Vandalia, OH – January 6, 2004 - Esko-Graphics announces that Northwest Flexo, a high quality tag and labels flexo label printer based in a state-of-the-art facility in Lynnwood, WA, has successfully installed a CDI Spark flexo platesetter sold by The Pitman Company. With its 18 employees, Northwest Flexo, a national and international award-winning printer, uses 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-color flexo presses to print labels for beverages, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes, and cosmetic and health care products, among other items. Digital Plate technology offers unprecedented benefits to NW Flexo's existing capabilities and clients, including reduced dot gain, incredibly smooth vignettes, pinpoint registration, faster processing times and quicker delivery.
Northwest Flexo was looking for a means to output larger and more plates in a shorter period of time. The company searched for a quality platesetter that would stand the test of time, along with a vendor that would stand behind the product. On the recommendation of The Pitman Company, they selected the CDI Spark.
Based on FTA and GATF Award Winning technology of the DuPont Cyrel™ Digital Imager (CDI), the premier and most productive device for flexo imaging, the CDI Spark specifically addresses needs of small volume flexo plate producers, such as tag and label printers. The CDI Spark is available in three productivity models: Optics 7.5 (8 sq.ft. /hour), Optics 15 (16 sq.ft. /hour) and Optics 25 (27 sq.ft. /hour). The CDI Spark Optics 25 images a full size, 25” x 30” plate in just 15 minutes. It is delivered with EasyClamp, to securely hold down flexo plates of any thickness on the vacuum drum. NW Flexo is imaging Dupont Cyrel Fast plates, a chemical-free process that NW Flexo finds great for the environment.
NW Flexo went directly from entry-level platemaking to digital. Along with a third-party workflow that is sending 1-bit TIFF files to the CDI Spark, the CtP workflow is much more productive. The company’s plate processing time has dropped by two-thirds, while its plating staff has been reduced 33%. By creating 25”x30” inch plates rather than 12”x15” plates, NW Flexo has also doubled its output per sheet.
Although processing speed was initially more important than plate quality, side by side digital and analog comparisons have shown immediate, noticeable differences. “You’ve got to see the quality of digital plates to believe it. In our 175 lpi process color and vignettes, we’re holding dots you can barely see with a loupe,” remarks Kevin Davis, NW Flexo president. “Customers are noticing and commenting about the difference in quality and detail. One of our clients is a large retail store for whom we produce a lot of 4-color process cosmetic labels. We ran a trial print with digital plates, and they insisted that we convert their entire line to digital plates.”
The dramatic reduction in dot gain has other benefits. “I’ve always scoffed at comments that makereadies are faster using digital plates, because I thought that it came down to the skill of the press operator,” says Kevin. “But, everyone is dead on right – it’s three times faster.”
“The Pitman Company was very helpful for us. They made sure we looked good to our clients, while supporting us throughout a very challenging CtP workflow installation,” summarizes Kevin. “And, usually in prepress you don’t see companies stand behind their products as Esko-Graphics has for us. I was stunned with the responsiveness of Esko-Graphics’ staff to minor hardware and software problems associated with the installation. They’re behind their products 100%.
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