Sticky-back, that all but invisible consumable of flexographic printing, may seem ubiquitous but there’s more to this material than is immediately apparent. As with so many things in life and flexography, knowing more about the materials you use—and picking the best ones for the jobs—can pay off in greater productivity and profits.
You know from experience that tapes are not all created equal. Some do a great job but take extra time to mount, while others stick so well that plates will often tear when being removed. You may even automatically budget for new plates when you know a job will repeat in a couple of months. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t always have to do that?
That’s one of the ideas behind new version of Cushion-Mount™ L-Series and the new Pro-Series mounting tapes from 3M™. Both are easier to remove than 3M’s previous Cushion-Mount tapes while still preventing edge lift. A unique adhesive backing on these new tapes can increase the productivity of your press when setting up for one job and during changeover for the next one.
Getting More From a Thin Tape
Every flexographer knows that sometimes the best option is a thin sticky-back tape. The problem is that thinner tapes often require extra time for application and removal, time that could be better spent doing something more productive, like running that 36,000 foot job that has to be on a truck tomorrow morning. The best approach is using a tape that is easier to apply and remove because this saves time and money during set up and change over.
Designed to work for you
Here’s where 3M’s 15-mil Cushion-Mount Plus mounting tape comes in. This is still a medium density foam tape for long high-speed print runs and for printing combinations of solids and process colors with halftone dots. Like other 3M tapes, the new version is engineered to provide tight caliper tolerances, allowing printers to retain tight print registration when using tape from different manufacturing lots.
The Magic of Cross-Hatching
Unlike widely available mounting tapes with a pebbled or flat release liner, the 3M™ Cushion-Mount™ Pro Plate Mounting Tape with Comply™ Adhesive System has a cross-hatched pattern with unique micro-channels that allow trapped air to escape from between the plate and the sleeve or plate cylinder. This virtually eliminates air bubbles, decreasing installation time and increasing productivity. The 15-mil tapes also features higher side adhesion to resist edge lifting, even on challenging jobs requiring thick plates or when using small print sleeves.
Then, when the job is over, the cross-hatched pattern speeds demounting without leaving adhesive residue on the cylinder or sleeve and makes accidental tearing of a plate less likely, reducing the need to re-make a plate the next time the job is run.
Anderson & Vreeland sells more sticky-back tape than any other flexo-focused supplier. Please contact your local A&V specialist for pricing options. This is an ideal time to build some stock of tapes you know you’re going to need.
You can also call us to discuss your needs so we can make sure the tapes you order are the right ones for your applications. No matter what your needs may be, our technical specialists are ready to help you find the exact tapes or other products that can help your business move forward.