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EskoArtwork customers reap the benefits of HD Flexo

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium) – Since the launch of HD Flexo at Grafitalia in March 2009, EskoArtwork has had an impressive customer response. Over the last six months the company installed its HD Flexo at forward-thinking customers in several markets around the world. With more than 100 HD Ready machines in the field, many more customers are lining up to get the HD Flexo technology started and EskoArtwork is running a worldwide implementation program. The popularity of HD Flexo is attributed to its consistent color and print quality that rivals offset CTP. Companies already reaping the benefits of HD Flexo include RAKO Etiketten (Germany), Inci.Flex (Italy), Waldo (UK) and Köstlin (Germany), with many more making progress implementing HD Flexo.

"We were anticipating a positive response to HD Flexo but we've been taken aback by the huge interest in the technology from around the world," says Jürgen Andresen, EskoArtwork Vice President, Flexo Business. "The 'holy grail' for flexo has always been the promise of developing a system that matches the quality and ease of use of offset CTP. With HD Flexo, EskoArtwork closes that gap by offering consistent color and print quality, once more raising the industry standard for flexo quality."

Customers enjoy tangible business benefits
Italian print house, Inci.Flex, specializes in flexo plates and was one of the first companies to adopt HD Flexo. The company's investment in the solution has boosted its production speed and improved quality, enabling Inci.Flex to meet the demands of the packaging and labeling market.

"We believe the HD Flexo technology from EskoArtwork is a real step forward in quality for the flexographic industry, because it significantly narrows the gap in quality with other printing technologies like gravure and offset." comments Vincenzo Consalvo, owner at Inci.Flex. "The HD Flexo technology allows us to achieve much higher line counts and print results that we couldn't have hoped for before. Not only can we now deliver a better quality product to our existing customers, we can also penetrate previously unexplored markets."

Germany-based RAKO Etiketten, part of an ever expanding company with adhesive label production at the heart of its business, is equally positive. "We have been working with the HD Flexo technology for several months now. Using HD Flexo with up to 200lpi we obtain a smooth vignette transition throughout the highlights to 'zero'. Images are printed more accurate and sharper and the graphical elements are produced with much more precision. Thanks to HD Flexo, we can now handle jobs in flexo printing that were previously only possible in offset!" says Stefan Behrens, head of pre-print at RAKO Etiketten.

Another customer confirming the benefits of HD Flexo is Waldo, a flexo trade shop based in the UK. Phil Walmsley, Director at Waldo, sees the investment as integral to his company's growth strategy, particularly in the corrugated market. "We can see the opportunities," says Walmsley. "The HD Flexo technology significantly improves the quality of the dot on the plate, and can be applied to a wide variety of digital plates. Plus with less re-touching needed, our staff can process more files and the company can handle more volume."

Smart combination of optics and screening delivers outstanding quality
HD Flexo combines high resolution, 4000 dpi optics with proven screening technology which makes it possible to achieve outstanding print quality with a straight-forward plate production process. The technology allows printers to reproduce the full tonal range of offset while maintaining easy set-up and implementation. There's no need to edit images in prepress which saves time and money. Plus the plates produced with HD Flexo deliver consistent print quality compared with conventional plates, and can be used in longer press runs, resulting in better press uptime.

HD Flexo brings a raft of other advantages. The sharp detail in plates produces high-quality text and line art. Tints are smoother and easier to print. There is a smooth vignette transition throughout the highlights to 'zero' and a high contrast in highlights and shadows without visible, hard edges.

The solution also offers significant sustainability benefits, as there is no manual lamination plate and therefore no film to dispose of after the plates have been imaged. And because HD Flexo technology works with thermal plate processing, there is no need for environmentally damaging solvents. Printers working with plates generated by HD Flexo typically reduce make ready sheets required to get to acceptable color by 66%, which results in far less waste.

"HD Flexo can be applied on a wide variety of digital plates – and all without compromising quality," says Andresen. "Our customers in label or flexo printing are benefitting from HD Flexo because they can now compete with offset or other printing techniques without losing quality or having to adapt prepress specifically for the process. For converters, HD Flexo is a cost-saving necessity, not a luxury."




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