Looking for a perfect match? Buying a flexo press is very different compared to deciding what you want for lunch. It is a big investment that will affect your company’s operation in the short, mid, and long term. It is a challenging task to find the flexo printing press that best suits your operational needs. To find the right balance between functionality, durability, and cost. Therefore, in this article, we have laid out a few directions that you can consider when making a flexo press investment.
First of all, there is no such thing as a best flexo press. A flexo press with the highest functionality at the highest cost may not be the best flexo press for your company because your operation may not require such print precision and speed, as a matter of fact with the highest cost it may cause your firm to take on more risk than needed. On the other hand, an economical flexo press doesn’t it mean is not the best flexo press for your company. If your printing job doesn’t require high registration and speed. An economical flexo press may suffice.
Know what substrate you want to print on
You can start by understanding what substrate you would be printing on. Different substrates behave differently during printing. For instance, when applied with tension a film is more prone to stretch than paper. Print ink is easier to dry on paper than on film. Foil is more prone to tear than paper and film…etc. These different substrate characteristics will require different press designs. Not all presses work with all substrates. Even when you choose a substrate that you are going to print now. It is always a good idea to think in the mid and long term. To consider what other substrate you may target in the future and will your printing press be able to support you during the product line expansion. Some of the common substrates that you should consider are film, foil, tissue, non-woven materials, paper, and corrugated boards.
From an operational perspective, you should look into how skilled your current workforce is. Is it easy to find skilled printing operators? Is it expensive to find more help? Is it easy to train a person? These factors will affect the amount of automation that you will need in your press. Also from a facility standpoint, how much space do you have to fit the flexo press? This may limit the number of color decks that you can have and the drying tunnel capacity that you are able to consider. You should identify whether your printing press will run in line with other machines on the production line. This will affect how you decide on the required maximum press speed needed.
It is recommended that you don’t just go for the bare minimum when it comes to functionality. Once again, think five years down the road about how much potential capacity you might need. Just like a car, a flexo printing press can come with many additional features such as web cleaner, auto wash, auto viscosity control, auto registration and impression setup, corona system…etc. These add-ons can make your operation smoother and more efficient.
From a machine perspective, quality is about how stable and durable your printing press is. Try to go for a well-known and reputable flexo printing press manufacturer to ensure better quality. Furthermore, you should consider not just the press quality but the service quality as well. Will the manufacturer be able to support you at the beginning to get you started? Will the manufacturer be able to provide training for your workers if needed? How mature is the supply chain of the manufacturer? How fast are you able to obtain spare parts? Are remote diagnosis and connection available? Having a good quality press and a good quality service will really make a difference in your operational efficiency.
Many times, cost is the most important factor for many investments. Big flexo press manufacturing brands make you pay extra for their brand names. If you are a finically robust company with lots of extra cash, then this might not be a problem. However, if you are an SME with relatively less cash, a reputable mid-size flexo press manufacturer may be a more economical choice for you. You can reduce your equipment’s function to save cost but do not sacrifice quality for cost. If you sacrifice quality for cost, in the long term the machine downtime and fixing cost may outweigh your initial press investment cost.
When buying a flexo press, it does take some time so don’t rush to a decision because the flexo press you choose will have a long-term significant impact on your business operation. Feel free to reach out to the KYMC team, our team is delighted to guide you through your flexo press selection process. To ensure you get your hands on the best flexo printing press. To obtain the perfect match.