tesa® supports flexible packaging industry growth with the introduction of Softprint® TP-X FLEX-Design

18 September 2018

The flexible packaging market is continuously growing, as made evident in the Smithers Pira report (Future of Global Flexible Packaging to 2020) that stated: "The global market for flexible packaging is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 3.4% during the period 2015-2020." Those who want to stay competitive in this growing industry need to meet an increased demand whilst maintaining print quality and high-levels of overall process efficiency.

One of the current market trends is a reduction of print lot sizes with the impact of more daily job changeovers, making the selection of plate mounting tapes essential, as they are involved in each process step. tesa® is supporting the industry tackle this challenge with the introduction of tesa Softprint® TP-X, combined with the new FLEX-Design which is optimised for lean production processes and maximised efficiency on the shop floor level.

Derived from a grid characteristic, FLEX-Design consists of a foam carrier embedded between two PE-reinforcement films. This results in a more forgiving laydown of the tape, which helps to counterbalance the increase in sleeve circumference, whilst achieving a better bonding on inconsistent surfaces through a specially-engineered adhesive.

By avoiding time consuming cleaning procedures during mounting and providing a reliable bond on even critical sleeve conditions, tesa Softprint® TP-X FLEX is uniquely adapted to increase daily job changeovers. Based on a new robust chemistry to avoid negative reactions between ink residues and adhesives, tesa Softprint® TP-X FLEX provides fast plate mounting and demounting without the risk of plate damage. Reliable bonding on scratched sleeve surfaces has been achieved by a combination of a more flexible product design and a specially-engineered adhesive on the sleeve side, resulting in improved efficiency and critically, no press downtime.

Printers now have the capability to select exactly the right impression to fit requirements for each specific job and design as tesa Softprint® TP-X FLEX spans four different hardness levels, with foams ranging from soft to medium, medium-hard and hard densities.

Richard Eeles, tesa UK’s key account manager for flexo, is confident tesa Softprint® TP-X FLEX-Design will prove to be an invaluable tool for flexible packaging manufacturers. According to Richard: “The combination of tesa Softprint® tapes together with the latest plate technology and printing presses will assist in further enhancing any future print demands. Going forward, we are seeing a trend in the market to minimise the tape complexity and standardise product usage. As a result we are seeing more companies using the medium foam and medium/hard products to cover the majority of their print requirements”.

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