This is seen as uneven edges around the printed dot. Ink builds up around the dots and text, which increases the printing surface and area of the dots. Feathering is caused by incorrect printing pressure, too much ink or dried ink on plate.

Incorrect printing pressure.
Too much ink or dried ink on plate, caused by inconsistent ink transfer or wrong Anilox volume
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Printing pressure is incorrect.
Ink dries on the printing plate.
Inadequate ink transfer (too much ink).
Inadequate ink viscosity.
Adjust drying speed in relation to printing speed.
Inadequate solvent mix.
Pick-up of debris and dust from the substrate.
Static electricity.

Adjust pressure between anilox and printing plate.
Clean the printing plate, increase the printing speed, slow down ink drying by adding retarding agent, make sure that ink trays are covered.
Reset the pressure setting between anilox roll and printing plate cylinder.
Maintain the correct viscosity and avoid large increases in viscosity – use the ink container lids to avoid  xcessive solvent evaporation.
Find the correct balance between printing speed and ink drying speed.
Adjust the balance of the solvent mix.
Wash the printing plate and anilox roller, adjustthe ink viscosity to a lower tack, use a web cleaning device if necessary.
Install an antistatic device.

Helmut Mathes, troubleshooting defects supplied curtesey of Flexo & Gravure Int''l 2011


Flexo is a contact and pressure sensitive process. Increasing printing pressure, influences ink transfer and has a significant impact on print quality and performance

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The shape and consistency of anilox cells makes a huge impact on ink transfer and cleanliness of the inking process to the printing plate.

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The only thing you need is a simple digital workflow. Pre-press Rip creates a 1 bit TIFF input for the laser engraver (seamless is possible). The laser calculates dot formation during engraving.