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FLEXO Magazine : February 2010
38 FLEXO FEBRUARY 2010 www.flexography.org • Misconception: a hard durometer plate will deliver excellent dot quality but may not offer a satisfactory solid. • The latest advancements in cushion tape technology have changed the rules balancing both dot quality and solid ink density. • Under impression, analog plate can utilize some of the softer tapes in the marketplace to minimize dot gain. The combination of harder durometer plates and firmer mounting tapes is lending to better print quality across all segments. All art courtesy DuPont Packaging Graphics. When considering the best path to an optimized and efficient manufacturing environment, one should first explore and understand many of today's best practices. Even though the concepts of flexography haven't changed over the last 10 years, there have been significant advancements in plate, cushion, anilox, doctor blade and press technology. Once combined and optimized, each of these essential elements has collectively raised the bar mak- ing flexo an attractive alternative to gravure and lithography. DIGITAL PLATE UNIQUENESS One of the early enablers in the technological evolution of flexo was the digital photopolymer plate. Since its introduction at drupa in 1995, the digital plate has brought the flexo industry to higher levels of print consistency and uniformity. With its sharper highlight dots, smooth vignette transition and deep open reverses the digital photopolymer plate has given today's printers and converters an overall reduction in changeover, Harder Durometer Plates and Firmer Cushion Tapes A Discernable Advantage By James Kulhanek TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES