Flexible Packaging Supermarket Flexo

Solid as a Rock - Avoid "Pin Holing" in Flexible Packaging Printing

We are introducing “X-Hard” as a new foam hardness for our 500 µm (20 mil) tesa Softprint® flexographic plate mounting tapes

Oct 23, 2017

The flexographic printing market is more competitive than ever, which is why any improvement in print quality to make a package more appealing to the eye of the consumer has become part of having a competitive advantage.

A common issue with flexible packaging motifs is the so-called “pin holing” effect.
It describes the uneven or incomplete ink distribution when printing a solid area, resulting in a loss of density and a reduced color vibrancy. Only continuous ink films reflect light evenly and only then does a solid area look appealing to the consumer looking at a package on display in a supermarket shelf. 

Flexo Printing Pin Holing
Flexo Printing Pin Holing

A solution to the pin holing issue can only be achieved by optimizing all components of the flexo printing workflow, e.g. anilox, printing plate, and plate mounting tape. The right choice of foam hardness in the plate mounting tape aligned with the used printing plate is a crucial factor to achieve the desired result of best solid ink density. It is important to note that the two components “tape” and “plate” always need to be considered as a combination to find the optimal solution to minimize pin holing effects.

To offer an additional solution in response to the troublesome issue of pin holing, we are introducing an “X-Hard” foam hardness to our comprehensive assortment of 500 µm (20 mil) flexo plate mounting tapes. The technical advantages of our new tesa Softprint® 72129 STM-TP are based on a new firm foam formulation of our high performance closed cell PE foam, providing excellent cushioning, high resilience, and fast recovery properties to ensure:

  • A uniform ink laydown on solid areas
  • High printing speeds
  • Consistent print quality
Solid Area Printing With tesa Softprint® X-Hard
Solid Area Printing With tesa Softprint® X-Hard

In addition to the excellent print quality, our tesa Softprint® STM-TP line offers a reliable adhesive performance under the most common conditions. This makes the product an all-round solution for many customers.
The robust chemistry of the plate side adhesive offers resistance against ink residues on the printing plate. This avoids hard plate demounting upon completion of the print job, so that the risk of plate damage is minimized and a fast plate removal is possible. On the shop floor level, a higher efficiency can be achieved because time-consuming reverse plate side cleaning procedures can be reduced. 

Plate Demounting tesa Softprint® X-Hard
Plate Demounting tesa Softprint® X-Hard

Overall, our firm flexo plate mounting tape “tesa Softprint® 72129 STM-TP” is the right solution for all customers with high demands on print quality and the ambition to increase process efficiency in the whole print process.

Please contact your local tesa representative today to help analyze your specific print quality requirements and individual process needs so that our self-adhesive tapes will help you optimize your final results.