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Flexo newspapers benefit from color, ease of use. (Downstream).

There are a number of newspapers that use flexo for their printing process. According to the Flexo Vendor Alliance, there are 37 publication printers using flexo. These include major newspapers such as the Boston Herald, Chattanooga Times/Free Press and Wichita Eagle.

The key advantages newspaper industry leaders point to are more vivid colors and ease of use. For the ink industry, partnering with printers to develop innovative solutions and provide the support they seek are the keys to success.

Meeting the Needs of Printers

Newspaper printers point to numerous benefits of using water-based flexo, including its simplicity.

"We use water-based flexo," said Frank Anthony, vice president and director of operations at the Chattanooga Times/Free Press. "It's a simple ink, made up of water, pigments and a resin. The colors are brighter and more vivid, and there's better detail and less dot gain."

Mr. Anthony said that having the ability to try new approaches that may benefit advertisers and readers is a plus for flexo.

"An advantage for flexo is that we are able to print with ink other then traditional CMYK," Mr. Anthony said. "We have experimented with metallics and fluorescents, and you can't do that with offset. I look for an ink company that's willing to partner with me when I'm experimenting, and who can share their expertise."

The Wichita Eagle has been using flexo printing since 1997, and will be 100 percent flexo by July. Kevin Desmond, vice president of floor operations for the Wichita Eagle, said that color consistency and support from ink vendors is essential.

"The gray and the hue values of the ink are important to us," Mr. Desmond said. "We are looking for the type of vendor who can provide these values as well as the service support that we need."

Whether flexo will make further strides in newspapers remains uncertain, but ink companies that can supply service and innovative products should continue to do well in the newspaper flexo market.

(For more information on newspaper flexo, please see "The Flexo Report" on page 26.)
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Author:Savastano, David
Publication:Ink World
Date:May 1, 2002
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