While flexography is a very cost-effective print process particularly for packaging, there are times when there have been other preferred print processes, especially as it relates to print quality.
So what has prevented flexo printing from matching the 'high quality' processes like gravure and offset? It is the tonal jump at the end of a vignette to zero, caused by the fact that even digital flexo plates can only correctly print dots above a specific minimum size.
With 4000ppi imaging technology, it is possible to easily hold 10-micron dots on digital flexo plates, but unfortunately these dots are not mechanically stable enough. They bend or squeeze during print. Thus, transitions to zero--as well as very light image details--cannot be printed with today's standard flexo printing process. We call this the 'Flexo Problem'.