Home' FLEXO Magazine : October 2014 Contents All copy starts printing
at the same time, which
allows graphics to come to
color faster, reduces press
setup time and creates a
more controllable print
result from the beginning
of the pressrun to the end.
The flat top plate structure
and the uniform printing
surface also help extend
the life of a plate two to
five times longer than con-
ventional digital plates.
High fidelity plate technol-
ogy can be combined with
MicroCell technology to
enable printers to texturize
the surface of the plate sol-
ids and screens to reduce
pinholing and provide
higher ink densities, while
improving contrast in
shadow areas (see Image 4).
Pixel Plus is another capability available with high fidelity plate tech-
nology where the art file is sent to the imager and added to the plate at
the same time. It is similar to MicroCell technology, in that they both
texturize the plate to add ink densities, but the process in developing
the texture is different.
It is best when both Microcell and Pixel Plus are available options.
Based on the ink and substrate, the individual requirements and needs
of the plates can frequently determine which process will perform
the best. Being able to offer all of these technologies is a luxury few
plate manufacturers have, so being able to use one of them by itself or
combining it with another is a unique advantage.
One of the newest developments in HD technology is Esko’s Full HD
Flexo system, which can create flat top dot technology at the point
of imaging, rather than going through a second step. Full HD Flexo
provides a unique dot shape that is not a fully conventional digital dot
nor a fully flat top dot; this unique dot shape provides the best of both
worlds within the same plate.
This is the next step in high fidelity and offers the most versatile and
comprehensive solution to today’s graphic demands. The system
• Superior color saturation
• Improved ink laydown
• Solid ink density
The CDI is flexible to match existing workflows while allowing the
option for the next step in graphics reproduction and ink densities for
those who choose.
There has also been the introduction of new photopolymer materials
into the market that are producing very impressive results with the pre
manufactured flat top dot into the photopolymer sheet and the pre
texturizing of the plate surface to address ink densities.
DEMAND & DELIVER THE BEST
Printers don’t need to invest in expensive new equipment to incorporate
high fidelity, flat top Dot, MicroCell and Pixel Plus plate technologies—
plate making using all these resources can be done by outsourcing.
Brand owners are under a lot of pressure to sell product, so it is criti-
cally important that they create graphics that really pop off the shelves
and sell. Current conventional digital plate technology doesn’t do
enough to sharpen images and grab the attention of consumers, and
other options are available that showcase sharp clean high resolution
graphics that literally stand out on the grocery aisle (see Image 5)
High fidelity flexographic plate technology helps narrow web, tag and
label, wide web, corrugated and folding carton printers achieve this
extraordinary graphic quality. n
About the Author: Lee Luckey has been in the flex-
ographic printing plate industry for the past 27 years.
He has advanced throughout his career from sales
rep to manager and now to general manager for Sun
Chemical’s Sun Graphics Prepress/Flexographic Plate
Division. He can be reached at 630-865-5487 or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image 3: Combining high fidelity
benefits and quality with flat top dot
plate technology allows for a smaller
printed dot, less mechanical dot gain
and increased printed linescreen. At
4,000 ppi, high fidelity plates create a
more circular dot and dot spacing than
conventional digital plates.
64 FLEXO | OCTOBER 2014
Image 4: MicroCell technology enables printers to texturize the surface
of the plate solids and screens to reduce pinholing in solids, provide
higher ink densities and improve contrast in shadow areas.
Image 5: Packaging that utilizes high fidelity plate technology is more
vibrant and crisp than with conventional digital plates, producing images
that pop and grab the attention of shoppers in the store aisle.
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