The digital plate engraving and flexo printing processes.
To understand digital plate engraving we need to start with the definition of flexo printing.
Since 1900, when flexo printing was born, these technologies and processes have evolved considerably.
To explain the digital plate engraving process, let's first define the concept of flexo printing. Commonly called flexo, this is a rotary direct printing method that uses rubber relief or photopolymer-based material printing forms.
Flexo printing is used in a variety of fields, especially for packaging. Among the most common products printed in flexo are:
The latest generation of equipment for flexo printing allows you to
obtain an end product of the highest quality in short time spans, at an affordable cost
and that is ecologically sustainable.
Flexo24 carries out the imaging of plates up to the maximum size of: 203 cm x 127 cm.
Digital plate engraving: CTP and relief creation.
The processing of digital flexo plate starts with the CTP ESKO HD (computer to plate). It allows to transfer text and images from the computer directly to the digital plate using an ablation laser. It is important to choose the appropriate digital plate for Customers' needs to have optimal thickness for the final print, thus ensuring high quality and definition.
Definition, that is the print quality, can be varied according to your needs. Flexo24
guarantees a minimum definition of 2,540 dpi up to a maximum of 4,000 dpi with HD screens, for plates 1.14 mm up to 5.5 mm. See the configurator for all plate's thickness.
The innovative Kodak Flexcel NX plates, with 1.14 mm thickness are available!
Read Kodak flexo plates: more than 6 reasons to choose them.
Exposure through high intensity UV lamps
After passing through CTP, the plate must be exposed to high intensity UV light. This allows polymerisation in areas where CTP has engraved the plate. The KODAK plates process involves, instead, the imaging of a film that is later laminated onto the plate. This will inhibit oxygen during exposure so as to provide the right structure of the flat-top dots and microcells.
Wash-out of the digital plate.
After the exposure, the plate passes through a fully automated wash-out process with the Vianord modular system,
which carries out the next phases of platemaking. In the first, the solvent dissolves the non-polymerized areas of the plate so that only the graphic relief remains. In this phase, the relief of the plate is created.
Drying of the photopolymer digital plate
The washed-out and engraved photopolymer digital plate is then automatically inserted into the drier. In this phase the solvent evaporates and the plate comes back to its original thickness.
Finishing of the photopolymer digital plate
The next step is finishing: exposure to special UV lamps eliminates the sticky effect that is found on the plate due to the reaction to solvents. This gives the plate its original stiffness for the printing process.
Cutting of the photopolymer digital plate.
After processing, the plates are cut with a computer controlled plotter for a high quality cutting and to reduce the chance of damaging the plate after removal from the print drum.
The plate is then carefully checked, prepared for packing and kept in a dark, dry place away from ozone sources waiting to be shipped.
Flexo24 technology guarantees for its customers
Photopolymer plates stored as new
Photopolymer plates stored as new as from the manufacturer's specifications.
No delamination of the photopolymer plates. In case of delamination, free return within 30 days.
Minimum tolerances guaranteed
Minimum tolerances of thickness, engraving and registration on the plate.
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