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FLEXO Magazine : October 2011
platemaking, while still retaining all the other benefits of digital plates. That said, the procedure needed to be fully compatible with both solvent process and thermal pro- cess digital plates and needed to work with the existing front-end and computer-to-plate systems in use in flexo. The objectives of the project were satisfied, and DuPontTM Cyrel® DigiFlow was first introduced on Sept. 1 , 2011 at FLEXOGRAFIA in Sao Paolo, Brazil. OXYGEN, OUR FRIEND Unlike the corrugated solution, where the desire was to reproduce a press performance characteristic similar to analog plates, the new workflow was focused specifically on improving the solid ink coverage without trading off the benefits of the digital dot. This was achieved by reintroducing a small percentage of oxygen back into the controlled atmosphere. By maintaining a low level of oxy- gen in the mix, we are able to retain the fine highlights and consistent dot formation of the traditional digital workflow, while maximiz- ing the effects of solid screening programs, such as EskoArtwork Groovy Screens, HD Flexo Mi- crocell and other solid screening approaches. Printed results show increased contrast and extended color gamut, while retaining the fine highlights and vignettes associated with digital plates. The process of use for controlled atmosphere exposure is actually quite simple. 1. Digital plates are imaged as normal in the CDI, while using one of the commercially available solid screening programs. 2. Once imaging is completed, the plate is placed into the modified exposure unit, where a five minute purge cycle replaces the room air with the controlled atmosphere necessary for the desired result. 3. Main exposure times run slightly longer than standard digital, typically ranging from 10-15 minutes, depending on the intensity of the exposure lamps in use. 4. After exposure, the controlled atmosphere is simply re- leased, and the plate is processed in the same manner as any other digital plate. PREPRESS, PRESS BENEFITS As can be seen in the accompanying photographs, plates made in the controlled atmosphere show well formed features, good shoulder angles and clean profiles whether processed in solvent or thermal systems. Text and linework el- ements have sharp edges, the solid screening programs pro- duce clearly defined cell patterns and the minimum highlight dots long associated with the digital workflow are retained. On press, the screened solids on digital plates exposed in the controlled atmosphere, show significant improvement in solid ink density over the unscreened solid samples, and density in- creases, measuring as much as .40 points higher. In addition, the screened solid patches show a much smoother ink laydown with Measured difference in solid ink density readings on both solvent and thermal process plates using either standard digital workflow (exposure in air) or the controlled atmosphere exposure of plates that have screened solids. 16 FLEXO october 2011 www.flexography.org Thermal Process Plate 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Digiflow STD SolidInkDensity No pattern Pattern Controlled Atmosphere Solvent Process Plate 1.3 1. 35 1.4 1. 45 1.5 1. 55 1.6 Digiflow STD SolidInkDensity No pattern Pattern Controlled Atmosphere EBECRYL® 571 Resin A New Benchmark in Shrink Sleeve Performance & Productivity Email: firstname.lastname@example.org l Worldwide Contact information: www.cytec.com Contact Us Today : US Toll Free: 800-652-6013 l Tel: 973-357-3193 l Belgium: +32 2 560 4511 Trademark Notice: The ® indicates a Registered Trademark in the United States and the TM or * indicates a Trademark in the United States. The mark may also be registered, the subject of an application for registration or a trademark in other countries. © 2011 Cytec Industries Inc. All Rights Reserved. Introducing EBECRYL® 571, Cytec Industries’ newest resin system for UV/EB curable flexographic shrink sleeve printing ink and coating applications. EBECRYL® 571 has excellent pigment wetting, is suitable for process colors and is compatible with metallic and white pigments. Find out more about how EBECRYL® 571 can reduce cost and time while increasing the overall performance of your narrow web energy curable printing by contacting us at the e-mail address and phone numbers listed below.