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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
Technologies & Techniques 120904_ACE_NEW_7.5_10.indd 1 06.09.2012 10:36:54 Efficiency, Reliability, Productivity Printing Plates, Processing equipment Hold Key Roles in Meting These Demands By Terri M. stewart In the constantly changing world of packaging printers, more demands are placed on brand owners to further differentiate their products in the market with enhanced designs and features to better catch the eyes of the consumer. With a faster pace of life, convenience portions have created demand for additional sizes, substrates, and func- tional elements to be incorporated in the packaging design. These changes challenge printers to run faster and find new substrates and ink technologies that will provide increased quality and consistency. Additional requirements are also being placed on the pre- press suppliers in terms of efficiency, reliability, and productivity, and the need for improvements in flexo printing plates and pro- cessing equipment plays a key role in meeting those demands. MARKET STANDARDS Flint Group’s nyloflex® ACE plates have been a proven win- ner for the package printer for more than one decade. First introduced in 2001, they quickly became a market standard, winning print awards in North America, Europe and Asia. Why change a proven winner? As new prepress technologies such as high definition flexo and flat top dot (FTD), emerge, it’s important to optimize the photopolymer plates used in conjunction with these technolo- gies. For this reason, Flint Group reformulated its premium, nyloflex® ACE plate to provide benefits on press, such as sharper detail, high contrast images and smoother vignettes. When NEW nyloflex® ACE plates are used in combina- tion with the nyloflex® NExT exposure technology, significant improvements are found with increased solid ink density and excellent ink lay-down, as well as producing flat top dots. Such new plates exhibit outstanding longevity, due to excel- lent solvent resistance and improved cleaning characteristics. Extensive field testing in more than 100 press trials worldwide reveals that fewer press stops for plate cleaning are required, and the plates run longer, saving valuable time and substrate in the process. The transparency of the new plates also allows for easier mounting. Designed for solvent, water and most UV curable flexographic inks, ACE plates remain extremely stable on press. And, in the prepress area, they exhibit a more con- trolled back exposure, providing an even smoother plate floor with a more consistent relief. Only minimal changes to the plate processing conditions are required and no changes with the laser setting, since nyloflex® ACE plates contain the same black mask as the current generation plates. Printing performance mirrors the current technology, so there is no need to re-fingerprint the press or modify existing art files. n About the Author: Terri M. Stewart is director of marketing and inside sales for Flint Group Flexographic Products. She is based in Charlotte, NC. Flint Group Flexographic Products is a global supplier of flexographic printing plates and a leader in sleeve and adapter supply. Its nyloflex® NExT technology represents a high intensity UV exposure technology used to create flat top dots, accommodate surface screening and process digital plates. OPTIMIZED, REFORMULATED PLATES • Sharper Details • High Contrast Images • Smoother Vignettes • Increased Solid Ink Densities • Long Life • Consistent Relief • Stable on Press Designed for solvent, water and most uV curable flexographic inks, ACe plates remain extremely stable on press. in the prepress area, they exhibit a more controlled back exposure, providing an even smoother plate floor with a more consistent relief. 68 FLeXO oCToBeR 2012 www.flexography.org 3rd Annual Plate/ Platemaking/Sleeve Selection Guide