As a global company, 3M has flexographic expertise in countries around the world. We asked some of our expert engineers to talk about the flexographic printing industry and how 3M can help customers thrive as the industry continues to evolve.
Flexographic printing is an entirely different world from when it was invented over a century ago. Presses get faster, the color gamut expands and the technology gets smarter. In addition, the demands keep coming: better quality with shorter press runs (more changeovers) and quicker turnaround – all at lower prices. Technology upgrades help, but meeting these goals still requires the expertise and craftsmanship of you and your team, both on the press and in the mounting room.
You’ve also changed. You’ve been practicing the craft and art of printing, every day, for years. There’s nothing more fulfilling than perfecting your craft and seeing your customer satisfied with the work you produce.
We have our experts, too. People around the world who understand that flexographic printing involves many different products working together, both on and off the press, to get from a bare substrate to a printed work of art. Our experts are passionate about bringing value beyond products and helping you thrive as the industry continues to evolve.
One of the challenges our experts enjoy is the sheer variety of possible solutions. As Mat Waddell, Senior Application Engineer at 3M USA, says, “Every printer has their own set of best practices and challenges even though they all use flexo tape.” Sergey Novozhilov, Senior Application Engineer for 3M Russia, agrees: “I love the uncertain answers in flexo because it’s a complicated process with a lot of variable parameters, [so] in each case there are several right answers, not only one.”
Problem-solving is an immediate need, but we also want to partner with you on educating your teams and helping them learn how everything works together, including products from other suppliers. Omar Arias, Senior Application Engineer with 3M Mexico, emphasizes the importance of “training programs that set guidelines in the industry and that facilitate plant managers with their operational staff training.”
Russia to Mexico. Canada to Brazil. Germany to the United States. 3M has experts all around the world who appreciate the immense pride that craftspeople in the press and mounting rooms take in their time-honored work. That worldwide reach also helps 3M keep up to date on the latest trends and lead innovation in the flexographic printing industry. While our experts are focused on their own regions, they also communicate and network with each other. That means when you talk to one of them you’re also taking advantage of what their colleagues around the globe have learned.
Our Application Engineers don’t just work with customers, they also interact with the makers of other inputs from presses to inks to understand how everything comes together in the printing process. Ann Michaud, Division Scientist in Application Engineering for 3M USA, says “The [flexo] industry works together in a unique way to bring technology to continue to drive growth, while also focusing on total process improvements.” At 3M, we understand that while we need to be experts in flexographic printing, we also need to understand the other components and variables and how they all interact on the press: where 3M science meets your craft.