Our core competence is the production of printing formes and plates for relief printing, in particular for flexography. Relief printing is probably the oldest print method in the world. Stamps have been found in Ancient Egypt that still clearly demonstrate the principle of relief printing, or rather block printing, today. The more recent history of relief printing is closely associated with the name of Johannes Gutenberg. Gutenberg invented the printing press and modern-day letterpress.
WHAT IS RELIEF PRINTING?
Relief printing, or the relief printing process, is a printing technique in which the printing elements lie on the higher level. As with a rubber stamp, only the protruding parts, the image-carrying parts, of the printing plate are covered with ink and produce the print image. The lower surface is referred to as the non-printing part. The print image is reversed on the image carrier so that it will appear the correct way round on the print substrate. Relief printing is divided into two print methods: letterpress and the more recent flexography.
WHAT IST LETTERPRESS?
Letterpress is the oldest known printing method and initiated the first mass production of printed matter around 500 years ago. It is the forefather of all printing techniques. At the start, the print formes consisted of individually arranged letters. This relief printing method was used for 400 years for printing books and newspapers. Today offset printing has largely replaced letterpress. It is mainly only forms, labels, etc. that are now produced with this method.
WAHT IS FLEXOGRAPHY?
In contrast to letterpress, in which print formes made of a hard material are used, flexography makes use of printing plates in a soft material.
In addition to this, the printing ink is not as viscose as that used in letterpress. The relatively thin, low-viscosity ink is applied with an anilox roller to the printing plate, which in turn transfers the ink to the print substrate. In modern flexography, the plate is a flexible printing forme, generally made from a photopolymer plate, or from rubber. It is attached to a plate cylinder. A sleeve printing plate has a photopolymer surface, which is engraved.
The main fields of application for flexography are in printing packaging items in plastic, card, board and paper. However, it is also used for printing adhesive films, drinks packaging and sometimes in newspaper printing.