Avery Dennison (AD): How is Fas-Flex Plate Mounting Tape used?
Chris Blackwell (CB): Generally speaking, plate-mounting tape is a product that flexographic press owners and operators know very well. It's a double-coated foam tape, engineered with a differential adhesive on each side. A press operator adheres one side of the tape to the cylinder, and the other side to the print plate. The tape holds the plate in place during the print run. A high-quality plate-mounting tape, like Fas-Flex, is critical. It can make or break the quality of a print job.
AD: So, is this a new product for Avery Dennison Performance Tapes?
CB: It’s a new product, yes, that uses and builds on technologies we’ve owned and developed for nearly five decades. Avery Dennison has provided tapes to the electronic, automotive, printing and packaging, and countless other industries since 1969.
AD: What makes the Avery Dennison Fas-Flex portfolio stand out? Why should a converter choose it?
CB: I summarize the advantages with three words: simple, easy and direct. “Simple” because the portfolio is so streamlined. It’s three products—soft, medium, and hard—that are optimized for process/CMYK, combination, and solid printing, respectively. They’re even color-coded red, white and blue, to help with selection.
“Easy” because the service is unbeatable. We’ll cut Fas-Flex to a customer-specified width, and only charge for what’s ordered (some competitors cut to order, but still charge based on the full width of the tape roll). We’ll also ship within 48 hours of receiving the order. Converters get the product faster, and can take a more just-in-time approach to their inventory.
“Direct” because converters buy directly from, and work directly with, Avery Dennison—a company they know and trust. And they get support from the Avery Dennison people. It’s a level of service simply not offered by our competitors, who typically sell through third-party distributors.
AD: Can you tell me a little about the technical characteristics of the Fas-Flex portfolio?
CB: Of course. As I mentioned before, Fas-Flex benefits from Avery Dennison’s five decades of technical leadership in the tape space. It’s truly engineered to perform.
The tape is 0.017” (0.43mm) thick, constructed of a foam core with polyethylene film on both sides to offer an extremely consistent caliper. That consistency is critical for producing high quality print work every time, with minimal dot gain. The closed cell foam structure easily rebounds from compression during printing. And, the tape is designed to minimize vibration, gear chatter, and bouncing at high press speeds.
It’s also extremely simple to use. Fas-Flex is easy to apply to the cylinder, and can be easily removed or repositioned. It also peels cleanly when the run is finished, leaving little to no adhesive residue. All this helps press operators save time and effort otherwise spent prepping the cylinders, fixing mistakes, and cleaning up between runs. Saving a few minutes here and there can add up for converters looking to manage costs and operate more efficiently.
AD: What about pricing?
CB: Fas-Flex is priced competitively. I think that when many converters weigh the cost with everything the Fas-Flex portfolio provides—the technical characteristics, and the benefits of simplicity and ease—they’ll find that it truly is a better overall value. Our sales representatives can walk converters through those economics.