Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Creation Reprographics enhances quality, sustainability with Asahi Photoproducts AWP Flexographic Plates

Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today announced that British Daventry-based Creation Reprographics has been using the premium quality Asahi AWP flexographic plate system for the past three years with excellent results. Designed for high quality print performance, the AWP water wash plate outperforms the best digital plates currently available for flexo. For the first time, a digital photopolymer plate can hold extremely small stable dots - smaller than those of solvent processed plates – and its stability on press is superior to solvent plates, with numerous associated environmental and waste reduction benefits.

Matt Francklow, Owner of Creation Reprographics, said: “Sustainability is truly coming to the fore in print. With this high quality water wash plate, it’s the final check for retailers. At Creation Reprographics, we have positioned ourselves in the premium segment of the market, competing head on with gravure in Europe and serving those customers that demand the best in the UK. Our AWP results are simply unrivalled – consistency, slightly raised ink density and better lay down, good minimum dot, and speed to press are all achieved - making the printer’s job easy. The system works across all substrates, and we see a real demand for this level of performance in premium flexible packaging applications - a growth area in the industry. Converters looking to move away from gravure and offset are truly surprised by what AWP can achieve.”

Extensive plate trials and live commercial production jobs have proven AWP’s ability to print down to a 10 micron dot, using classic round dot screening. With the latest screening technologies, the plate is able to reproduce a vignette fade to zero. Due to this quality leap, customers are able to successfully transfer production from offset or gravure to flexographic printing.Francklow continued: “At Creation Reprographics, we pride ourselves on our approach to environmental sustainability, and AWP fits with that ethos perfectly. We’re investing in energy management solutions across our sites and even looking at whether we can collect, filter and recycle our rainwater to do the washing of these plates. Even pens get recycled here!”

Alan Coker, Creation Business Development Manager, commented: “Reducing waste in the plate making game is critical to your profitability. Throwing polymer in the bin is just not acceptable. Asahi’s supports our AWP plate technology investment with preventative maintenance and machine audit visits. And they are on hand 24 hours a day, delivering technical solutions quickly and accurately whenever needed, maximising our production efficiency.

“Our customers are delighted as well. Since the plates do not suffer from distortion due to solvent swelling or increased temperature, we are achieving better registration and consistency on press. With the start-up time absolutely minimised, we’re making plates in less than 1.5 hours. Combine that with suitability for 4-colour process set applications, and you have an extremely compelling value proposition.”

The Asahi AWP™ technology has been designed from the outset as an environmental plate solution minimizing wherever possible waste of precious resources. The system is water washable and does not rely on harsh solvents. The water is also reused in the process, being filtered and recycled through the plate processing system. The system is also free from the harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions that are typically generated by solvent and thermal processes.

The entire plate manufacturing process does not generate any waste other than unexposed polymer residues, which are collected as ‘dry cake’ and safely repurposed as a combustive agent for incineration waste plants. AWP plates do not absorb much water, reducing the drying time of the plate by up to two to three times that of solvent cleaned plate systems. This results in cost and space reductions for the plate making room, as energy-demanding hot air dryers are not required.

Esko automation engine Connect receives esteemed Printing Industries of America 2015 Intertech Technology Award

Connectivity to powerful Esko workflow reaps rewards for Esko automation engine users

Esko proudly announces that Automation Engine Connect, a toolkit allowing integration from third party products to an Esko workflow, is a recipient of a 2015 Printing Industries of America InterTech Technology Award. Since 1978 the InterTech Technology Awards have honored the development of technologies predicted to have a major impact on the graphic arts and related industries. More than 80% of technologies that receive an award experience continued commercial success in the marketplace.

This is the eighth InterTech award an Esko solution has received over the past ten years. Other recipients include a wide variety of technologies: Esko WebCenter (2006), Esko DeskPack 3-dX (2007), Esko Neo (2008), Esko Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves (2011), i-cut Suite (2012), Full HD Flexo (2014) and Equinox (2014).

“We are thrilled to receive an InterTech award from Printing Industries of America this year. Esko has a legacy of investing a much higher portion of our budget into R&D than the industry average. We believe in innovation as a means to help our customers conduct their jobs more easily, productively and profitably. Automation Engine Connect is certainly an example of creating software technology to help our customers design complete, more efficient workflows," remarks Udo Panenka, Esko President. "We understand that it is important for our workflow systems to communicate with third party systems. Similarly, we listen to our customers' challenges, and strive to build more effective solutions for them. That is the ultimate reward for us."

Esko Automation Engine Connect: an easy way to integrate third party systems
Even though many in the printing industry have pushed connectivity, not all systems are JDF, or even XML, compliant. And, even if they are, it does not mean that data from one system maps out correctly to another system. This means that when a print provider wishes to tie in the production workflow to outside systems – ERP, MIS, web-to-print, shipping systems, etc. – there will often be a challenge. This usually requires, for just about any other workflow, customized programming to create a way to connect systems together.

Esko has significantly reduced the cost of integration for its customer base with Automation Engine Connect, the only toolkit offered specifically by a workflow vendor expressly developed to integrate other, disparate business systems. There is no other application on the market that is deeply rooted into the workflow server itself. Automation Engine Connect provides a toolkit that allows integration from a third party product with an Esko component, such as WebCenter, Automation Engine or ArtiosCAD. This means that MIS, web stores, finance and shipping systems, and more, can all be integrated into the workflow. Automation Engine Connect is easy to install. While Esko provides the service to map and connect data, those who are knowledgeable in IT can do it themselves. With Automation Engine Connect there is no reliance on anyone who creates a customized system to continue maintaining the system. Automation Engine Connect is also scalable. If the business invests in more, or new, systems, Connect can easily make sure that these systems are integrated into Automation Engine. Among the numerous applications that have been connected to Automation Engine are packaged MIS systems such as EFI Radius, LabelTRaxx, CERM and Theurer; custom systems based on Microsoft Excel and FileMakerPro; and even one user who connects to World Weather Online to understand wind conditions when planning outdoor mounting activities for billboards.

"When we purchased our MIS system, it was taking too much time for prepress to duplicate CSR efforts, entering similar job information into the production system. We invested in Automation Engine Connect," comments Rebekah Harmon, Art Director, Best Label Company." After the system was set up, it was easy to use. Now, our artists probably can process 50 jobs per day. Before Connect, we only could produce 30 per day."

Flexokliche provides design, prepress services and plates for packaging applications. "We had purchased our MIS system purely on how it handled and worked. But, we had not thought much about future integration. We started a simple XML transfer, but it never worked," remembers Linda Ekehage, Owner, Flexokliché. "I do not know how Esko does it, but Esko Automation Engine Connect works. Once we got in touch with the right people from our MIS developer to understand the data files, it was really easy. It took Esko only about eight hours. We can now look up jobs easily in Automation Engine and keep track. Now that order information is sent directly to Automation Engine my bookkeeping time is 50% faster. And that is just a small part of the workflow chain. All of the designers and account managers save time as well."

“The judges commented that Automation Engine Connect is the start of a new and simplified approach to connecting disparate systems. The user interface makes it very user friendly to connect systems. It's simple and effective, and takes lots of extra work away from the user," notes Dr. Mark Bohan, Vice President, Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America. “The judges were also very impressed with the wide array of systems that have been connected with Esko Automation Engine Connect in real installations."

iSys Label receives GHS BS5609, Section 3 Certification for UPM Raflatac Substrate

iSys Label and iSys–The Imaging Systems Group Inc., the Canadian developers and manufacturers of short to mid run digital label printers, are pleased to announce an additional GHS BS5609 material has passed Section 3 certification for use in the EDGE 850 digital label printer. The recently approved substrate is matte white polyester from UPM Raflatac, with part number LS276R. Rolls of material can be purchased from iSys-appointed converters in the United States.

Randy Rickert, Director at iSys Label, says “we’ve developed a strong relationship with UPM Raflatac over the years and are pleased to announce the addition of their substrate to our Certified Media Library. This material will provide our users with access to more solutions when printing BS5609-compliant labels.”

In order to print fully-compliant drum and chemical labels; the facestock, adhesive and printed graphic all need to meet the requirements for sections 1, 2 and 3 of BS5609 standards and be independently tested and certified by PIRA (the Print Industry Research Association). The printed labels are exposed to artificial weathering, tape removal and abrasion resistance tests to ensure they are capable of withstanding the harshest environments and prove their durability.

The EDGE 850 “GHS Solution” is a roll to roll digital label printer and comes complete with the printer, feeder, rewinder and EDGE2Print software. With easy-to-use drag and drop software and print speed of 4.3 m/min., iSys Label makes simple work of printing full-color chemical labels on demand. Users will eliminate the need for ordering pre-printed labels, reduce inventories and wait times by being able to customize their labels with variable information and full color - all in a single pass.

iSys Label is the innovative developer and manufacturer of short to mid run digital label printers that deliver production quality labels print after print. Our focus is on developing customized product configurations to fit our customers’ needs and provide effective solutions that meet their highest expectations.

MPS Presses made Future Ready with New GEW LED UV Curing Technology

Embracing new developments and technologies, MPS prepares its printing presses for the future of LED with the integration of the new GEW hybrid LED UV system, to be exclusively unveiled at Labelexpo Europe 2015.

MPS is the first narrow web press manufacturer to show the new GEW hybrid LED UV system (ArcLED), integrated with the next generation EF Neo flexo printing press. Labelexpo Europe visitors interested in LED curing can visit the MPS stand 11C20 to see live demonstrations, where MPS will show both LED and arc UV curing in combination with low migration inks of the Flint Group for label and film applications. With this combination, the MPS press will run at high speed using less energy, for the same running capacity. Due to the high intensity of UVA illumination with LED, heavy ink layers are cured more consistently with improved adhesion.

MPS technical director Bert van den Brink comments: “The main difference and biggest advantage of this showcased GEW ArcLED curing system, compared to other LED systems, is the ability to combine and interchange conventional arc lamps with LED curing at every print station. This hybrid system also provides MPS customers the flexibility to upgrade to LED at a later stage, so they can fully utilize the advantages of both technologies without the need to re-invest or modify their press.”

What also makes this hybrid UV curing system advantageous for our customers is the opportunity to move towards LED curing without the risk of being locked into the technology on the entire press. We recognize that further LED developments are underway, and the total ink portfolio needed for certain print jobs is not yet available in LED curing. However, the industry (including MPS) recognizes the developments in the field of LED will evolve rapidly, just like the change of infrared to UV. With the GEW hybrid LED UV system, MPS offers customers the ability to prepare for LED evolvements with a practical and cost-efficient solution.”

With the new GEW ArcLED curing system, the same lamphead casing is used with interchangeable pull-out cassettes for arc and LED, including the same power supply and control. The associated RHINO-ArcLED power supply automatically recognises the type of cassette being used and adapts all parameters accordingly, including the correct power type and running parameters.

According to Marcus Greenbrook, International Sales Manager at GEW, “Our new LED UV curing system is compatible with the widest range of substrates, and it increases machine uptime because of less maintenance. It also reduces energy consumption, as with LED instant on-off switching means no energy is consumed when the printing machine is idle between jobs.

The ArcLED UV system is a future-proof technology showing considerable energy savings, optimizing processes, and maximizing ink compatibility. It increases machine productivity as well as providing the possibility to run a fully flexible hybrid curing system.”

Labelexpo Europe visitors interested in more information about the new GEW ArcLED system are invited to visit MPS in stand 11C20, or GEW in stand 6C18.

With a tagline - MPS. Operator Focused, Results Driven - MPS is a worldwide, well-known and high-quality brand of flexo and offset press solutions for label and flexible packaging printers. By providing extensive knowledge and world-class service to enhance the printing process, MPS helps customers excel.MPS has a team of experts when it comes to knowledge of the printing process and desired results in label and flexible packaging print runs. We share and apply our expertise every day, and can offer a specific solution for every customer.