This question comes up on a regular basis, but really the true question is, “is it cheaper?” After all, that was the primary purpose why Flexo was invented — to produce a cheaper, simpler print process than gravure and letterpress. There is no doubt that at the outset it was substantially less expensive and was indeed simpler, but the big challenge was quality and consistency. Today, Flexo has answered the last to points by producing some of the best quality print that can be found in any process and when measured and controlled can produce this quality consistently.
To achieve these improvements this has come at an ever increasing cost and demands the very latest technologies, equipment, materials and inks to be able to compete with gravure and offset. So the bottom line is our quality does challenge that of gravure in just about every area and in packaging with fine text and small graphics without the serrated edge of gravure can even produce stronger sharper images. For short to mid- size runs it is also more cost effective due to the speed of changeovers but when it gets to extended long runs it is debatable whether it is less costly. Trying to remain as unbiased as possible I do feel that Flexo’s versatility, and continuous technical developments will continue to keep it at the forefront in terms of print quality. But as with all new developments it does come at a price. The question is will the buyer be willing to accept higher costs for higher quality!