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BASF to exhibit new printing system technologies at drupa 2004

Press release from the issuing company

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J., April 20,2004 -- BASF's Printing Systems business will unveil several new technologies at Booth No. C38, in Hall 5, at the world's largest printing show, drupa, from May 6 - 19, 2004, in Düsseldorf, Germany. New Developments in Printing Plates BASF's Printing Systems business will present nyloflex infinity, its new technology for manufacturing seamless sleeves and processing them into seamless flexographic printing forms. The nyloflex infinity ITR process allows both trade houses and printers to make high-quality seamless flexographic printing forms in a 60-minute process involving only three steps. Depending upon the choice of polymer, the sleeve may be coated with a laser ablative mask and digitally imaged, or direct laser engraved. Laser-engravable nyloflex plates, can be made into seamless sleeves by using the nyloflex infinity technology. A special formulation prevents the plate material from melting during laser engraving, which, for the first time, allows polymer material to be used for this technology. Compared with traditional laser engraving of rubber rollers, directly engraved polymer plates provide a much higher printing quality. BASF will conduct live laser engraving demonstrations at their booth at the drupa trade show. Three different types of polymer plates are offered for the manufacture of flexographic printing forms by laser engraving: nyloflex LD, a plate designed for flexographic printing with UV inks on labels and narrow-web materials nyloflex LD1, a medium-hard plate for printing on folding cartons, cardboard, corrugated board, corrugated board preprint, envelopes, etc., with alcohol- and water-based inks nyloflex LD2, a hard plate for printing on flexible packaging of film and paper, beverage packaging, and labels with alcohol- and water-based inks BASF's new nyloflex N36 steel-backed photopolymer plate for flexographic newspaper printing is also being presented at the drupa show, along with the necessary processing equipment. The nyloflex N 36 plate provides consistently high quality throughout the entire printing run, and excellent print contrast and ink coverage. In addition, the nyloflex N 36 plate is very durable, providing the printer with the ability to run high quantities. The inline plate-processing line achieves 120 plates per hour and, together with BASF's new nylosolv A wash-out solution, has proved highly effective for one of the world's largest newspaper publishers. New Developments in Printing Inks BASF's new duct-fresh Novastar F 916 Champion process inks have been launched in time for the drupa exhibition. This high color-strengthened, series, is suitable for perfecting presses and ideal for straight-on printing on all multicolor presses. High brilliance, excellent gloss, very good print sharpness and good setting properties are outstanding features of these new process inks. In developing the visual effect, particular attention was paid to obtaining a very good grey balance. The Novastar F 916 Champion series is manufactured to very nar-row tolerances, offering the printer optimum production reliability. The new quality is perfectly integrated with the process standard and is ideal for color management. The inks are particu-larly suitable for gloss-coated papers, but are also excellent for printing on uncoated and matte-coated papers and on cardboard. BASF's high-quality NovaArt F 2008 ink series widens the color gamut in sheetfed offset printing. These inks provide high gloss and brilliance as well as very good print sharpness. With these qualities, this series can be printed in 0.2 to 0.3 higher solid densities. In addition, simple modification of the char-acteristic curve is sufficient to obtain optimum printing results. The higher pigment concentration of these inks allows for the printing of very thin ink films, resulting in extremely high ink mileage and ensuring rapid, reliable converting. Quick drying, maximum rub resistance and optimized setting lead to greater versatility in the printing process. BASF's Novaspace F 2010 process inks, and the associated Hyper-space software, have made a 30 percent greater color space possible. Special, pure pigments, and high optical densities, are the basis for ex-ceptionally pure shades and very high brilliance. Users with a good knowledge of color management have responded very enthusiastically to these new process inks. BASF's Newsking TOP newspaper ink series, based on a new tech-nology, is another important development to be highlighted at the show. TOP, or "Technology for Optimized Printability", is a com-pletely new ink formulation designed for newspaper printing. This formulation has greatly improved product characteristics that include an optimized ink/water balance and improved production run performance. This new series is extremely stable during printing, and shows good strike-through properties and a high abrasion resistance. This new technology also provides improved dot gain and a brilliant printed image. Technical know-how in formulation, the latest dispersing equipment in production, and new raw materials with improved proper-ties allow further process optimization on the printing press. This new series was developed in close cooperation with BASF Aktiengesell-schaft's research department, demonstrating how synergies within the BASF Group can be used to benefit printing systems customers. BASF's Printing Systems group is also exhibiting Printclean Web, a highly effective, water-based cleaning agent for the litho blankets and impres-sion cylinders of web offset printing presses. This product, which extends the range of Printclean microemulsion washing fluids, was developed especially for washing the printing press during operation. Trials with Printclean Web have shown that its rapid action considera-bly reduces wash times and the amount of paper waste. This cost advantage applies particularly when the product is used in brush roller washing units. Using Printclean Web reduces web breaks to a minimum even in thin, delicate papers. In addition, the product is 40 percent more efficient than conventional cleaning agents, further reducing costs. Moreover, it is solvent-free (0 percent VOCs), exhibits low-odor, and is non-toxic when correctly used. The active components are water, surfactants, fatty acid esters from renewable raw materials, and additives. Since the flash point is above 100° C, there is no fire or explosion risk.