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Optimizing Performance for Flexographic Printers

 Substrates and Adhesion – Know Your Surface

The increasing quality of flexographic printing has made it the go-to choice for packaging. While enjoying this success; however, printers in the industry still face challenges, including adapting to increasing print speeds and the ongoing push for greater productivity. With the purchase of new higher-speed equipment or changes in plate technology, it’s important to re-benchmark your mounting tapes in order to ensure you are achieving the best possible results.

To help flexographic printers fully optimize the potential of their equipment and materials, 3M makes its 3M™ Cushion-Mount™ Plus Plate Mounting Tapes in eight different foam densities, as well as a range of adhesives and tape thickness. This broad range gives you more choices than any other tape manufacturer, and more opportunity to fine-tune your combination of products to maximize results. For instance, for halftone work where dot gain is a concern, a softer tape optimizes reproduction. A combination may be more useful when solids and dots share a plate, while a firm, high density mounting tape is needed for solid ink and crisp lines.

For additional performance benefits, E-Series and EH-Series Tapes offer unique features that improve productivity and ease of use:

  • Both series are designed with patented microchannels that allow air to flow through the adhesive, helping air bubbles disappear from between the tape and plate, and between the tape and cylinder or sleeve. With virtually bubble-free mounting, you can reduce waste and increase productivity while also achieving cleaner print quality thanks to the smoother surfaces.
  • E-Series tapes have an exclusive 3M plate-side adhesive that maintains tight contact, saving prep time, downtime and the labor of sealing plate edges.
  • E-Series tapes also peel off easily, reducing plate damage and virtually eliminating plate back treatment.
  • EH-Series tapes offer higher plate side adhesion to resist edge lifting on cylinder diameters as small as 2".

To help customers determine the best tape for their individual operations, 3M has a specialized sales force for the flexographic printing industry, with customer service and technical service support representatives who offer extensive expertise and ongoing education opportunities.

If you are interested in optimizing your plate and tape combination to ensure maximum print quality and productivity, contact 3M.

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