Continuous innovation expands the reach of flexo printing for labels even further
Ghent, Belgium – Esko announces it will be demonstrating Full HD Flexo for Labels at Labelexpo Europe. Full HD Flexo for Labels features screening and specific standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for label and tag printers, helping deliver impactful solids, smoother highlights and an expanded color gamut. Esko’s flexo experts will be available on stand #5B25 to explain how this technology can help label converters achieve market-leading quality.
Bringing the benefits of Full HD Flexo to labels
With Full HD Flexo for Labels, Esko will cover the entire range of flexo printing applications. "We are introducing each version of Full HD Flexo separately to ensure that they accurately and effectively address each application with the right settings and SOP's specifications," explains Jan Buchweitz, Senior Product Manager Digital Flexo at Esko. "Following extensive customer testing, reviews and approvals, we are confident that Full HD Flexo users will appreciate the benefits this technology brings - most importantly a gravure-like ink laydown and fully digitally-controlled platemaking workflow. This innovation will once again expand the reach of flexo printing in the label market to higher quality, more applications and more substrates. ”
Full HD Flexo for Labels today is already operational at a range of flexo tradeshops and converters worldwide. One of the first companies to adopt Esko Full HD Flexo for Labels is Etiko, a Poland-based self-adhesive label producer (www.etiko.pl). “Our investment in Full HD Flexo for Labels demonstrates that we are committed to producing the highest quality print, which is what today’s market demands,” says Tadeusz Kozinski of Etiko. “We have the technology now for a couple of weeks, and have already found that printing with Full HD Flexo is beneficial because the better quality produced by the plates help us achieve much more effective results.”
Label specific advantages
Full HD Flexo for Labels was developed to offer benefits specifically intended for label converters:
Considerable reduction of mottling: typically seen on inexpensive paper labels, mottling creates ‘clouds’ in print, caused by the visible paper structure in the solid and shadow areas of a print. The effect reduces the appeal of the package. By removing mottling, Full HD Flexo enables a label printer to deliver significantly better quality on cheaper substrates, increasing packaging profitability and offering more competitive results than other printers.
Improvement in ink density: even though density on UV Flexo has never been a significant issue, Full HD Flexo for Labels is capable of delivering exceptionally smooth solids with higher ink density than traditional flexo.
Reduction of gear marks: Full HD Flexo for Labels leads to better print quality, with the reduction of banding or streaking from gear marks seen when using gear-driven presses.
Greater stability in the highlights: the sensitivity of print due to press variables is reduced, making press or printer differences much less visible
A unique, fully automated, flexo plate imaging process
Unlike other processes that require intermediate analogue or manual exposure steps, Full HD plates are prepared completely within an Esko CDI imager and are immediately ready for processing after unloading. The CDI combines plate imaging with inline digital main exposure in the same device. Exposing plates through an LED-array light source delivers the necessary digitally controlled UV power density to assure full control over the polymerization process. It guarantees platemaking consistency – long-term repeatable quality well beyond to what is achievable with conventional UV exposure frames. Full HD Flexo works with all popular digital flexo plates and sleeves.
"The unique Full HD Flexo dot shape delivers a superior flexo plate suitable for the highlight, shadow and solid areas of a print job. It has moved flexo to an unseen level of quality and consistency with no need for compromises. Full HD Flexo is setting new standards, thanks to the fine highlights, transitions to zero, sharp text and brilliant image details,” states Buchweitz, “Esko has a strong track record of innovation in the flexo industry, and yet again pushes the boundaries.”
Certifying the results of Full HD Flexo
To support this new technology, Esko also launched a Full HD Flexo certification program for customers, vendors and partners – similar to the one in place for HD Flexo. Label and packaging facilities can achieve certification by submitting samples produced using Esko Full HD Flexo, which are then examined on quality by Esko´s Flexo R&D center. More information on Esko's Full HD Flexo certification program is available on the website www.Esko.com/en/esko/becoming-certified.
“Some customers require certification, which opens the doors to new business,” adds Mr. Kozinski. “We are ISO9001 and ISO22000 certified. The latter is very important for food producers, and indicates our commitment to meeting quality standards. I expect Full HD Flexo certification will do the same for us.”