BELGIUM • The European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) awarded a 2016 “Gold Award” for sustainable manufacturing and product innovation to Asahi Photoproducts for its pinning technology for clean transfer. The technology can improve ink transfer, reduce dot gain by reducing ink filling at the mid-tone area and can improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
The company conducted a proof of concept test under controlled conditions to validate the impact of its polymer innovation on OEE in a flexo printing environment. A single-colour test form was developed that incorporated both vignettes fading to zero and solid coverage. The image was produced using a conventional solvent plate and a pinning technology plate on a CI flexographic press set to standard printing condition. The same equipment was used for both plates (anilox, tape, ink). The substrate used was OPP film and both tests used a conventional NC solvent-based ink. Results follow:
- For the conventional plate, the run length was 37,368 linear meters (122,598 ft). Running time was 173 minutes. Total press down time was 47 minutes for plate cleaning. Waste produced was 1,025 metres (3,363 ft). OEE efficiency was 72%.
- For the Asahi plates, the run length was 38,000 linear meters (124,672 ft). Running time was 140 minutes. Total press down time was eight minutes for plate cleaning. Waste produced was 450 meters (1,476 ft). OEE efficiency was 91%.
Dr David Galton, European sales director for the company said, “The printing efficiency of the pinning technology for clean transfer during this test demonstrates a 26% OEE improvement over conventional solvent plates. The significant contributing factors were that the pinning technology plate completed the run length 33 minutes faster than the conventional plate. The pinning plate required less press stops for cleaning, saving 39 minutes. The Asahi plate produced 575 linear meters [1,886 ft] less waste material. And the pinning plate produced higher print quality, or lower dot gain, with more print contrast.”
Read about other awards given at this event here.