Understanding ink systems and chemistries

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The key difference between inks for labels and general packaging is the use of combination print processes. Wide web flexible packaging traditionally uses a single print method, either flexo or gravure. Solvent flexo is predominantly used in wide web flexo (water-based inks can also be used) and gravure inks are also solvent based. 

A narrow web press, by contrast, can contain up to six different print methods, along with in-line finishing options including hot foil, embossing and lamination. Converters use the optimal print method for individual jobs. Presses based on exchangeable cassettes may change print methods two to three times in a day.