Common printing process of corrugated box

Corrugated box is a logistics packaging container that integrates transportation and sales functions. Consumers continue to put forward new requirements for the appearance, environmental protection and function of product packaging, making the carton industry continue to meet the comprehensive requirements of external packaging quality and cost of the end market through technological innovation.

Only from the perspective of printing and processing to explore the carton packaging industry, the domestic market can completely obtain perfect but not beautiful, moderate but not excessive high-quality outer packaging. The Chinese printing industry has a large number of Manroland, Heidelberg, and KBA offset printing presses, many of which have a new generation of direct printing high-quantity (above 400g / m2) and micro-corrugated printing machines, which can meet the printing of high-quality, short- and medium-sized carton / box; With nearly 600 unit-type flexo printing machines, it can meet the printing of medium and long version carton / box; has many flexographic pre-printing / gravure printing machines, the printing quality is close to offset printing, and it can also meet the printing of large-volume color boxes / boxes.

offset printing

In addition to the direct offset printing of micro corrugated boxes, generally corrugated boxes need to be mounted with offset printing. This method is simple in equipment, complicated in process, and has a long drying waiting time between printing and laminating processing (generally about 48 Hours); the printing process is not environmentally friendly, and the energy consumption of the processing process is very large. The basic technological process is: production of single-sided corrugated cardboard + offset printing paper → laminated synthetic paperboard → die-cutting slot → adhesive nail box, the exquisite effect obtained by offset printing carton is at the expense of carton strength, because When the facing paper and the single-sided corrugated cardboard are mounted on the veneer, the corrugated compressive deformation will reduce the compressive strength of the carton by 10%, and the corrugated automatic production line cannot fully exert its advantages, and can only play a semi-automatic role. In order to make up for the loss of strength, the basis weight of paperboard remains high, which is inconsistent with the "low basis weight, high strength" process advocated by the industry for many years.

Considering only the printing effect, offset printing is still at the spire of the pyramid, and the number of screen lines of up to 250 lines / inch is far ahead of flexo printing, which is the fundamental reason why businesses have always adhered to offset printing. But in fact, some domestic flexographic pre-printing production lines have reached 150 lines / inch, and the visual effect is comparable to offset printing. The carton is mainly based on the transport function, and the product display function is usually reflected at a distance of 1m from the consumer. At this time, the effect of flexo printing is completely acceptable. From the perspective of carton processing technology, carton manufacturers are more optimistic about flexographic direct printing.

Flexo direct printing

The production process is corrugated cardboard production → cardboard direct flexo printing → die cutting and slotting → adhesive nail box.

There are two reasons for flexo printing abroad: one is that flexo printing uses water-based inks, which is more environmentally friendly; the other is that the flexibility of its post-printing process is large, the speed of plate change is fast, and the scrap rate is very low. The flexographic post-printing is suitable for both large-volume long-order printing, such as corrugated cardboard box printing for beer, beverages, and food, and small-volume short-order printing, especially for expensive large-size computers and household appliances. The biggest advantage of post-printing is that it can be connected to the production, that is, printing, glazing, die cutting, slotting, sticking boxes, and bundling can be completed on one machine. The newly-built corrugated box factory only needs to be equipped with a corrugated board production line and a flexo printing machine, and it can be put into production, while offset printing and pre-printing methods require multiple devices.

China's packaging market has a certain degree of excessive packaging problems, which hinders the promotion of flexo printing technology. However, there are still many factors that will promote the continuous promotion of flexo printing technology in the corrugated box industry.

(1) Frequent product revisions or version additions, such as holiday promotions, small package packaging, etc., make the printing batches smaller, and the flexographic printing method directly printed on corrugated cardboard has the advantages of fast speed, low cost, and good quality.

(2) Brand recognition, corporate image and group design are becoming more and more popular. Many multinational corporations not only require their print quality in China to be the same as that of their parent company, but also require printing methods, which will undoubtedly promote flexo printing in the packaging market.

(3) The market is developing towards intensive and large-scale, customer inventory is reduced, more and more packaging materials are required to be used directly after delivery, and flexo printing has a faster customer response speed.

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