Type Height Polymer/Base


We have new polymer plate making technology from Kodak called Flexcel NX. Our new equipments prime target is supplying plates to the flexographic printing industry. The plate technology holds extremely high resolution images. We would like to try printing on a Heidelberg Windmill and could use help determining the correct base height to use in conjunction with our plates. We have .067 and .045 plates. The typical relief is .025 with a floor of .042 and .020 respectively. We can adjust the relief as needed if our .025
is not acceptable.

I know that boxcar produces bases but do not know if our plates will work with their stock bases.

Which plates thickness is the best candidate? What base thickness should I specify?

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I’m assuming this technology is for polyester-backed plates? If that is the case, you might have to have custom bases made as base and plate together must measure .918, and underlays on a Heidelberg, while certainly doable, aren’t the most efficient approach.


Because you are using a polymer based flexo plate, it is going to, first, be hard to get a base that will give you the correct relief height and second, the polymer plate is not hard enough to with hold the pressure of a windmill press. Also, and I’m sure you know, flexo plates are made for “KISS” impressions and not for a lot of pressure. Go through boxcar for the correct plates!

Hope this helps!

We are looking to produce a kiss or near kiss impression. Kodak Flexcel NX plates are the correct plate for our image process. Conventional polymer plates will not work for our needs. We are willing to pay to have Boxcar make custom base. but would like to verify the math before we order it from Boxcar.

Yes our plate has a polyester backer. The total thickness of the plate is either .067” or .045

If .918 is type height and our plate is .067, should our base be .851? ( .918 -.067 - .851 ) or is there more to
the math than (type height) - (plate thickness) = base thickness


In regards to the math, you need to account for the interlay adhesive, which is 4 mil. I don’t know that Boxcar or Elum make custom bases but I have an ink distributor client who makes their own bases (and, from what I have seen, they seem quite precise), and they might be willing. They are also only interested in kiss impression, for obvious reason.



Thanks. It makes sense to add the adhesive in to the equation.

Boxcar website indicates that they can make custom bases including custom thicknesses. We also have a number of quality tool and die companies near by that could probably build what we need.

It seems to me that the substrates thickness should be included in the calculation. What is the normal thickness that is assumed? Is there a range?

Generally the substrate would not be taken into account in determining the height of a printing plate. On a standard American press, the height of rollers, etc. is determined to be .918”. This standard eliminates a lot of fussing with rollers which otherwise would be required if the plate height were adjusted for stock thickness.

The press packing (on platen or cylinder) must be reduced or increased to account for the thickness of the stock being impinted.

J Henry