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This is perhaps one of the most debated questions in every flexographic market today. It is a question that is asked in every area of flexographic printing, but there are some basic questions you need to ask yourself when setting off down this path, and are as follows:

  1. What surface will the blade have to wipe against? – for example chrome or ceramic.
  2. What ink/coating system will you be using, such as solvent,water based or UV.
  3. What viscosity will you generally be running at?
  4. What line count will you have on your anilox?
  5. What volume of ink will your anilox be carrying?
  6. What print length do you intend to run?
  7. Is employee safety an issue when handling the blade?
  8. Is it a single blade or chamber blade set up?
  9. How clean of a wipe must you have?
  10. Will it be running in a corrosive environment?
  11. How Corrosive is the ink or coating that you will be running?
  12. What speed will you be running at?
  13. How skilled are your operators?
  14. What quality of graphics do you intend to run?

Quite a list I am sure you are thinking, and truthfully not everything that could be asked for every application but if you have made the right choice of vendor they will be only to willing to provide the best advice, you just need to ask for their help.