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Asahi Photoproducts demonstrates high-quality flexo plates at Labelexpo

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Atlanta, GA – Asahi Photoproducts, a leading supplier of photopolymer printing plates to the flexographic printing industry focusing on providing high value added products and unique photopolymer technology for flexographic printing plates and systems, will be demonstrating its complete product portfolio of flexo plate systems for label printers at Labelexpo, booth 5210. While flexography has always been a more efficient and cost-effective printing process, the challenge has been to close the quality gap between offset and gravure printing. Both Asahi AWP and AFP plates provide print quality rivaling that of other print processes.

Asahi AWP: Exceptional print quality from a water-washable plate
The environmental impact of the packaged product itself has become increasingly important, reducing energy consumption and its associated operating costs. While delivering extensive ecological benefits, the Asahi Water washable Plate (AWP) outperforms the best digital flexo plates, holding smaller dots than those of thermal processed plates - the prevalent technology used by narrow web label printers - with superior stability on press. Extensive AWP plate trials and live production jobs have proven its ability to print down to 2 or 3% dots, using classical round dot screening. With the latest screening technologies, the plate is able to reproduce a vignette fade to zero.

In the pressroom, the Asahi AWP plate delivers extraordinary ink transfer, plate longevity, and dimensional plate accuracy. It can transfer and release virtually all the ink it takes from the anilox, eliminating ink build-up and dot bridging. The number of press stops due to plate dirtying is dramatically reduced. The Asahi AWP plate also lasts longer, with much greater abrasion resistance, reducing the amount of times a new plate is remade during long runs. Because the plate is forgiving to changes in press conditions, press operators experience easier, faster and less expensive makereadies, resulting in much less ink and substrate waste, and more press uptime, higher press speeds and improved productivity.

Thanks to the AWP water wash technology and reduced water consumption, the AWP plate processor uses basic resources like water and electricity in their most efficient way. There are no VOC emissions and a lower CO2 footprint than solvent and thermal technologies. AWP conserves natural resources by re-using the wash water during plate processing. And, the plate is press-ready within an hour - faster than thermal plates.

Asahi AFP: Exceptional, high quality solvent plates
For those label printers preferring a solvent-based system, there are a variety of digital and analog Asahi AFP flexo plates that deliver exceptional quality. AFP has more than 30 years of experience producing and advancing the development of photopolymers that form the basis for its AFP plates. Asahi AFP plates, available in both hard and medium-firm versions, have excellent mechanical stability for longer printing time between cleaning. Asahi's AFP SH (analog) or DSH (digital) is a hard flexo plate specifically developed for excellent print quality and high durability for flexible packaging and labels. The AFP SF (analog) or DSF (digital) is Asahi's medium hard range of plates for high quality printing onto all substrates and flexo applications. Its surface tension and plate hardness produce outstanding ink coverage. The plate's high flexibility makes it possible to print with small-diameter cylinders, perfect for narrow-web label printing.

The shorter platemaking times and easy handling of AFP plates allows them to get to press quickly. The wide exposure latitude facilitates consistent results even under changing and difficult conditions, and helps to assure fast makereadies. It delivers superbly balanced reproduction of large tonal areas, text and halftone elements. On the press, the wide exposure latitude enables consistent results even under changing and difficult conditions. Its resistance to abrasive inks allows for longer printing times between cleanings. And, it is easier to clean after jobs are done.

Asahi offers an extensive range of high quality equipment for processing its AFP solid plates, ensuring optimum results. Of course, all other polymer plates typically used in the market can also be processed with Asahi equipment.

"Label manufacturers are experiencing increasing demands for high quality printing. Higher screen rulings and more accurate, registered color are a prerequisite of brand owners," explains Joe Bauer, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Asahi. "Asahi Photoproducts is noted for the exceptional print quality of our flexo plates. They allow flexo printers to compete against gravure and offset, while taking advantage of the economies of flexo. In addition, because of the durability of Asahi plates, our makereadies are shorter and run lengths longer, contributing to more cost-effective print runs with less waste. We look forward to showing printers how well our plates print during Labelexpo."




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