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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Printing -- Flexography Topic Hub: Operations

Basic information on flexographic printing, including pollution prevention options and links to additional resources.

Flexographic Printing Operations

This section describes the working process of printing and specifically that of flexographic printing. Input/Output process diagrams are provided. Tables provide typical material inputs and waste outputs based on the production process and individual departments commonly found in a flexographic printing operation. 

PREPRESS - Imaging Process 

  Inputs   Waste Outputs
  Film   Exposed film, waste and out-of-date film
  Paper   Scrap paper
  Markers and Sprays   Air vapors and odors
  Film Developer   Spent film developer
  Film Developing Fixer   Spent film developing fixer and the silver from the film
  Wash Water   Used rinse water containing film developer & fixer
  Shop towels and other wipers   Rags containing solvents, waste paper from disposable towels
  Cleaning Solutions   Waste solvents, air vapors, and odors
  Chemical Storage   Empty chemical containers, full containers with the potential to spill

 

PREPRESS - Platemaking Process

  Inputs   Waste Outputs
  Rubber, Neoprene, Nitrile, Buna-n Plates   Damaged or unusable plates, waste trim materials, paper and plastic waste, waste silver halides from silver master plates
  Water   Contaminated process wash water
  Plate Processing Solvent or Water   Waste plate processing (washout) solvent or water

 

PRODUCTION - Printing Process

  Inputs   Waste Outputs
  Ink   Waste ink, hazardous waste, non-hazardous special waste (some states), air emissions
  Water   Waste water used in cleaning, thinning inks (water based only)
  Paper   Off-quality specification printed material, trim scrap and make-ready waste paper
  Plates   Outdated or exhausted impression plates
  Solvents   Waste and dirty solvents, hazardous waste, non-hazardous special waste (some states), air emissions
  Shop Towels   Rags containing inks, solvent, oils and grease, waste paper from disposable towels. Hazardous solid waste, non-hazardous special waste (some states)

 

FINISHING - Post Press Operations

  Inputs   Waste Outputs
  Paper   Reject prints and trim scrap
  Adhesives/Glue   Overspill and emissions
  Shipping Boxes   Used boxes, shipping materials
  Shop Towels   Rags containing inks, solvent, oils and grease, waste paper from disposable towels, hazardous solid waste, non-hazardous special waste (some states)
  Water   Waste wash water containing adhesives and solvents, hazardous liquid waste, non-hazardous special waste (some states), non-hazardous process waste
  Solvents   Waste and dirty solvents, hazardous waste, non-hazardous special waste (some states), air emissions

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