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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
guarantee 100% Plate mounting without sticky back The Most Accurate in The World US LLC Twinlock requires a minimum sleeve wall thickness of 0.060" Compressibility and adhesion guaranteed for life of sleeve Twinlock is guaranteed to be accurate within +/- 0.001" Warranty Polymount US LLC • 126 West Bledsoe Road • Newnan GA, 30265 • United States of America • T: 770 683 2629 • F: 770 683 2636 Head office: The Netherlands Find your Polymount company nearby Sales offices in: France • Germany • Hong Kong • Sweden • England • Production and sales in: Czech Republic • United States www.polymount-int.com Polymount’s self-adhesive sleeves eliminate the need for sticky back. Plate mounting has never been easier. By simply cleaning the sleeve surface, the tackiness is re-activated and ready to hold the next set of plates, saving you lots of time and money. Twinlock sleeves have a permanent adhesion and compressibility. Different durometers and high accuracy will bring you top-quality printing. The Polymount sleeve does not only bring you more efficiency in the mounting room, it also brings you very consistent printing quality. The high quality Polyurethane foam does not wear out. Hundreds of flexo printers worldwide have adopted the self-adhesive sleeve in their daily production. The Polymount self-adhesive sleeve also offers award winning print quality. Last year’s “FTA Best of show award” was printed on Twinlock sleeves. Not only is Twinlock good for your bottom line, it is also a very sustainable solution and takes very good care of the environment at the same time. 110-110011[advertentie]def.indd 1 18-12-2011 13:17:23 Speaking to specifics on sheet photopolymer printing plates and processing systems, the following generalities hold: • Both analog & digital forms are available • Workflow is relatively simple • Plates hold high line screens and fine lines • Afford creation of flat top dots while maintaining a digital workflow • Related imaging & processing equipment is readily avail- able among multiple sources • Processing solvents are used, but new systems are mostly self-contained and keep platerooms clean and air well circulated • Manufactured to a very tight thickness tolerance in a variety of thicknesses • Small format (12-in. x18-in.) to large format (52-in. x 80-in.) processing systems are available Sheet Plate aPPlicationS: 1. Narrow web - line work, process, high detail 2. Flexible packaging 3. Preprint liner 4. Digital plates PRoDUction DiFFeRenceS There are some significant differences when comparing production of liquid versus sheet photopolymer plates. While the same basic steps are followed (exposure, washout, dry- ing, and post-exposure), the technique and equipment used to handle these steps is quite different. The major difference between the two production process- es has to do with the way in which the polymer is prepared for exposure. With liquid, the photopolymer resin is extruded from a positive displacement pump over a protective trans- parent film that covers or protects the negative. From there, the material is exposed similar to a sheet plate, with back exposure to establish the floor and face exposure that creates the actual printing image. The same basic steps are followed with respect to washout, drying and germicidal treatment. There is a slight difference with the post exposure in that liquid plates are cured by submerging in a water/saline solution instead of a dry, post exposure with sheet plates. technoloGical aDVanceMentS With regard to technological advancement with liquid photopolymers, research in “capping” resin has gained some newfound interest, especially where improved print and imag- ing is concerned. Studies/tests have produced positive results in the areas of improved resiliency that can offset some inaccuracies of the printing process. It also has produced improved reproduc- tion with both halftone and line work and has shown some success in regard to sharper imaging in the areas of shoulder relief. The combination of a relatively hard durometer with the cap resin, and considerably softer durometer of the base resin, helps to minimize dot growth during impression. The cap thickness is typically no more than .010-in. thick. There has been a great deal of interest with the I-Plate for corrugated applications. Basically, this is a plate that only has the image or printing area of the plate fully exposed. Other ar- eas of the plate that usually have a floor of polymer are elimi- nated, which results in weight reduction, improved handling and ease of mounting that also minimizes worker fatigue and accidents. There can also be major advantages with print registration when these types of plates are produced. Recent software advancements have made it easier to produce these I-Plates automatically, so that operators are not reproducing these slugs and back-mask images by hand. The software can assist in making small-slugged patches for sheet plates, or generating full size back-masking negatives for use with full-pours of liquid plates, automating what has been a very manual process in the design/prepress stage for many years. Ink. Substrate. Quality. Environment. Space. Production Time. These are all factors to consider when choosing the right plate type for your printing application. Both sheet and liquid photopolymers can provide numerous benefits to the platemaker and final print user when the right material is selected for the job. n About the Authors: Randy Reynolds is business manager for AVantageTM liquid photopolymers manufactured by Anderson & Vreeland, Inc. Reynolds is responsible for all external sales and support of AVantageTM liquid photopolymers, in- cluding corrugated, multi-wall and stamp resins. He is a seasoned veteran of the flexo industry with 16 years of sales and management experience. Jessica Harkins is technologies manager for Anderson & Vreeland, Inc. Prior to 2010, she worked for Esko Artwork as the Flexo Implementation Quality (FIQ) supervi- sor with a strong focus in digital laser imag- ing, platemaking, fingerprinting presses, and software, including HD Flexo and Digital Flexo Suite applications. She also worked for Schawk in Chicago as the technical director, where she engaged in research and development work on digital plates, press curves, and photopolymer in-the-round. Jessica is a graduate of Clemson University with a degree in Graphics Communications. Randy Reynolds (A&V), Rob Moseley and Sam Merenda (Graphics 2 Press) standing by an In-position plate. 48 FLEXO octobeR 2012 www.flexography.org