UK • TCL Packaging Limited of Telford, a printer and converter of packaging films, in partnership with Creation Reprographics, credits Asahi Photoproducts AWP flexo plates in part with its progress towards its goal of migrating gravure production to flexography for flexible packaging.
Asahi Photoproducts, a flexographic photopolymer plate manufacturer, said plate trials and live production jobs have proven the AWP plate’s ability to print down to 2-3% using classical round dot screening. With the latest screening technologies, the plate is able to reproduce a vignette fade to zero. Because of this quality performance leap, the company said customers like TCL Packaging have been able to successfully transfer production from offset or gravure to flexographic printing.
Asahi’s water-washable AWP plates feature pinning technology, which enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink from accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas, the company said. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced press downtime, as well as quality improvements.
According to Asahi, pinning technology for clean transfer makes use of low plate surface tension, made possible by a specially engineered Asahi polymer chemistry, to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results in a cleaner and more homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate, helping flexographic printers meet the ever-increasing quality demands of their customers.
For the past three years, TCL has been growing at an average of 10% per annum, outstripping overall market growth, the UK flexo packaging market having grown at about 3% annually. The company operates out of a 6,500 sqm (70,000 sqft) facility with 55 employees.