• Varnishing plates

    Commercial printing and packaging may capture consumers’ attention more effectively, if a part of their contents stands out from the rest of the printed product. Just like bold type can attract the readers’ eye when they look through a text , the prominence of an image or letters on a pack of cigarettes or a brochure may turn into a winning detail that hits the target more rapidly.

    Offset and flexographic printing industries, which are deeply concerned with packaging and commercial subjects have known that for a long time. In order to meet the ever increasing demand for alluring messages that could cope with the great quantity of visual communication images our society is permeated with, graphic applications have been developed to achieve innovative new solutions over the last few decades. In this respect, a special plate has been designed to highlight a content of a printed product by varnishing it.

    In fact, printing process may be finished by adding a layer of clear transparent as well as metallic or specifically colored varnish over definite printed areas. A varnishing plate is usually mounted around a roller with compressible material in between to enable uniform pressure and varnish distribution. Varnishing plates used with offset and flexography machines are made of elastomeric material i.e. polyester or aluminium , covering the printed areas to be varnished. The shape of the parts to be varnished is traced by cutting the plate with the use of a cutter or CAD plotter, so that the varnishing plate covers the areas to be coated. Care must be taken when cutting the plate in order not to damage the elastomeric material owing to deep cuts.

    To avoid uncut edges with relevant smudged images a sharp blade has to be used. Varnish is applied thanks to an adhesive layer which can imply thermal or solvent processing. Once the varnish has adhered to the printed surface, the remaining parts of the plate can be removed by stripping. Varnishing plates are manufactured with different thicknesses and may be compatible with acrylic, water-based or UV varnishes and metallic inks as well. The improvements in varnishing plates production has achieved such a level nowadays that the image coating is more and more uniformly performed with a high number of copies, exceeding 500.000 runs per plate.

    The new generation of varnishing plates include models which require neither the use of solvents nor washing out during the printing process. Varnish uniformity and durability are however maintained so that varnishing can be successfully applied to printed products designed not only for commercial purposes but also to be more water and scrap resistant or durable under any wearing condition.