October 31, 2018

October 2018 FLEXO Magazine: Corrugated Print’s Evolution

Printing on corrugated media has been plagued by fluting problems from the very beginning. Simply put, fluting is an area of print having higher gain along the tops of the flutes versus in the valleys between them. This print density differential gives the appearance of corduroy striping running along the flutes of the board.

For years, analog printing plates performed acceptably with minimal fluting; however, in the early 2000s the print industry saw the benefits of new digital methods to improve the prepress workflow. This new workflow led to an increase in the use of digital flexo printing plates.

Digital printing plates tend to flute worse than their analog counterparts due to the geometry of the rounded printing plate dot and the edges of type and solids. This rounded surface and the contact angles with the uneven corrugated media contributed to the visual appearance of the printed flutes. As more companies embraced the digital workflow and use of digital printing plates increased, printing plate manufacturers and trade shops had to work closely to reduce the effects of fluting using this new digital process.

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