Flexographic printing is the most popular printing technology for packaging and can be applied to flexible packaging, corrugated boxes, tags and labels, and beverage cartons, among others. Recently, a trend regarding packaging and labelling has developed, which not only emphasizes high quality printing to catch consumer interest, but also being environmentally friendly as well as safe―concerning the content of the packaging (for instance food). Flexographic printing is in line with this trend, delivering high quality and environmentally friendly printing. However, in East Asia―including Japan―the Gravure printing method is predominantly used for flexible package printing, and the Offset printing method for tags and labels. Flexographic printing is employed only for printing on corrugated boxes and some beverage cartons. To meet the current market trend, Flexographic printing must be applied to more areas. DuPont developed the EASY plate that makes flat top dots which does not require a special technique, and New FAST developed a Flexo plate that does not require organic solvent, is environmentally friendly, and offers high productivity. We aim to promote these new technologies to encourage the growth of Flexographic technology within the packaging and printing market.
The decrease of advertisement and sales revenue is becoming a serious problem for newspaper companies. Therefore, cost reduction in printing has become crucial for these companies. Furthermore, the role of newspapers in the event of disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis is critical. Therefore, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in the newspaper printing industry is also essential. Generally, resource saving such as reducing materials, personnel hours, energy, waste, and water is an effective way of achieving both cost reduction and a Design for Environment strategy. The use of CTP (Computer to Plate) plates for Japanese newspaper printing has led to numerous savings of resources. In 2015, Fujifilm released the “SUPERIA ZN” system, a completely process-less CTP plate for newspaper printing. Furthermore, Fujifilm announced the release of the “SUPERIA ZN-II” system in July 2018. The “SUPERIA ZN-II” system is a completely process-less CTP plate for newspaper printing without interleaf-paper (ILP). This CTP plate without ILP is the ultimate resource saving plate for lithographic printing. Moreover, the completely process-less plate is also effective for BCP in newspaper printing.
Across the globe, companies have to consider the global environment and endeavor to conserve it for future generations. This is why the United Nations Summit voted for Sustainable Development Goals and the Conference of Parties voted for the Paris Agreement for the prevention of global warming. Additionally, food wastage and food shortage―especially in relation to population growth―is a major global issue. It is clear that we should implement measures to resolve these problems. InkMaker Inc. have been developing methods to create environmentally friendly packaging ink. We have been developing water-based inks, inks made from natural ingredients and non-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) inks, based on the “Reduce Reuse Recycle” perspective. This study introduces biomass ink, water-based ink, and EB curing Flexo ink. We propose that these products could contribute to environmental harmony. To achieve this, we need to address many aspects of the packaging and printing business, for example creating a recycling-oriented society while maintaining economic efficiency, the segmentation of individual needs and trends, the demand for higher quality and a wider variety of packaging materials, the reduction of food wastage and shortage, and the serious lack of personnel. Through this study, we will propose appropriate solutions that can be attained by developing our ink and packaging technology.
In the printing industry, a wide variety of techniques exist in the manufacturing field, but its technology depends upon the experience of its employees. Our department aims to elucidate and control the experience contributed by employees. However, a dynamic analysis is imperative to accomplish this. Since this process happens very quickly, it is difficult to capture accurately. Visualization technology can be employed to scientifically clarify the experience of employees. This study introduces the concept of the ink transfer phenomena in gravure printing and addresses process improvement using visualization technology.