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Clicherlux extends its successful use of Full HD Flexo to corrugated plates

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Esko announces that Clicherlux, a highly regarded tradeshop in Brazil, has expanded their use of Full HD Flexo platemaking from flexibles to corrugated, with very successful results.

Clicherlux, based in Valinhos 70 km from São Paulo, was founded in 1975. It is one of the largest tradeshops, offering the most services in Latin America. With more than 150 employees, it produces plates and cutting dies covering solutions for all facets for packaging, including corrugated, flexible packaging, letterpress and graphics. Clicherlux pioneered the manufacture of cutting dies for rotary cutting and creasing, and now has the latest technology in all markets in which it operates. Customers are in good hands with Clicherlux, working with the finest technologies in each segment that they operate, with exceptional quality control. And, to meet customer demand, Clicherlux operates 24 hours a day, along with on-call service during holidays for emergencies. With this, Clicherlux customers, the largest and most important in Brazil, are confident in the Clicherlux brand.

Clicherlux used to work with conventional digital flexo platemaking, using Esko Platecell screening technology. Clicherlux had owned a CDI Spark 4835 digital flexo imager, but in 2012 they conducted research to determine the best way to achieve better solids, particularly for flexibles. They decided that it would be best to purchase another Esko CDI—a CDI Spark 4260—with Full HD Flexo. It made their customers' printing even better. Clicherlux’s exceptional work earned it Esko Full HD Flexo certification.

They also thought that there could be a substantial opportunity helping printers migrate their corrugated work from offset to flexo—a much less expensive means of printing. While all of the original, primary work with Full HD Flexo was done for flexibles, Clicherlux discovered that for corrugated work Full HD Flexo plates—and their wide selection of screening technologies—also offered exceptional results in solids and highlights that made a significant difference for corrugated. This occurred not only for four-to six- color work, but also for simpler one- or two- color jobs.

Clicherlux began its formal testing in 2013. Most of the implementation of Full HD for corrugated was developed with local Latin American resources from both Clicherlux and Esko. "Esko provided guidance about screening and exposure. Esko always visits me, understands my needs and provides the right screening and technology advice to make it successful," states Luciano Trombeta, Clicherlux Technical Manager. Clicherlux was able to advance to production work later in the year. Now they are a reference site for corrugated printing. In fact, they have participated in presentations with Esko at many association events.

"The results of Full HD Flexo with corrugated have been excellent. We found a significant change in quality. We are able to improve the quality and coverage of our solids. Esko Full HD screening has allowed printers to improve ink coverage while, at the same time, reducing the use of ink. Thus, printers have been able to reduce the pressure on their presses," explains Trombeta. "It is a key driver for everything. When you reduce the impression, you eliminate the flute marks and dot gain is reduced. Highlights and shadows are improved. This is all a combination of the excellent screening and the creation of a flat top dot in the solids."

One good example of added productivity is when printers use two ink units to get enough coverage. "Corrugated printers, to get better ink coverage, will print two colors, twice. Esko Full HD Flexo changed the way they need to print," says Trombeta. "Because ink coverage is so good with Full HD Flexo plates, they can eliminate the extra ink units for the job and print with a single black and a single second color." Thus, there is much efficiency. Makereadies are faster because they set up two units rather than four. Heavy ink coverage is not always helpful in flexo. Depending on the press setup, double prints may occur, wasting a lot of time on makereadies, because the press operators must tune the press and adjust with ink, sticky back, and other settings to avoid this problem,” says Trombeta.

"Lots of customers find out they can print much better—and it is very noticeable. With Full HD screens, dots no longer ‘squash’ on press, and dot gain has been dramatically reduced. When you reduce the dot gain, you can send ink directly to the anilox without any doctor blades for the rollers," adds Trombeta. "We can get the gamut we used to get with eight colors, but with only four colors—and it looks better than before. It has been amazing. Printers have also noticed that they do not have to stop the presses for cleaning as often, because the plates are not filled with ink. They even find that less pressure on the press can add to the life of the plates.

In Latin America, many printers use simple flexo presses and print brown corrugated boxes. Even on brown corrugated tiny type, thin lines and bar codes are much finer. The better resolution of Full HD Flexo makes a difference.

Clicherlux has always been a reference provider for corrugated plates. Printers have reached out to them to help with the difficult jobs that no one else could do. They were always a resource for the larger companies, with larger budgets. However, companies with smaller budgets and simpler, older flexo presses have learned that now, with Full HD Flexo plates, Clicherlux can offer them the quality that they could not provide in the past, and at an economical price.

"Usually, the customer will come to us with samples of the work they have done. They will ask us if we can match what they are doing," comments Trombeta. "Then when we provide them new plates, we totally surprise the customer. When they see the results, they always ask, 'How did you do that?'. All of our printers, whether they are running simple flexo presses or more sophisticated ones, have seen that there is significant room for print improvement with Full HD Flexo."

Between 2013—the year Clicherlux began creating Full HD Plates for their corrugated business—and 2015, their business has grown 40% (measured by the increase in the volume of plates). "In fact, we are looking to purchase another Esko CDI Imager with Full HD Flexo capabilities to keep up with demand," comments Trombeta.

Clicherlux is also experimenting with Esko Equinox and extended gamut printing to see if there is a way for a customer to easily match their flexible packaging and corrugated work, while printing more effectively by ganging many jobs on the same press run. "We are experimenting with a customer who is already doing work with extended gamut in flexible packaging, and who is interested in seeing how the same technology may impact their work with corrugated," concludes Trombeta. "Full HD Flexo has made a significant impact for our corrugated customers, which has also positively impacted our own business."


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