Print Sleeves Flash Poll

FTA Members Weigh In on Print Sleeves Costs, Important Features, Factors When Buying

Print Sleeves W&HQuality, cost, productivity—Everybody is talking about how imperative careful attention to such details is to a flexographic printing plant. Technological advancements are being monitored by production teams, new equipment is being deployed and its impact on bottom line performance carefully evaluated. In flexible packaging circles, press makers have been touting the benefits of print sleeves. Similarly, manufacturers of imaging devices and tools have been lamenting the advantages of ITR technologies for the better part of the past decade. Adoption has been steady. Experience has revealed that speed is up, clarity is sharp and as one major supplier proclaims, “In the round imaging brings flexo one step closer to perfection.”

Is all the buzz accurate? FLEXO’s most recent Flash Poll set out to gauge printer readers’ assessment of print sleeves and their impact on the plant. With 15 percent of readers targeted responding, poll results revealed print sleeves are improving registration, stability and durability, while at the same time enjoying a longer life than traditional plate forms—some say double; others quadruple.

The ability of print sleeves to stand up to pressure, corrosive inks and cleaning solutions is universally appreciated, as is their contribution to reducing the effects of print shoulders and dot gain. Other benefits listed out:

  • Presses are being utilized more efficiently
  • Plate making and mounting costs are falling
    Decreases in changeover times are being seen
  • Plants are reducing plate inventories and eliminating some variables associated with plate mounting tape
  • Better balance is affording faster press speeds
  • Ink transfer is more predictable
  • Quality results, especially in the area of high impact graphics with bright, sharp images, is comparable to gravure and offset