by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : July 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES company's expertise in imaging flexo plates is playing a role in its growth and success. With so much ongoing improvement in products and solutions in this market segment, Abray is always looking for the next advantage. Autumn Graphics has employed a variety of imaging devices, plates, and workflows to meet customer demands, evaluating each job individually, and finding the perfect balance of quality, throughput and cost. The firm recently became the first Canadian installation of Kodak's FLEXCEL digital platemaking system, which uses thermal imaging technology. The system is currently in what Abray calls the "validation phase," meaning that it has been put into limited production with a few customers who will provide feedback and consulta- tion on the results. "So far," he said, "the benefits are exactly what we hoped for and more. Our customers are finding excellent on press performance and our operators are reporting ease of use in the early stages." Already, customers are reporting an ability to run higher line screens and higher resolutions without any of the drawbacks as- sociated with some earlier generation plate imaging solutions. In several instances, Autumn Graphics has experimented with line screens up to 275 lpi-which was previously unheard of in the flexo industry-and is impressed with the results. With this new system, because the thermal imaging layer is laminated directly to the plate, there is no issue with oxygen at- tack, enabling the formation of stable, full amplitude, flat-top dots on the plate. Also, this process helps ensure that the plates are not likely to plug with ink, so press uptime is dramatically increased and highlight dots and subtle gradations are consistently repro- duced for all applications. The system leverages specifically de- signed software for consistency and accuracy. Some of the other advantages that Abray cites include the ability to print subtle gradations and all levels of gray, highlight dots as small as 10 microns, excellent ink transfer, smooth solids, uniform laydown, and excellent ozone resistance. As more time is spent in production, operators will gain a better understanding of the advantages and have more opportunity to work with custom- ers to maximize the process. According to Abray, the real value of this new technology is in the high-end jobs, not in the basic printruns. Essentially, the more complicated or demanding the job, the more beneficial the qual- ity and consistency of this system becomes. PUSHING LIMITS What Autumn Graphics is finding, as far as on-press perfor- mance benefits go, is that the more advanced the press and the more savvy the customer, the better the results. This system ex- cels at making high-quality printing look even better by driving the press to its limits. With an understanding of what the press is capable of, plate imaging operators are able to maximize the final product. Not only does the print service provider or converter customer realize improved productivity, but often the final pack- age yields a competitive advantage in the market because of its overall print quality. Autumn Graphics has been making plates for a long time and can attest to the challenges and hurdles that are so common in graphic arts imaging. Abray is excited about the future and feels - that the solutions he now has in place will position the company well for future success. With a new 18,000sq.ft, custom-designed facility built in 2002, the company leverages the experience of its 30 employees to deliver quality plates and services to its custom- ers, and having the right tools is critical to maintaining a leader- ship position within the market. "Our customers appreciate our ongoing investment in technol- ogy and our dedication to providing the best quality products," concluded Abray. "They understand that we are a core partner in the process. Our customers value that partnership because we have proven over the years that our focus in this area enables us to surpass what they could accomplish in house, while helping them save money and free their employees to do what they do best. It's a perfect arrangement for both sides, and has helped us build and maintain some very strong relationships over the years." . More information about Autumn Graphics can be found at http://www.autumngraphics.on.caf This article references KODAK's FLEXCEL NX Digital Flexographic System. Providing extreme consistency and high resolution, the FLEXCEL NX Digital Flexographic System is said to give converters and package printers a competitive advantage by helping them deliver outstanding quality with a highly efficient solution. More information is available at http://graphics.kodak.comfpackaging. J U LV 2008 www.flexography.org FLEXO
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008