22 January 2018
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Flexible precision for high quality mounting

​With the flexographic printing industry facing constant challenges, tesa has produced an all-inclusive range of high-performance tapes for wide web and narrow web printing applications.

The company’s flexographic tapes are said to perform an important role in helping to meet industry objectives to incorporate lean manufacturing methods, along with improved performance.

Increasing demands on print quality combined with shorter print runs, higher press speeds and enhanced levels of process efficiency call for specifically tailored plate mounting tapes.

tesa Softprint CLASSIC and the new tesa Softprint FLEX plate mounting tapes are good examples of different tapes that offer individual opportunities for greater process efficiency. Due to its closed cell PE foam and PET reinforcement, the CLASSIC offers easy handling and is suited to a wide range of specific applications. By comparison, thanks to its aligned design which incorporates a PE reinforcement film, the FLEX range is ideal for critical sleeve applications, including thin-walled sleeves and scratched sleeve surfaces.

For wide web printing, the company offers eight CLASSIC designs of tape offering 500 um/20 mil. Each of these tapes is designed with a different foam density, making it suitable for specific print requirements such as solids, lines and screens. Products within this range include tesa Softprint Secure, tesa Softprint TP-X and tesa Softprint Steelmaster.

tesa 72022 Steelmaster exemplifies the approach tesa has taken to developing tapes that are suitable for specific printing requirements. While enabling mounting of 1.14mm (0.045”) and 1.70mm (0.067”) printing plates onto steel, aluminium, PU and glassine cylinders, its high tack acrylic adhesive allows fair plate bonding, improved cohesiveness and reduced edge lifting or plate movement. The tape’s highly compressible foam provides long lasting recovery properties as well as low thickness tolerances.

Adding to this, the FLEX range offers four versions of wide web tapes, including tesa Softprint TP-X and tesa Softprint FE-X. tesa Softprint 73328 TP-X is a double-sided foam tape offering low thickness tolerance and long lasting, constant recovery characteristics. Its structured PP-liner prevents formation of air pockets when plates are mounted and its flexible PE reinforcement film compensates for the expansion of thin-walled sleeves.

The company also offers three versions of the CLASSIC for narrow web work, including tesa Softprint Steelmaster, tesa Softprint Steelmaster TP and tesa Softprint Secure. tesa 52015 Steelmaster for example, is a double-coated foam tape, designed specifically for mounting photopolymer plates with a thickness of 1.70mm (0.067”) or 2.54mm (0.100”) in flexographic label printing. Its medium-hard foam makes this tape the ideal solution for printing combinations and solids.

To complete tesa’s comprehensive product assortment for the narrow Web printing market, the company has introduced tesa Softprint Medium with a foam hardness that’s suitable for STM, STM TP and SEC product lines.

Its balanced medium foam hardness offers optimal cushioning and resilience properties, supporting the delivery of lean production processes and a good quality result for printing solids, line work and screens with just one plate mounting tape. Suitable for non-standardised and unclean conditions, its high tack adhesion enables easier plate mounting in cold and dirty conditions and its robust adhesive properties, with high humidity resistance, provide fair plate repositioning and demounting properties.

In addition, the introduction of tesa 51918 EasySplice FilmLine has set the standard for efficient splicing in flexible packaging printing, offering the film processing industry a high-performance product for reliable and efficient flying splice processes that is second to none.

While tesa 51910 EasySplice FilmLine PLUS has made a name for itself as a problem solver for non-polar materials in general, the company has developed tesa 51918 EasySplice FilmLine Black to handle the really “heavy stuff". The integrated splicing tape easily conquers the splicing challenges faced in packaging printing such as those posed by thick films, tubular bags, and sharp-edged substrates. Its excellent performance is based on an innovative combination of patented synthetic rubber adhesive and customised carrier.

For tesa 51918 EasySplice FilmLine Black, the carrier consists not of paper but of an extremely robust polyester material. The flat surface promotes completely even coating with substantial application and particularly good bonding of adhesive and carrier. This provides the advantage of exceptionally high tack beyond that of tesa 51910 EasySplice FilmLine PLUS that ensures very reliable bonding at high web tension. The splitting strip has been specially designed to be used with non-polar substrate surfaces, in order to ensure dependable closure before splicing and a reliable opening afterwards. An additional feature is the black colour of the splicing tape, which allows easy detection from both sides.

Richard Eeles, strategic segment manager Print & Web Processing at tesa UK Ltd, said: “tesa offers the most advanced flexo print tape technologies designed to meet increasing requirements for fast mounting, high print quality and demounting tape performance. With reduced prepress costs and results that rival the quality of gravure, we’ve been able to develop a wide range of product specifications with the consistency of performance that the industry demands.”

Brian Wall

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tesa UK Ltd


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