press, the F&K Flexpress 6S/8. Its high flexibility allows printing tests to be carried out for a wide range of flexographic printing applications.

– 8 printing units with chambered doctor blade system
– Max. Speed: 500 m/min
– Max. Substrate width: 1250 mm
– Solvent and water-based inks
– Material thickness from approx. 12 μm to 400 μm
– Extensive anilox roller, adhesive tape and sleeve equipment