As the label and packaging industry emerges from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, converters are increasingly turning towards rotary screen printing according to one leading UK reprographics company.
“While this has been an extraordinarily difficult year for everyone, many across the packaging and label industry have seen a surge in demand for their products, either through initial consumer panic-buying or retailers refilling their supply lines,” said Matt Francklow, Managing Director at Creation. “This in turn has led to increased pressure on repro houses to be able to deliver quality services, quickly. As the industry now continues its recovery from Covid, we have noticed a significant uplift in demand for rotary screens across our customer base,” he said.
Specialising in producing high quality flexo origination, Creation works across sectors including food & beverage and personal & home care and designs solutions for labelling, folding carton, rigid and flexible packaging from its base in Daventry, Northamptonshire.
“At both the beginning and height of the pandemic, many brands and retailers tackled supply chain issues by stripping back individual SKUs just to get as much as they could into the supply pipelines,” said Matt. “That has steadily been changing as the industry gets to grips with the new normal, and we are now seeing converters responding to the volatility caused by the coronavirus outbreak. In looking for quality graphics and dense colours delivered quickly and accurately, more and more are turning to rotary screen printing.”
Rotary screen printing delivers faster production rates, is easy to set up and has less dependence on user experience for successful operation. “Rotary screens deliver a higher quality output that are also more durable,” said Matt. “They can also be used on a variety of different print materials, and due to the consistently great finish they are particularly useful for big orders – something which is becoming more important for many converters in the current situation.
“As a result, the last few weeks have seen a significant rise in demand across our own business, particularly with our range of Kocher & Beck rotary screens, which enable high speed runs and ensure consistent quality, accuracy and registration over long runs. One area seeing a particularly strong uplift in rotary screen demand is in pharmaceutical labels. The rotary screen format is perfectly suited to producing braille, raised characters and tactile warning; they are easily predicted and prevented them from losing shape over longer print runs. Similar to the FMCG sector, as demand for healthcare and pharmaceutical products surges, it’s natural that rotary screens would follow the same trajectory.”
Matt explained that the high definition, pre-coated screens are made of a nickel-plated stainless-steel material, coated with photopolymer and then covered with a protector carrier film. “Not only are they suitable for a wide range of materials and all common tasks, but these premium screens can be produced in either roll form, sheets cut to size or completely imaged and mounted,” he said.
As well as delivering consistency, the rotary screens can handle 4000dpi HD imaging to give the finest detail, while symmetrical, durable fabric ensures high speed printing, stability and long life.
“The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed consumer buying habits and as result the whole label and packaging sector is still operating in exceptional circumstances,” said Matt. “As the industry looks to get back on its feet, converters are discovering that rotary screens are incredibly versatile. When coupled with the consistency of results, this makes them the ideal solution at a time when converters need flexibility as much as quality.”