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Your ultimate guide to mounting materials: The LeadEdge Advantage

In today’s flexographic printing world, quality and consistency are what sets packaging and label printers apart in a busy market. When run-to-run performance is the difference between orders being won or lost, there’s no room for compromise.

 

With complex short-run jobs becoming more common, printers need agility and accuracy throughout their operations, without exception. The right technology, in the right place, is crucial.

 

At LeadEdge Flexo, we believe that the best way to help our customers shine is to focus on innovating and adding value, using our expertise to create the very best corrugated and flexographic printing technologies. This includes our cbak™ closed-cell mounting material. But what is it, and where do the advantages come from?

 

The complexities of today’s flexo

 

Flexographic printing is one of the most time-tested ways of creating vibrant and detailed prints for packaging and labels. However, as the wider retail market shifts, adapts and changes, so do the core challenges for printers and packaging converters.

 

For many printers, succeeding in the market is a balancing act. Turnaround speed is key but has to be matched with peerless quality. Agility is vital but can’t come at the expense of waste. Inflation and rising material costs across the board apply further pressure, and squeeze margins ever tighter.

 

As print quality expectations rise, so does the need for innovative solutions in the press room. One area of particular interest is in mounting materials, modulating the height and performance of the photopolymer plates.

 

Also known as cushioning foam, mounting material serves as a critical intermediary between the printing plate and the print cylinder. By changing the height of photopolymer printing plates, its primary function is to compensate for irregularities in the printing surface, ensuring even ink transfer across substrates, even at high speed, and delivering high-quality results.

 

What this delivers in practice is much more. Predictable and consistent printing results reduce waste, so investment in the right mounting material has core benefits in areas such as cost control and sustainability, too.

 

Our cbak™ closed cell mounting foam is a fantastic example of how these advantages materialise:

 

Five benefits of choosing cbak™

 

As flexo printers seek to make quality look effortless, there are many reasons to integrate cbak™ into the printing process.

 

1. Consistent ink coverage

 

cbak™ is designed to reduce the height of photopolymer printing plates where required, ensuring consistent ink coverage across the substrate. This results in sharp and vibrant prints that meet the highest quality standards. This consistency also means printers can make more optimal use of ink inventories, with less waste generated through errors, imperfections and re-runs.

 

2. Reduced dot gain

 

Key priorities for mounting foams include excellent memory and rebound characteristics, which cbak™ offers. In turn, this means pressure settings can be reduced during printing, resulting in less stress being applied to the photopolymer plate and minimising dot gain for greater print clarity and fidelity. Lines stay sharper, colours stay crisper.

 

3. Less fluting on corrugated substrates

 

Fluting is a major challenge in corrugated printing, where waves or ripples appear throughout the material, often as a result of uneven ink laydown. With cbak™, fluting can be made a thing of the past by ensuring inks and coatings are distributed evenly, even over the longest print runs.

 

4. Excellent imaging for complex print jobs

 

Whether the design calls for delicate intricacy for packs destined for premium store shelves or a bolder scroll-stopping aesthetic for digital storefronts, the versatility of cbak™ is evident in its ability to deliver excellent imaging for complex print jobs.

 

 

5. Outstanding compression strength

 

Compression strength is what gives printers confidence in mounting material performance, and cbak™ outperforms the competition. What’s more, it’s water and solvent resistant. This means stability and reliability under pressure, for consistent quality, durability and longevity under various printing conditions.

 

Why Choose LeadEdge Flexo?

 

Our team brings over 50 years of combined experience in the corrugated and flexographic printing supplies industries, operating from a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the heart of the UK’s Northwest.

 

The LeadEdge Flexo range includes all the ingredients needed to mount photopolymer plates for corrugated printing and solutions that a printer could need. This includes foam materials and tapes, alongside plate carriers and clichés, consumables and machinery. We proudly work with printers across the UK corrugated packaging market, as well as Europe and internationally.

 

To find out more about cbak™ and our extensive range of products, click here to get in touch today.

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