Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Friday, September 5, 2014

Asahi Photoproducts’ new pinning top dot digital flexo plate technology offers a leap in highlight quality for packaging

Asahi Photoproducts has launched a premium digital photopolymer flexo plate technology with a special pinning top dot, which enables a wide colour space, vibrant colour reproductions, soft tonal shades and improved productivity.

A feature of both Asahi’s solvent-washable TOP and water-washable AWP plates, the company’s Pinning Top Dot technology (PDT) enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced downtime as well as significant quality improvements.

The Pinning Dot Technology allows a kiss-touch printing pressure setting. It makes use of low plate surface tension, made possible by a specially engineered Asahi polymer chemistry, to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results in a cleaner and homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate.

Furthermore, the higher pinning point allows reduced printing pressure throughout the printing run, regardless of ink set used. This leads to lower dot gain, especially in the highlight areas, as well as smooth and soft vignettes fading out to zero with a wider total colour gamut. The lower pressure also allows longer plate life.

Dr. Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager, Asahi Photoproducts Europe, comments: “The arrival of the PTD plate range is ideal for applications such as high-end flexible packaging, where premium, pristine point-of-sale presentation is essential. It enables brand-owners and retailers to achieve the consistent, high standards normally associated with gravure and, at the same time, benefit from the relatively low ownership costs of the flexo process.” 

Suited for solvent, water and UV-based inks as well as high-quality film and coated paper substrates,  Asahi’s PTD plates offer a resolution of 80 l/cm (200 lpi), minimum isolated dot of 150 µm micron, and is available in thicknesses of 1.14mm (shore A hardness 77) and 1.70mm (shore A hardness 69).  It is compatible with all commonly available laser types, as well as the latest high-definition microcell screening technology.

The PTD family range comprises the solvent-washable TOP plate for the solvent washable process and water-washable AWP plate. Ideally suited for the repro-house, TOP offers easy integration in existing work flows without the need for additional machine investment cost.

The AWP plate combines time-saving and quality advantages demanded by the printer with in-house plate making. In addition to the advantages of the solvent plate, AWP offers access time to the press of just one hour. Also, because of the elimination of solvent and the subsequent drying process, the AWP plate features excellent register performance and is easier to register on press. The plate is especially beneficial in situations where last-minute job changes are commonplace and fast makeready times are essential.