Microdots and/or registration crosses are used to achieve precise and consistent alignment of different colors and elements in the design printed on press and while both are used for alignment, they have important differences.
Microdots are small marks that are made in non-visible areas of the design, which are later transferred to the flexographic plate, so that when it is printed they are detected by the press registration system, allowing the machine to automatically adjust the position of the plate. Microdots are very useful in designs with multiple colors, where precise alignment is critical to ensure the quality of the final product.
Registration crosses are marks in the shape of crosses, placed in areas of the design where different colors overlap, to ensure that the colors of the plates are perfectly aligned. These crosses are placed in a small space between the colors to allow correction and adjustment of the position of the printing plates during the printing process.
Registration crosses and microdots are two tools used in flexo printing for the same purpose, however there are some key differences between them:
Size: Microdots are very small dots, usually less than a millimeter in diameter, while log crosses are typically a few square millimeters.
Location: Microdots are often placed in non-visible areas of the printed design, while registration crosses are often placed in areas where colors in the design overlap.
Function: Microdots are used to help the press detect the position and movement of the build plate relative to the printed substrate, allowing adjustments to maintain proper alignment of designs. Registration crosses are used to verify that different colors are properly aligned and allow adjustments to be made to the registration of different colors during the printing process.
Design: Microdots can be printed in any design and can be used for any type of printing, while registration crosses are specifically used in designs where colors overlap.
As you can see, both are essential in flexographic printing to ensure high quality and precision printing in the production of packaging, labels and other printed products. Which of them to use? It will depend on your printing process; If you have any concerns about it, do not hesitate to contact us, we will gladly advise you.