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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
Industry Indicators © 2012 DuPont. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPontTM and Cyrel® are trademarks or registered trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. See how DuPontTM Cyrel® offers higher print quality at high speed, with shorter turn-around times and a smaller environmental footprint. For higher quality at high-speed. HIGHEST SPEED AND QUALITY IN THE FINEST DETAIL. www.cyrel.com/na DPG-Cyrel-Ad-Orange-FLEXO.indd 1 9/28/12 3:42 PM Digital Workflows: A Myriad of Choices Digital options Expand in the search for Higher Print Quality By ray Bodwell with Mark Mazur History has shown that the introduction of laser ablation mask (LAMs) based digital platemaking, in the late 1990s, resulted in a dramatic overall improvement in flexographic print quality. Digital plates with integral LAMs layer produced finer highlights, longer tonal range, more open reverses and outstanding linework. Despite the high cost of platesetters and the initially higher cost of digital plates, the flexo industry almost immediately began the transition from an analog to a digital workflow. Specifically: • The flexible packaging and tag and label segments were the first to move to digital • Folding carton and corrugated market segments followed soon after • Current estimates are that well over 80 percent of all flexo plates made in North America are now digital One of the often overlooked contributors to the improve- ment associated with digital quality was the simplicity of 32 FLEXO octoBEr 2012 www.flexography.org The evolving DigiTal PrePress WorkfloW • The transition from analog to digital plates improved the quality and consistency of flexography • Digital prepress workflow has historically been seen as more robust than analog. • In the search for still higher levels of quality, manufacturers have introduced workflow options that potentially improve quality, but at the cost of increased complexity. • Different segments may benefit from different technologies • Choosing a path forward for your company, satisfy your needs for consistency and productivity, while meeting your customers’ requirements for quality, service and price Precision measurement tools, such as the BetaFlex Pro, can be used to supplement densitometers and the trained human eye in confirming minimum dot sizes for fine screen rulings and differentially modulated screens. Photos: DuPont. 3rd Annual Plate/ Platemaking/Sleeve Selection Guide