The Role of Automated Mounting in Sustainable Flexographic Printing
Sustainability has become a major concern for businesses across various industries, and the flexographic printing sector is no exception. With a growing focus on reducing waste, saving resources, and minimizing environmental impact, automated mounting has emerged as an essential tool for promoting sustainable practices in flexographic printing. In this article, we will explore the role of automated mounting in sustainable flexographic printing, discussing its impact on waste reduction, energy efficiency, and overall sustainability.
How Automated Mounting is Revolutionizing Flexo Printing Sustainability
As the demand for packaging materials continues to grow, so does the need for environmentally responsible production methods. Flexographic printing, a popular technique for printing on a variety of substrates, has evolved to meet these sustainability requirements. One significant development in this regard is the adoption of automated mounting systems for flexo plates. Let’s go through the environmentally-friendly benefits of adopting automated mounting in the flexo industry.
1. Waste Reduction
A primary benefit of automated mounting is the reduction of waste related to plate mounting errors. According to industry studies, manual plate mounting can result in errors of up to 0.300 mm color-to-color, while automated systems reduce it to less than 0.020 mm . This improvement in accuracy not only enhances print quality but also minimizes waste due to mounting errors. In one case study, a flexographic printing company reported a 75% reduction in waste after adopting an automated plate mounting system . By reducing the waste generated by mounting mistakes, automated mounting contributes significantly to the sustainability of the flexographic printing process.
- Flexo Plate Mounting Accuracy Study. (2018). FlexoGlobal.
- Case Study: Automated Plate Mounting Reduces Waste. (2020). FlexoTech Magazine.
2. Plate usage reduction
In cases where large one-piece plates are being used, automated plate mounting facilitates being able to make use of multiple lane plates. Especially in combination with ECG printing, the plate mounting accuracy needs to be secured. With automated mounting systems it is possible a higher level of accuracy and precision, which in turn can facilitate a more efficient use of plates and lead to waste reduction.
3. Energy Efficiency
Automated mounting systems often incorporate energy-efficient components and smart technologies that optimize energy consumption. For instance, some systems feature energy-saving modes that minimize power usage during idle times. In addition, according to AV Flexologic customers, automated mounting can reduce setup times by up to 50% compared to manual processes, leading to less energy consumption during the production process. Consequently, automated mounting contributes to the overall energy efficiency of flexographic printing operations.
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4. Reduced Use of Chemicals
Automated mounting systems promote the efficient use of chemicals, such as adhesives and solvents, required during the plate mounting process. Precise application of these chemicals not only reduces waste but also minimizes the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment. By ensuring the judicious use of chemicals, automated mounting plays a vital role in promoting sustainable flexographic printing practices.
5. Enhanced Recycling Potential
By minimizing plate mounting errors and improving the overall quality of the printing process, automated mounting can help increase the recycling potential of printed materials, lowering the environmental impact of the printing process.
6. Reduced Carbon Footprint
The adoption of automated mounting systems can help reduce the carbon footprint of the flexographic printing industry. The combination of reduced waste, energy efficiency, and minimized chemical use contributes to an eco-friendlier production process. Moreover, by embracing automation, printing companies can streamline their operations and optimize the use of resources, further reducing their environmental impact.
Why Automated Mounting is the Future: more Sustainable Processes, together with Improved Quality
Automated mounting plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable practices in flexographic printing by reducing printing waste due to mounting errors, reducing plate waste, improving energy efficiency, and minimizing the use of chemicals. As the demand for environmentally responsible printing solutions continues to grow, adopting automated mounting systems will not only help printers meet sustainability requirements but also enhance the overall quality.
About the author
Martijn Otten, AV Flexologic Managing Director
Martijn is the Managing Director of AV Flexologic and Tech Sleeves and holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering. For him, innovation is the key to success and, with his family business, he is moving the flexo industry to the next level.