Sales & Support +44(0)161 9285679

Flexo Proofing

Heaford, the global leader in prepress efficiency.

Flexo proofing in the flexible packaging sector can be used as an alternative to using valuable production time on press for the validation of new designs. It eliminates the need for on-press approvals by producing real production proofs using the same substrates, inks, sleeves, plates, and anilox rollers as your press.

There are two types of flexo proofs: “Paste ink proofing” which is a basic proof with water base acrylic inks applied using a hand roller, the ink is not metered, it is the operators experience that dictates how much ink is applied and how well. It checks register, it shows basic separations and fit. The colours are limited unless an experienced operator wants to carefully mix them. “Wet proofing” uses all the production parameters so the ink is production ink and the anilox meters it, producing a near perfect match to the production result.

Heaford offers a range of flexo-proofing machines capable of producing print samples that mirror those of a production run without the associated costs and press downtime.

Mounter Proofer

A range of mounter proofers to mount and create a physical proof of the plates and the register prior to long production runs. Proofing uses acrylic/paste ink on paper.

Flexo Proof Press

Eliminates the need for on press approvals. Produces real production proofs using the same substrates, inks, sleeves, plates & anilox rollers as your press.


Our flexographic proofers are designed to deliver high quality print samples often required at the print validation stage prior to going into production.

Label Printing

Envelope Printing


Corrugated Printing

Flexo Proofing Products

Heaford’s flexo-proofing solutions are tailored to meet the specific needs of various markets, including flexibles, labels, and corrugated printing. These products are designed to eliminate the need for costly on press print validation trails.

Flexo Proofing – Mounter Proofer

Heaford’s range of mounter proofers are designed for operators seeking high accuracy in both mounting and proofing. With over 25 years of experience in mounter-proofers Heaford are specialists within the market. Whether manual or servo-motorised models, these proofers ensure high reproduction quality. Available in both sleeve or cylinder versions, they support web widths up to 1800mm(71″) and a repeat range from 300mm(12″) to 1500mm(59″). Using acrylic/paste ink on paper guarantees clear proof of plates and their register.

Flexo Proofing – Flexo Proof Press – SDF

Dedicated to elevating the precision of off-press proofs, the Flexo Proof Press by Heaford is your answer to true production replication without sacrificing valuable press time. This solution eliminates the need for on-press approvals and creates proofs that mirror production press samples. With the ability to use production substrates, sleeves, plates, anilox rollers, and inks, including solvent, water, or UV inks, this proof press assures a match of up to 95% of a production sample. It supports web widths up to 1750mm(69″) and a proof length up to 5000mm(197″).

Benefits for our Customers

Cost Efficiency

Replicates press parameters, avoiding the costly mistake of supplying damaged or incorrect plates or needing to run production press trials for customer approvals and prototypes.


Allows the user to produce high quality press like samples with tight registration and accurate colour reproduction.

High Matching Rate

Capable of achieving matches of between 95% and 98% of an actual press production run.

Multiple Applications

Customers can use our flexo proof presses for either quality control of plate-making and continuous sleeves or for obtaining customer approvals and prototypes.

Flexo Proofing FAQs

Please see below the most common questions we’re asked about our range of flexographic proofers from our customers, if you need to know anymore, then please get in touch with our friendly team using the form below.

What are the advantages of flexographic proofing compared to digital proofing?

The advantages of flexo proofing compared to digital proofing are as follows;

Replication of press parameters: Flexo-proofing machines can replicate press parameters, allowing for an accurate representation of the final printed result using actual press inks, substrates and anilox rollers which digital proofs cannot replicate as authentically.

Identification of manufacturing errors: Flexo proofing can identify manufacturing errors in plates and sleeves that may not be detected by digital proofing.

This is particularly important in a process like flexographic printing, which involves multiple variables and potential sources of error. Flexo-proofing helps catch these errors early, ensuring higher print quality and minimising waste.

Versatility in substrate compatibility: Flexo-proofing can be used on many substrates, including plastic, metallic, cellophane, and paper.

This versatility makes it suitable for various industries and applications.

Digital proofing often has limitations in terms of substrate compatibility.

It’s important to note that digital proofing also has advantages, such as showing predicted results to clients using on-screen digital artwork before committing to printing. The choice between flexo and digital proofing depends on factors such as the print job’s specific requirements, the order volume, and the desired level of accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

How does the flexo proofing system work?

The proofing system is a process that involves the use of flexo-proofing presses to produce accurate and realistic proofs of the final printed result. The system works as follows;

  1. Aniloxes, plates, ink, and substrate are selected based on the specific requirements of the print job.
  2. The flexo-proofing press is set up with the selected aniloxes, plates, ink, and substrate to replicate the press parameters.
  3. The press is then used to produce proof of the final printed result, which can be used for customer approval and to show operators what they are trying to achieve.
  4. The prints can be used to produce colour tests and to create realistic prototypes of the final product.

Flexo-proofing presses are available in narrow, mid or wide web, geared or servo-driven, and can be used for cylinders, sleeves, or continuous sleeves.

Servo-driven machines are fully electronic, with motors controlling the rotation and impression settings, and any issues can be dealt with via remote diagnostics.

Flexo proofing can identify faults that digital proofing cannot, such as manufacturing errors in plates and sleeves.

What is the role of colour management and proofing in flexo printing?

Colour management and proofing play crucial roles in flexo printing.

Colour management

Ensures accurate and consistent colour reproduction: Colour management in flexo printing ensures that devices used in the process can produce accurate and consistent colours within and from job to job. This is achieved by calibrating and profiling devices, such as monitors, proofing systems, and printing presses, to ensure colour accuracy and consistency throughout the production process.


Verification of colour accuracy: Proofing is vital in the production process to ensure that the colours printed on the final product match the desired colour specifications. Flexo-proofing systems allow printers to produce real production proofs using the same substrates, inks, sleeves, plates, and anilox rollers as the press. These proofs visually represent how the final printed result will look, allowing for colour verification and adjustments if necessary.

Identification of errors and optimisation: Flexo proofing helps identify manufacturing errors in plates and sleeves that may not be detected by digital proofing. By catching these errors early on, adjustments can be made to ensure higher print quality and minimise waste.

Communication with clients: Proofing also serves as a means of communication. Accurate proofs can be presented to clients for approval, giving them a realistic representation of the final printed result.

This helps ensure that clients are satisfied with the colour and overall appearance of the printed product before it goes into production.