Vandalia, OH (USA), May 3, 2005 – Esko-Graphics, the market leader in packaging pre-production solutions and world leader in digital imaging of flexo plates, announces that Macaran Printed Products, a division of W. N. Van Alstine & Sons, Inc., has purchased and installed, with the help of the Pitman Company, a complete Esko-Graphics flexo prepress system including a Scope workflow and a Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI) Spark.
Macaran, a Cohoes, NY based company, has been printing high quality flexographic labels since the early 1970's. A division of W.N. Van Alstine & Sons, Inc., Macaran delivers proven solutions using state of the art print technologies, including rotary screen, hot stamping, embossing and UV Flexo from its seven narrow web flexo presses.
The CDI Spark images digital photopolymer plates in sizes up to 25” x 30”, serving tag and label and folding carton printers, and small volume flexo plate producers in general. The CDI Spark is delivered with a built-in plate loading/unloading table. With its EasyClamp, users can easily apply and securely hold down plates up to 6.35 mm thickness on the drum. Esko-Graphics’ fully network and web enabled Scope workflow manages multi-site, distributed design and production workflows. Key Scope components for packaging workflow include PackEdge for graphics design and Plato for step and repeat; FlexRIPs driving a multitude of Esko-Graphics and third party proofing and imaging devices; and dedicated screening technologies for flexo printing.
Macaran’s increased involvement with high-end health & beauty, cosmetics, and food and beverage packaging was the primary driver to invest in a new prepress system, replacing its conventional film-based platesetting. Macaran was looking for a state of the art system capable of exceptional work. The markets they are targeting require higher quality screens and vignettes, and consistently repeatable color – hard to accomplish with conventional platemaking.
The company also looked at improving efficiencies in the press room: allowing the presses to run faster with higher quality plates, with easier makeready; getting to color faster and printing repeat jobs more consistently.
“Right out of the gate, we were working on a difficult job,” remarks Nick Van Alstine, Macaran president. “We were unable to produce the clean vignette a customer was looking for. Even before we calibrated the system, we made some digital plates just to see what would happen, and put it on press. What had been rejected before, we hit perfectly with our digital plates.”
“The installation was very smooth,” adds Van Alstine. “We were on a tight time frame and Esko-Graphics and Pitman reacted quickly. Digital plates behave differently than conventional plates, but we received a lot of help measuring and calibrating plates.”
Because of digital plates’ ability to print highlights and shadows, Macaran has been able to increase its color gamut, more consistently repeating color from one job to the next. By using a digital proofing system driven by Scope, they are able to settle color issues before they go to press and do a better job of meeting customer color expectations. The company is confident that when they go to press, the printed piece will be accurate and require very little tweaking to match the proof.
Scope operates as a server-based application, so users can design a label and conduct all prepress operations from their own Mac workstations, rather than sending jobs to a separate computer. It makes prepress work faster and easier. Running their CDI platesetter with a Dupont Cyrel Fast processor, Macaran is able to turn around plates very quickly – they are even comfortable holding a job on press while they quickly image replacement plates.
“Pitman was a terrific resource, bringing the right parties to the table and providing their own technical service team to help out. They did everything they could to meet our deadlines,” concludes Van Alstine. “Esko-Graphics delivered what they said they would. With greater latitude with highlight and shadow dots, we’re able to print more colors – and print them more consistently.”
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