Looking at the number of different substrates and printing materials you can use, flexo probably does have more to offer than digital. However, in reality this argument isn’t really relevant for most printers – it just depends on the type of job.
Take Action Packaging as an example. Prior to installing the Xeikon CX3, the leading supplier of custom and stock labels based in Ellington, CT, was manufacturing labels in-house with its stable of flexographic presses, and outsourcing jobs that were a better fit for digital printing. “The big driver for us to bring digital printing in-house was the printing plates of the flexo machines , which were prohibitive for a lot of people that wanted short runs,” Douglas Rice, president of Action Packaging Systems, says. “If they have ten items, and we’re talking $2,000 worth of printing plates, and it’s a $1,000 job, it got kind of lopsided. Obviously, the perfect solution was digital.”
Action Packaging didn’t abandon flexographic printing, they simply use it more efficiently thanks to the introduction of a digital press.