Ghent, Belgium – Spanish company DUCPLAST S.L. is the latest converter to switch plates for flexible packaging printing to extended colour gamut production with Equinox from Esko (www.esko.com). The company implemented this new approach in partnership with repro house COFLEX. DUCPLAST, located in Valencia, was founded in 1990 and has 50 employees. The company is a subsidiary of Grupo Dulcesol, leading brand in food products. COFLEX, founded in 2004, provides flexographic plates to flexible packaging companies.
Initially COFLEX was using an Esko CDI Spark 4835 digital flexo plate imager to support its plate production for its clients, and in 2014 installed a second. Both units are equipped with High Resolution and High Definition (HD) screens. It also runs ArtPro packaging preproduction editor, Digital Flexo Suite plate making software and a Kongsberg X20 digital cutting system.
When approached by DUCPLAST for assistance with switching to Extended Color Gamut printing for some of its work, COFLEX owner David Alcañiz chose Equinox to help streamline production with extended colour gamut printing and reduce the use of spot colours. He says, “DUCPLAST was interested in reducing the number of spot colours it was using to produce flexible packaging without compromising quality. We turned to Esko for a solution and found that Equinox was the perfect way to address this customer request.”
COFLEX and Esko collaborated with DUCPLAST to implement the new solution and enable the switch from spot colours to a fixed colour palette using Equinox. The software allows the conversion of spot colours to CMYK + 1, 2 or 3 additional inks. Depending on the print application and requirements, a CMYK fixed ink set can replace some or all of the spot colours, and adding additional fixed ink colours delivers even more matches. This solution also provides complete predictability on the gamut and accuracy that can be achieved with any ink set, allowing the optimal choice for each job.
Converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot colours to a standard seven-colour process with Equinox enables the conversion of more colours than available ink stations on press. It also minimizes time-consuming press wash-ups and makeready waste between jobs, since the same fixed ink set can be used for multiple jobs. The result is improved image quality, reduced production lead-time, cost savings and reduced press downtime during job change-overs. It also reduces the need for large inventories of spot colour inks and enables DUCPLAST to more easily combine several designs into a single run with a single makeready.