Tokyo, Japan, and Brussels, Belgium – Asahi Photoproducts, a leading company in the development of photopolymer printing plates for flexo printing, has won over ISIMAT GmbH Siebdruckmaschinen based in Ellwangen with the performance potential of its AWPTM flexo printing plates. The internationally renowned manufacturer of high-performance screen printing machines for multi-colour printing onto tubes, glass and plastic articles uses the water-washable printing plates to great effect on its ISIMAT tube hybrid printing machines. The Asahi plates are used to print onto extruded cosmetics tubes of all kinds. It allows ISIMAT to realise the brilliant colour and highly detailed print results that are more commonly achieved using other printing technologies.
"The primary reason we decided to recommend the AWPTM plates from Asahi to our customer is the fact that with these plates there is no swelling when using UV inks. The print results are excellent, and this is consistently confirmed by feedback from our customers. Other benefits include the high register accuracy of the Asahi- AWPTM printing plates as well as the good ink transfer and very smooth highlights we can achieve with very fine dots. In addition, spot colours and screened images can be combined on the same printing plate," says Bernd Egetemeir, Technical Product Manager at ISIMAT.
ISIMAT uses the Asahi printing plates in a hybrid screen printing and flexo printing machine. The image is implemented using flexo printing, whereas the texture is created using screen printing. The machine manufacturer values the long plate life time, accuracy of detail and very good printing results at a dot size below 5% as the key benefits of the AWPTM plates. The global availability of AWPTM plates is also a benefit that is well-received by the internationally-minded sales department for ISIMAT printing presses, who exports 75 percent of its equipment. In addition, many users are paying increasing attention to the environmental balance of the Asahi water-washable – and thus solvent-free – AWPTM plates.
A further application for the Asahi plates at ISIMAT is combination printing with its patented inLINE FOILING® decorative technique. The new film printing process generates decorative metallised multi-colour effects on round, oval and square glass and plastic articles. Decorative inLINE FOILING® effects supplement screen printed and/or flexo printed images. inLINE FOILING® can be implemented together with screen and flexo printing in a single machine run. The Asahi plates are used here primarily for overprinting. This enables more brand design options with metallic decorative effects – such as large surfaces, negative texts and metallised effects that are custom-coloured via over-coating.
The Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer of the AWPTM plate
The AWPTM printing plates from Asahi are water-washable plates that are unequalled in flexo print production in terms of quality as well as productivity. The Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer used in the AWPTM printing plate permits clean ink transfer and prevents the printing ink from building up on the plate surface and collecting on the edges of grid points. This means that fewer cleaning intervals are required and machine idle times are reduced.
Precise plate-to-plate register also results in a significant improvement in print quality. Both precise register and complete ink transfer take the quality of flexo printing to a whole new level using AWPTM, and set-up time for a new job on the printing press is reduced to a minimum. This is particularly profitable for the smaller lot sizes that are increasingly common today. All of this adds up to an increase of up to 33% in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) when using AWPTM printing plates in comparison with standard flexo printing plates.