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.

Toyo Ink America rolls out new product lineup at Labelexpo Americas

Toyo Ink America, LLC announced that it will be presenting a new lineup of printing ink and dispenser systems at the 2014 Labelexpo Americas. This is an exciting event for Toyo Ink America as the company will be rolling out an expanded array of products and solutions, including UV ink products from Belgium-based Arets Graphics NV, a Toyo Ink Group company.

Labelexpo Americas is the largest show in North, South and Central America for the label, product decorating, web printing and converting industry. The exhibition will run from September 9 to 11, at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Toyo Ink America will be located in booth 3009 and urges all customers and interested parties to come and learn more about the products and services offered by Toyo Ink America.

High Strength Inks for Label and Flexible Packaging Applications

Labelpro: Formulated from the latest resin and pigment technology available, Labelpro is an ultra clean, water-based printing ink system, which offers high strength and low viscosities. Labelpro process inks are highly resoluble and offer the lowest dot gain in the industry. Labelpro works on a variety of substrates for various end uses.

Steraflex: A high strength, fast curing UV flexo ink system ideally suited for label and flexible packaging markets. Steraflex, where European technology meets Japanese innovation, brings innovation and versatility to the marketplace.

PowerFlex SS: Toyo Ink America’s answer to the shrink sleeve market. This system offers fast curing, high strength and superior shrink properties for the printer. Works on a variety of shrink applications and substrates.

Innovative Ink Dispenser for UV Flexo Printing
Developed in Japan, Toyo Ink’s latest ink dispenser system is capable of producing spot inks ranging from 100g to 4kg in a single operation. Ink quantity can be produced according to customers’ specific needs, from prototyping to small-lot production.

Recovery Indicators Have a Good Month

The recovery indicators have strengthened again with the NASDAQ having a good month, and the ISM manufacturing indicators had an exceptional month, with a big increase in new orders. The ISM non-manufacturing new orders declined slightly, but that inde…

Fujifilm is out to change minds about printing labels and packaging at LabelExpo

Featuring Graphium, a UV Inkjet Press, and Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates, North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division is gearing-up for Labelexpo 2014, and will demonstrate these label printing innovations within their “What’s Changing” themed booth.  
Graphium, a versatile UV digital inkjet press, is specifically designed for labels, packaging, and specialty print; its unique design provides the ultimate versatility and functionality while incorporating inkjet, flexographic printing, and finishing, all in one.

At Fujifilm booth # 5621 attendees will experience the Graphium digital press with inline flexo print a variety of ‘fit to purpose’ label applications. Each day at the show, Fujifilm will demonstrate hourly how this hybrid system can print digital CMYK, under white, over white, flexo spot colors and varnish by adding up to six flexo stations. The daily demonstrations will also feature high quality Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates, along with the bright, vibrant color of Fujifilm UV Flexo and Waterbase Flexo inks. 

“The direction that packaging is taking in terms of customization and shorter runs requires a solution that incorporates printing and finishing inline,” said Terry Amerine, business development manager – Specialty Media & Equipment, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. “Graphium addresses this need, and will enable Fujifilm to change minds about how the printing for labels and packaging is done.”

The Graphium hybrid UV inkjet press on the show floor will be running the new Clarity Water Washable Flexo Plates. Capable of printing up to 200 lpi with a true flat top dot, and with a processing time of just 30 minutes, Clarity  is three times faster than solvent systems, one and half time faster than thermal, and 25% faster than competitive water wash plates.

“Clarity flexo plates are an industry changing technology, advancing image quality while eliminating solvents and thermal processing,” said Jon Fultz, business development manager –Packaging, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. “Adding flexo plates and offering platesetters through our new agreement with Esko, along with our industry leading flexo inks and also the Graphium hybrid inkjet press, this truly demonstrates our commitment to be the leading supplier in the packaging industry.”

Graphium is driven by Fujifilm XMF Workflow. XMF is an end-to-end workflow system based on JDF specifications and Adobe APPE technology. With tighter integration, XMF and Graphium work together to produce jobs quicker and easier. XMF’s productivity has an advanced approval tool to help accelerate the proofing process, and it also supports a hybrid workflow to control both offset and digital printing.

“We will demonstrate software solutions that meet customer needs for everything from design to proof, and RIP and print,” said Jason Kammes, business development manager – Workflow and Xerox product solutions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division.
Fujifilm is out to change how you print labels and packaging. Forever.

Rise in Omni-Channel Shopping- What Printers Need to Do?

Printers are used to thinking of themselves as (at least in times gone by) as craft-based manufacturers. The rise of the information age coupled with mobile commerce has meant that printers are quickly moving to embrace web-to-print and e-commerce. Printers should also consider a team, perhaps a wholly separate team, thinking like retailers. So read…