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FLEXO Magazine : November 2010
Smaller printed dots are the critical path capability for reach- ing the ‘next level’ in flexo, and LUX enables their creation. . Al though industry-standard measurement tools like the Be- taflex measure LUX dots as larger than the smallest standard digital dots, the LUX dots print with less gain and actually yield smaller printed dots (Figure 4). Of course, to get the best out of LUX, you will need to adjust your prepress to take advantage of the 1:1 mask:plate imaging characteristics LUX delivers, and adjust your gain curve to achieve your color management targets. A three-stage proto- col has been developed that allows the systematic definition of the adjustments needed: 1. One-color print test to define the LUX print gain curve. This can also be used to test backing tape, anilox, and other options at the same time. From this test, the needed ‘cutback’ curve is defined. 2. Four-color print test to verify the cutback curve and define the color space with the LUX plate. 3. Full production jobs with optimized prepress and print conditions. This protocol has been repeated many times in locations across the globe, and LUX is in daily use worldwide. If the print benefits of LUX dots were not enough reason to take a serious look at this option, the ease of integration into existing digital platemaking makes it even more appeal- ing. There is no huge investment in new equipment with LUX. It does not interfere with your established digital workflow, and it does not restrict platemakers to one plate. The LUX process requires only the addition of a laminator, a proprietary membrane laminate, and about 5 minutes of time compared to an existing digital platemaking workflow. LUX works with all MacDermid digital flexo plates, from Digital MGC (low du- rometer) to Digital MVP (mid durometer) to Digital MAX (high durometer), as well as Digital EPIC, a capped mid durometer plate. It can be used with plates from 0.045 in / 0.1.14 mm up to 0.250 in / 6.34 mm in thickness, and plate sizes all the way up to the largest available - 52 x 80 inches. You do not render all your existing files obsolete, because you can use LUX when you need it, and use your standard digital workflow when you don’t. And because it uses existing photopolymers, the materials themselves are already proven to be durable, cost-effective, and dependable. And this confidence is backed by the millions of feet of printing experience already gained since LUX was introduced in May 2010. LUX offers platemakers and printers an entrée into the world of flat-topped dots that is effective at raising the capabili- ties of flexo print while also being simple, versatile, and af- fordable. Because innovation in flexo isn’t about miracles, it’s about making it easy to get better results. Figure 2 Impression Level 1 Impression Level 2 Impression Level 3 Figure 3 The Edge ? ? Standard Digital Dot LUX Digital Dot Dot (%), measured on plate Dot(%),measureinprint Digital MAX with LUX Digital MAX Figure 4 fall conference edition FLX_Nov10_mech.indd 19 11/1/10 2:19 PM
Sustainable Fall 2010