LABEL PARTNERS GAINS ENHANCED REPUTATION FOR LABEL QUALITY WITH ASAHI WATER-WASHABLE PLATES

Article from asahi-photoproducts.com

Label Partners, located in Southern Australia, provides quality labels for many industries from wine, general food and beverage, fresh produce including poultry and dairy, through to the automotive, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors.

Partnerships are an important aspect of the company’s culture – with its customers, employees and suppliers. This includes acquiring the best technology and innovative materials to deliver the exceptional results its customers have come to depend on.

In addition to quality, the company is dedicated to delivering cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions.

It was in pursuit these goals that Label Partners turned to its dealer, Jet Technologies, and Asahi Photoproducts to revamp its flexographic platemaking process.

At the Forefront of Narrow Web Flexo

Label Partners had been using digital water-washable plates for a number of years and had tried various systems and plates with mixed results. After doing its own investigations, trials and working with Jet Technologies on the Asahi AWP plate, the company made a decision in mid-2016 to take its processing capabilities in plate production to a new level and in the end, had no hesitation in its decision to purchase the Asahi AWPTM 2530 Combi all-in-one water-washable plate processor and Asahi AWPTM-DEF flexo plates. This compact all-in-one unit includes high UV output exposure, washout with automatic plate cleaning, solvent saturation analyzer, 4-drawer dryer and light finishing-post exposure drawer.

David McCloud, Managing Director of Label Partners, said, “We have always been at the forefront of narrow web Flexo and have grown our business dramatically over the past six years by using quality equipment and helping to pioneer water-wash plate technology in Australia. We were the first company in Australia to embrace the Asahi AWPTM system. The resulting cost-effective but very high quality digital plates consistently achieve a print result that compares favorably against most offset labels seen in the wine label market.”

Outstanding Support Brings Peace of Mind

Shane Gillespie, Label Partners’ Production Manager, has been pleased with the results. He reported, “Since the installation of the Asahi AWPTM processor, the quality and consistency of our platemaking equipment has completely streamlined the process of plate to press. Not only are we achieving amazing print results, but we now have a processor that, in our opinion, is able to produce plates of any level with a minimum of effort. It is extremely reliable, very functional and easy to maintain. The machine is so intelligent that if there is ever anything wrong, it shows where on the machine the problem is, and it can easily be identified and corrected. This unit consistently produces perfect printing plates time after time.”

Gillespie also made a point of commenting on the outstanding support Label Partners has received from both Jet Technologies and Asahi Photoproducts since the installation. “This kind of support is critical, especially when you are purchasing relatively new technology,” he said. “The unit has online connectivity added to its already extensive range of features, and that has given Label Partners peace of mind in knowing we are always very close to a solution should there be a problem.”

Label Partners expects the new system to cut current plate processing times in half, important in an environment with ever shorter production cycles and smaller lot sizes. “

Not All Polymers Are Created Equal

Gillespie also recognized that all polymers are not created equal, saying, “The Asahi AWPTM plate has shown us just how different polymers can be; they are definitely not all the same. This plate prints cleaner, releases ink more efficiently and will continue to produce these results longer than other plates on the market. And believe me, we have trialed just about everything there is to trial. These plates are so durable, you just take them out of the job bag, mount them and away they go again just like they came out of the processor for the first time. It is no wonder Asahi continues to win awards in both label and packaging markets all over the world.”

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LABEL PARTNERS BOOSTS QUALITY, PRODUCTIVITY, WITH ASAHI PHOTOPRODUCTS WATER-WASHABLE PLATEMAKING SYSTEM

High quality environmentally friendly solution cuts plate processing times in half

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, August 22, 2017 – Asahi Photoproducts, today reported that Label Partners, a leading producer of quality labels for many industries, has acquired an Asahi Photoproducts AWPTM 2530 Combi all-in-one water-washable plate processor for use with Asahi AWPTM-DEF flexo plates. The Southern Australian company produces labels for companies in the wine, general food and beverage, fresh produce including poultry and dairy, automotive, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors.

David McCloud, Managing Director of Label Partners, said, “We have always been at the forefront of narrow web Flexo and have grown our business dramatically over the past six years by using quality equipment and helping to pioneer water-wash plate technology in Australia. We were the first company in Australia to embrace the Asahi AWP system. The resulting cost-effective but very high quality digital plates consistently achieve a print result that compares favourably against most offset labels seen in the wine label market.”

Shane Gillespie, Label Partners’ Production Manager, added, “Since the installation of the Asahi AWP processor, the quality and consistency of our platemaking equipment has completely streamlined the process of plate to press. Not only are we achieving amazing print results, but we now have a processor that, in our opinion, is able to produce plates of any level with a minimum of effort. It is extremely reliable, very functional and easy to maintain. The machine is so intelligent that if there is ever anything wrong, it shows where on the machine the problem is, and it can easily be identified and corrected. This unit consistently produces perfect printing plates time after time. Plus, it has cut our plate processing times in half.”

Asahi plates incorporate Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer, a flexographic plate technology specifically engineered by Asahi that features low plate surface energy that transfers all remaining ink to the printed substrate. Compared to conventional plates, this reduces press-cleaning stops, creating a significant profitability improvement. These plates deliver very high resolution with fine screen rulings and minimum dots fading out to zero, allowing a broader total colour gamut to be achieved, providing more design flexibility and enhanced graphic quality.

The company is also pleased with the service it receives from Asahi Photoproducts and its dealer, Jet Technologies, including the remote diagnostics system included in the plate processer that provides peace of mind knowing a solution is always close by should any problems arise. “This kind of support is critical, especially when you are purchasing relatively new technology,” Gillespie said.

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ASAHI’S TSP FLEXO PLATE THE FLEXO PLATE FOR PAPER AND FILM

Asahi’s AFP™-TSP flexo plate, with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer, is a medium-hard digital flexo plate optimized for a wide range of packaging substrates, from paper, folding carton and corrugated to flexible packaging and foil.

The TSP plate is designed to deliver excellent ink laydown for both printed lines and solids, and is perfect for both halftone and solid printing. Combine these plates with AFP™-TOP plates to deliver a fine, smooth gradation towards zero, increasing the range of applications that can be transferred to flexo from other printing technologies.

Asahi’s flexo plates and platemaking equipment have won awards around the globe in 2017, and continue to be recognized as the next evolution in quality and efficiency in flexographic printing.  If you’d like to learn more, contact CT Graphic Arts today.

PINNING TECHNOLOGY FOR CLEAN TRANSFER

Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer a flexographic plate technology specifically engineered by Asahi, features low plate surface energy that transfers all remaining ink to the printed substrate. Compared to conventional plates, this reduces press-cleaning stops, creating a significant profitability improvement.

These plates deliver very high resolution with fine screen rulings and minimum dots fading out to zero, allowing a broader total color gamut to be achieved, providing more design flexibility and enhanced graphic quality.

ASAHI PHOTOPRODUCTS TO BRING INNOVATION, EDUCATION TO LABELEXPO EUROPE 2017

A focus on Fixed Colour Palette printing: The future of flexography

Article from asahi-photoproducts.com

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, June 28, 2017 – Asahi Photoproducts will be showing its AWP™ of water-washable flexographic plate solutions featuring Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer at Labelexpo Europe 2017. Asahi will be located on Stand 5A34 at the show, scheduled for 25 to 28 September in Brussels.

“Labelexpo Europe is always a highlight in our show schedule,” states Akihiro Kato, Managing Director of Asahi Photoproducts Europe. “That is especially true this year as interest in higher quality and more efficient production of labels and packaging is heating up across Europe. At the show, our experts be on hand to help visitors better understand how Asahi AWP™ plates can improve OEE and profitability without any compromise in quality. Visitors to our stand will also be able to see printed application examples and get advice from our experts about the best plates for their individual needs.”

Asahi experts will also be available to speak with visitors about fixed colour palette printing, which uses a fixed palette of up to seven inks to virtually eliminate the need for spot colour inks. Because it uses a fixed set of inks, there is no wash-up required between jobs, and combo jobs are made easier. Asahi plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer deliver the precise plate-to-plate register required to implement this printing process successfully. “In our opinion,” adds Mr. Kato “this is the future of flexography, especially for flexible packaging, and favourably positions flexography to compete with digital printing for all but the very shortest runs.”

At the show …

New at Labelexpo from Asahi Photoproducts is the AWP™-DEW plate solution, incorporating the renowned quality properties of AWP™-DEF plates with the addition of a faster plate processing speed, making this plate ideal for labels and packaging operations with higher plate throughput looking to achieve significant quality and OEE benefits.

Voice of the Customer

“Converters looking to move away from gravure and offset are truly surprised by what AWP can achieve,” according to Matt Francklow, Managing Director, Creation Reprographics. “We pioneered the Asahi AWP water washable plates technology in the UK from the outset. The plate delivers outstanding performance compared to other photopolymer plates on the market; … the number of repeat clients we now have on board all utilising the technology proves that its exceptional print accuracy and quality is appreciated.”

Another satisfied Asahi customer is Colognia Press, a Czech-based label converter, who needed to find a way to improve OEE. “With the flexo plates we were using, we had excessive stop times to clean or replace plates,” says Bohdan Holona, Manager of Desktop Publishing. “For long-run jobs, this meant half of the time to produce the job was downtime. And even for shorter runs, we were not happy with the consistency from beginning to end of the job, often requiring press stops to clean plates or otherwise adjust quality.” After looking at several alternate solutions, Holona reports the company chose to implement the Asahi AWP platemaking system. “Now,” he says, “We can run a full 10 kilometre job without stopping. We even ran a 22-hour job with one set of plates, no stops, and very consistent quality from beginning to end. It’s been amazing!”

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COLOGNIA PRESS PARTNERS WITH ASAHI PHOTOPRODUCTS TO DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE FLEXO PRODUCTIVITY

Continuous run for 22 hours: No press stops, consistent color quality

Article from asahi-photoproducts.com

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, July 25, 2017 – Asahi Photoproducts, today reported that Czech-based Colognia Press achieved 100% improvement in press uptime by simply switching to the Asahi Photoproducts platemaking system. Asahi will be showing the AWP™ water-washable flexographic plate solutions used by Colognia Press and featuring Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer at Labelexpo Europe 2017. Asahi will be located on Stand 5A34 at the show, scheduled for 25 to 28 September in Brussels.

“With the flexo plates we were using, we had excessive stop times to clean or replace plates,” says Bohdan Holona, Manager of Desktop Publishing, an in-house design studio at Colognia. “For long-run jobs, this meant half of the time printing the product was downtime. Even for shorter runs, we were not happy with the colour consistency from the beginning to end of the job. Changing or cleaning the plates can often negatively affect the quality of the product.”

“After thorough research from our press team, we finally found the perfect solution,” says Holona. He reports how the company chose to implement the Asahi AWPTM platemaking system. “Now,” he says, “we can do almost any job, totalling scores of kilometers, without stopping. We even ran a 22-hour job with one set of plates, no stops, and with very consistent quality from beginning to end. It’s been amazing!”

Colognia Press uses a tool from Plantyst to gather real-time data about its operation. “This allowed us to see any machine’s production efficiency in real time,” Holona states. “So we know for absolute certainty that these results are accurate. Our press uptime was 20% to 25% with our previous plates. Now we are seeing uptimes of 50% or more on most days.”

Other benefits the company has achieved include:

  • A job that required press stops for plate cleaning or replacement now runs uninterrupted from beginning to end with consistent color quality.
  • One job from a very large customer consists of small labels with a lot of text in tiny Asian script, only about 1 mm in height. “Now with Asahi plates, this text is very legible,” Holona says. “This was something we could not do before, and this important customer is very, very happy. That’s good news for both of us.”
  • When plate changes are required during press checks, they are accomplished in two hours or less where before, the client might have had to return the next day.
  • Press operators are much happier. Asahi plates are compatible with any variety of substrates, just requiring small tests in the beginning to be able to achieve high resolution output with plastics, paper, shrink sleeves, tube laminates, textured substrates and other materials we use.
  • Shorter setup times between jobs; just a few minutes as opposed to an hour or more previously.
  • Exceptional support from Asahi Photoproducts. In fact, Holona says, “Support from Asahi is perfect!”

Asahi experts will be available to speak with visitors at Labelexpo Europe about Asahi plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer and the results achieved by Colognia and others.

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CORRECT-TOUCH GRAPHIC ARTS AND ASAHI SCORE BIG WIN AT FTA

Prolamina HD Flexo Water Promo Bag garners first place for self-promotional flexography using Asahi flexo plates

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, June 23, 2017 – Asahi Photoproducts and Correct-Touch Graphic Arts, the exclusive distributor of Asahi flexo plates in the United States, today reported a self-promotional piece produced by Dixie Graphics and Prolamina using Asahi flexo plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer was awarded first place for that category in the 2017 Excellence in Flexography Awards. The entry, an HD flexo water promo bag, is the latest in a number of awards Asahi flexo plates have garnered in global competitions during 2017.

FTA judges stated the water promo bag had “great ink laydown, very sharp text and excellent tonal range. Overall, a great job.”

“This particular piece would have been nearly impossible to produce at the same level of quality with any other flexo plates,” stated Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager for Asahi Photoproducts Europe. “Credit also goes to Dixie Graphics for production of exceptional quality plates, and to Prolamina for its excellent flexographic craftsmanship.”

“This award is another great example of the level of quality that can be achieved using Asahi flexo plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer,” said Scott Keran, President of Correct-Touch Graphic Arts. “We are proud to be the exclusive U.S. distributor of such an amazing line of products. This particular submission featured heavy ink coverage, brilliant colours, complex graphics and highly legible small type, an excellent piece to demonstrate the capabilities of Asahi plates. Our thanks go to Dixie Graphics and Prolamina for their excellent work in producing this award-winning piece.”

Visit With CTGA At InfoFlexo 2017. BOOTH 524

STOP BY THE CTGA BOOTH AND FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW!
We’re excited to see you all in Phoenix in a couple weeks for InfoFlex 2017.  Make sure to stop by the CTGA booth and speak with one of our representatives about all the exciting new products, technologies and news in our lineup.

Speak with one of our technical sales reps about our exclusive line of Asahi Flexo Plates and their Pinning For Clean Transfer technology which has been winning awards for excellence worldwide in 2017.

FIND CTGA AT BOOTH #524

Asahi Customers Sweep Flexographic Technical Association of South Africa Awards

Judges praised tight register, successful combination of solids and screens on the same plate and more

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, February 23, 2017 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, is pleased to announce that its customers claimed a total of 24 awards, including eight Gold awards, in the 2016 Flexographic Technical Association of South Africa awards competition.

The FTASA Print Excellence Awards have been held in South Africa since 1997; first under the auspices of the Institute of Packaging and later independently. This competition focuses on printing quality and not innovation, design or origination, although the printer’s skill in implementing these is taken into consideration. Judges in this competition apply very high standards in the judging process.

“We were extremely pleased with the performance of our customers in this prestigious awards competition and extend our congratulations to them,” said Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager for Asahi Photoproducts. “A common comment from the judges across many of the Asahi customers who were recognized with awards identified the tight register achieved with Asahi plates, as well as good solid ink laydown and very fine highlight dots, as key criteria in their analysis. In several cases, they also mentioned the ability to achieve fine dots and combined solids and halftones on the same plate. This feedback validates the efforts Asahi has made to bring best-in-class high-performance flexo plates to the market.”

Of particular note is the excellent performance of Golden Era Printers, who captured a total of 12 awards for New Era Labels, New Era Packaging and its Flexo Division, including four Gold awards. All Golden Era plates were made in-house, and the company used a variety of Asahi plates, demonstrating the value of the breadth of the Asahi product line in producing a wide range of quality applications.  These included Asahi TOPTM, DSHTM and DSETM flexographic plates.

Other Asahi customer award winners included:

  • Taurus Packaging with four awards. Plates used included Asahi TOP and DSF, and plates were produced by Polyflex.
  • Constantia Afripack DLC for its Tiger Brands Symphony Hazelnut White Chocolate flexible packaging, achieving a Silver award using Asahi TOPTM plates produced by Polyflex.
  • DCB Plastics for its Gold Award for Bob Martin Complete Condition Meaty Chunks Lamb Flavor (Dog Food, 1.75 kg) flexible packaging using Asahi TOPTM plates produced by Polyflex. In granting the award, the judges declared, “This job leaves very little room for error.” The company also received a silver award for the 8 kg version of Bob Martin Complete Condition Lamb Flavor dog food.
  • ITB Manufacturing received three awards, two Gold and one Silver. The company used Asahi TOP plates produced by Polyflex.
  • Flexible Packaging Converters used Asahi TOPTM plates produced by Polyflex to achieve a Bronze award.
  • Amcor Flexibles was awarded a Gold for its Spar Instant Full Cream Milk Powder flexible packaging produce with Asahi TOPTM plates from Polygraphics.

“This outstanding performance by these companies demonstrates that flexographic printing is here to stay and continues to evolve. We are proud of their hard work and happy to be able to contribute to their success,” says Sachin Sukhlal, Technical Sales Manager at Decoflex in South Africa, one of Asahi’s most successful distributors. “As packaging design becomes more complex and increasingly graphical, the ability to deliver perfect register and clean white highlights with good ink density and laydown in the solid areas is critical. Also, Asahi plates are unique in their ability to produce fine dots and combined solids and halftones using a single plate. All of this adds up to higher flexographic quality and improved OEE for faster cycle times and profitability.”

Asahi’s solvent-washable AFPTM-TOP flexo plates embody a unique design that ensures the highest possible quality print with the least amount of press downtime. Its Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer ensures exceptional print performance and enhanced press profitability. Asahi’s AFPTM-TOP flexo plates were used in 18 of the 24 award-winning applications.

Asahi AWP – NO VOC’s! Boost Your Productivity, Efficiency & Sustainability

MAKE 2017 YOUR BEST YEAR YET

Improve your sustainability, productivity and efficiency with Asahi AWP

While flexography has always been a more efficient and cost-effective printing process, the challenge has been to close the quality gap between offset and gravure printing. Lately, another factor has come into play—the environmental impact of the product itself. A low product carbon footprint not only helps your company’s image—it also reduces energy consumption and its associated operating costs.

The challenge has been to create a more environmentally friendly plate making system without losing the benefits and advantages of quality or efficiency. Meeting that challenge, and surpassing all expectations is Asahi’s AWP Flexo Plates Material and Platemaking Equipment.

Let the Asahi AWP system make 2017 your company’s best year yet!

AWP 2530 Compact

The all new AWP™ 2530 Compact flexo plate processor is Asahi’s smallest AWP™ machine solution for manual operation.

AWP 2530 Auto

The new ALL-IN-ONE AWP™ 2530 Auto is designed for the challenging demand of the highest quality customer.

AWP 4835 P

The new Asahi AWP™ 4835 P plate processor is designed for the challenging demand of the middle size customer.

AWP-DEF Flexo Plate

Water washable plate with Asahi’s Pinning for Clean Transfer technology.

Traditionally, water washable plate quality has been considered second-best when compared to solvent plates. The Asahi AWP plate does more than match traditional solvent photopolymer plates—it outperforms the best digital plates currently available for flexo. For the first time a digital photopolymer plate can hold extremely small stable dots— smaller than those of solvent processed plates—and its stability on press is superior to solvent plates.

Contact CTGA Today & Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

If you’re interested in learning more about the Asahi AWP Platemaking System, AWP Flexo Plates, AWP Equipment or any Asahi Flexo products distributed exclusively in the U.S. by CTGA, contact Correct-Touch Graphic Arts today and speak with one of our technical sales representatives.

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