GENT, Belgium– Full HD Flexo by Esko, just introduced for flexible packaging, moves flexo to an unseen level of quality and consistency with no need for compromises. The unique, patented technology stretches the possibilities of flexo printing, allowing it to perfectly match gravure and offset quality, according to Jürgen Andresen, vice president, Flexo Business. “Since the introduction of HD Flexo, the high quality results achieved have created a growing demand for more packaging and labels to be printed in flexo. Also the proven sustainability and cost benefits contributed to the raising success of flexo printing. Now, Full HD Flexo will help to further accelerate this demand.”
Jan Buchweitz, senior product manager, Digital Flexo, says,“We went beyond the binary discussion of flat top or round top dots, and created the best possible combination of print dot structures on one plate. This enables to differentiate the ink laydown on the substrate for different parts of the artwork on one single plate. This is a giant step forward for flexible packaging converters as the result is high quality flexible packaging that stands out. In addition, users report better performance of the flexo plate on the press for print consistency and printing speeds." More than 20 customers worldwide are running production using the new Full HD Flexo technology today.
“Esko offers a plate imaging process that is truly, completely digital: one integrated workflow from prepress right to the finished flexo plate. A Full HD Flexo CDI in combination with our digital back exposure solution goes beyond the analog compromises platemaking departments must make today,” states Buchweitz.
Unlike other processes that require intermediate analog or manual exposure steps, this is the first and only fully digital platemaking workflow in the industry. Full HD plates are prepared completely within an Esko CDI imager and are immediately ready for processing after unloading.
The CDI combines plate imaging with inline digital main exposure in one and the same device. The digital Inline UV2 exposes through an LED-array light source delivering the necessary UV power density to assure full control over the polymerization process during exposure. All UV exposure settings are digital controlled within the platemaking workflow. This guarantees platemaking consistency – long-term stability and repeatable quality well beyond what is achievable with conventional UV exposure frames.
Full HD Flexo works with all popular digital flexo plates and sleeves, giving users the freedom to choose whatever plate best fits their business needs. The technology can be achieved thanks to the quality of a broad range of commonly used digital flexo plates from different brands, including DuPont, Flint, MacDermid, Asahi and others. Esko continues to expand the portfolio of supported plates.
To support this new technology, Esko will initiate a Full HD Flexo certification program for customers, vendors and partners – similar to the one in place for HD Flexo.
Full HD Flexo for flexible packaging is available worldwide. Existing customers can upgrade their software, workflow and CDI equipment to Full HD Flexo. The Full HD Flexo application support for labels and corrugated printing will be available later this year