Hamilton Adhesive Labels Reduces Makeready Time By 30% With Asahi AWP

Incredibly Consistent Technology and World-Class Quality

Tokyo/Brussels, 23 September 2019 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported that Hamilton Adhesive Labels Ltd., a leading converter of printed and plain labels for the food & drink, industrial, automotive, personal and household care markets with an annual turnover in excess of £12 million, has chosen Asahi AWP™ water-washable flexographic plates with CleanPrint. Hamilton operates from a 40,000 square foot manufacturing and warehousing facility centrally located in Bardon, Leicestershire, with a dedicated team of more than 65 people focused on product and service excellence.

Upon joining the company in 2016, Operations Director Paul Larkin, an industry veteran with more than 44 years of experience, was tasked with helping to make the business more sustainable and to identify low-cost changes that could have high productivity impact using his Measurement and Control philosophy, designed to deliver a predictive system that ensures “right first time” performance with world-class quality. He then formed a Formula One (F1) pit stop team tasked with optimizing productivity based on the new predictive system. He states, “Unless you can demonstrate a level of quality, the market is limited for any company.” Over his first year, Larkin examined every phase of the flexographic printing process, including flexographic plates, seeking ways he could improve it.

Larkin tested a wide variety of flexographic plates in his search for the perfect plate, testing them with thousands of meters of print. The ultimate choice was the Asahi AWP™ water-washable plates with Asahi CleanPrint, provided via the company’s repro house partner, Creation Reprographics.

“There is nothing out there like the Asahi AWP™ plates,” Larkin states. “They deliver a great tonal range and the dots are very stable.” He notes that ink on standard flexographic plates can be drawn to the shoulder of the dot, which can have a significant impact on running speed with frequent plate cleaning stops. “Using Asahi AWP™ plates with CleanPrint, it is completely different,” he explains. “The ink is somehow drawn to the tip of the dot, and the press is able to print continually without stopping for plate cleaning. It’s an incredibly consistent technology with world-class quality. It’s been a vital element of our quest to ‘get print right the first time!’”

Award Winning Performance

Not only has the company achieved a reduction in makeready time following its conversion to Asahi AWP™ plates with CleanPrint, but quality was also significantly improved as evidenced by awards its output has achieved. These include an EFIA Gold Award in the promotional category for a Crystal London label and the two Flexotech awards Best Print and Supreme (Best in Show) Awards. “This is the first time we have won this king of awards,” Larkin proudly reports. In presenting the award for Best Print, the judges stated, “Incredible vignettes to paper white, smallest dots ever seen in flexo, sharp text and high colour density. A superb promoter of flexo.” This praise was echoed in the judges’ statement with regard to the Supreme (Best in Show) Award: “We’ve been impressed at first glance; and the more we were checking the quality, the more we were convinced to be looking at a really ‘first in class’ piece of work.”

Benefits Of Asahi CleanPrint

Asahi CleanPrint is designed to facilitate kiss touch printing pressure. Lighter printing pressure ensures constant repeatability of printing quality during the production run as well as longer plate life. This characteristic is achieved with unique Asahi-engineered photopolymer chemistry that reduces the surface energy of the printing plate and enables better ink transfer to the substrate during printing.

CleanPrint has the beneficial effect of reducing ink filling in the mid-tone area during the printing run, leading to fewer cleaning intervals and shorter press downtime for a highly sustainable flexographic printing process. Dr. Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi’s Technical Marketing Manager, notes, “Our customers, including Hamilton Adhesive Labels, are ecstatic about the quality of print they can deliver while also benefiting from reduced makeready time and improvement in OEE.”

Bright Future Ahead

Larkin sees a bright future for Hamilton Adhesive Labels and for the industry at large. “At Hamilton,” he says, “the combination of high quality printing components, including plates, inks and more, in combination with a sustainable company culture that operates from a Measure and Control philosophy with dedicated and talented employees on our F1 team, is driving the quality and price/performance of label manufacturing beyond that of any other printing technology available in the market. We are pleased to be working with Creation Reprographics and Asahi Photoproducts as critical partners that are helping us achieve our goals, win those prestigious awards, and look ahead to even more advances in the future.”

Robinette has the answers to the Great Plate Debate!

“The Asahi AWP™ plates have proven very successful for us. The support from Asahi and its dealer CTGA has been outstanding. Asahi has a full-time representative in CTGA’s Nashville technology center, and their experts also help us with the entire platemaking process. We really appreciate all that they have done for us.”

— Gene Martin, Plant Manager at The Robinette Company

A Solvent-Free Approach to Platemaking

With a focus on sustainability, The Robinette Company was interested in reducing its environmental footprint. “In 2010, I attended the Great Plate Debate in Louisville, Kentucky, sponsored by the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA),” explains Gene Martin, Plant Manager at The Robinette Company’s Bristol TN plant. “All the vendors were there discussing the usual topics and latest technology. Then Asahi Photoproducts came forward with a plate that could be washed out with water and that didn’t require press stops for cleaning as frequently. That immediately got my attention.”

Subsequently, Martin and his team tried the Asahi AWP™-DEF water washable plates featuring Asahi’s CleanPrint Technology. “We ran some test jobs successfully, and our press operators liked the plate,” Martin states. “We were using solvent plates at the time, and it took three hours for the whole platemaking process. With the Asahi AWP™-DEF plates, the first time out in the platemaking process was one hour, with each additional plate in 20 minutes, increasing our platemaking capacity by 33%.” Since Robinette only works with AWP™ plates, this is a substantial time savings in the plate room.

Improved Quality, Faster Job Change Overtime

Robinette’s tests delivered better highlight dots and overall contrast. “The plate itself is very consistent,” Martin says, “when compared to other plate technologies. When you wash out with solvent, the plate swells, and you have to dry it and remove all the solvent to get to the correct caliper. We didn’t have that issue with the AWP™-DEF plates.”

With the AWP™-DEF plates, operators were also able to set impressions more consistently. “The plates have a more consistent surface tension,” he adds. “They release ink consistently with much better color matching between jobs that share the same colors without the need to retone the colors.”

With solvent plates, presses at Robinette delivered a 49.58% Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Now with Asahi AWP™ plates, that has jumped to 64.92%, a 31% increase in OEE for the press room, with reduced makeready times and fewer press stops for plate cleaning. More specifically, the average time it took press operators to change over a job with solvent plates was 297 minutes while AWP™ plates took an average of 151 minutes. “That’s a 50% reduction in makeready time.  This is largely driven by the reduction in changeover time for jobs that share like colors, which represents about 65% of our jobs and has been reduced by two hours. Add all of that to our 33% gain in capacity in the plate room, and it is fair to say that with Asahi AWP™ plates, our plate and press rooms have been revolutionized!”

Moving to the Next Generation

Martin is delighted with the improvements achieved by using the AWP™-DEF water-washable flexo plates. “But nothing in this world stands still,” he comments, “and we are always looking for ways to improve our quality and productivity. We are pleased with the work Asahi Photoproducts is doing to continue to improve their products as well.”

In that spirit, The Robinette company beta-tested the brand-new Asahi AWP™-DEW plate. “We are getting the same great quality and taking advantage of Asahi’s CleanPrint™,” Martin states. “But now our first time out for a plate is reduced from an hour to around 25 minutes, with subsequent plates produced about every 15 minutes.

Solvent-Free

Due to its success with the Asahi water-washable plates, The Robinette Company’s platemaking department is now completely solvent-free. “This is a huge benefit for us,” Martin says. “We no longer have to recycle solvent or handle any hazardous waste.” “The partnership with Asahi is very valuable to us,” Martin concludes. “The support from Asahi and its dealer has been outstanding. Asahi experts also help us with the entire platemaking process, including the Esko plate imager, and HD Flexo and microcell patterning. We really appreciate all that they have done for us.”

CLEAN PRINT: THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NAMING CONVENTION

Since Asahi first brought to market its innovative flexographic plate technology that enabled complete release of ink onto the substrate for a cleaner image and fewer press stops for plate cleaning, our thoughts about the value of the technology have evolved. Our customers remember that we initially called this technology Pinning Top Dot technology, since we were thinking about it from a technological perspective. Over time, we began to realize, based on customer experience, that the value went well beyond the ink transfer to the increased quality and productivity it enabled when looking at the entire process from the plate room to the press room. We also wanted a naming convention that was more descriptive; thus, the naming changed to Clean Transfer Technology.

Now, after several years of field experience with this technology, and as we migrate it to other plates within our portfolio to address a wider array of applications, we have come to understand that the value of the technology goes way beyond the quality and productivity benefits it enables. There are significant environmental benefits as well, especially with our water-washable family of

plates. Not only does it eliminate the need for volatile washout solvents in the platemaking process, speed up the process to consume less energy and deliver the same high quality and press productivity (OEE) our customers have come to expect, but the technology reduces makeready times and waste as well as the amount of time the press needs to run. All of these benefits add up to a much cleaner platemaking and flexographic printing process than can be achieved with any other plates on the market. CleanPrint embodies all of these things and aims to make flexographic printing “CLEANER”.

That means that using Asahi’s AWPTM family of water washable flexo plates delivers significant benefit, from both a quality and sustainability perspective. Water washable plates are now well-positioned to completely replace solvent-based platemaking workflows for most applications. This results in faster platemaking, improved OEE on press, higher quality and longer lasting plates, reduced or eliminated VOCs, and no need to manage or dispose of toxic chemicals.

CleanPrint plates from Asahi, then, not only produce cleaner printed images, but they do so in a much cleaner, more environmentally balanced way. Some of the benefits include:

  • Significantly reduced platemaking and on-press time results in a reduction in power consumption.
  • Plates last longer and don’t require press stops for cleaning, further improving press OEE.
  • Faster run up to color and more consistency throughout the run means less waste of expensive packaging substrates.
  • Full transfer of the ink from CleanPrint plates to the substrate creates significantly higher printing quality at less cost.
  • Elimination of VOC solvents in the plate processor also making the workplace safer in better balance with the environment.

Get the details www.asahi-photoproducts.com/en/resource/46

Asahi Photoproducts to Unveil CleanPrint™ at Labelexpo Europe 2019

The absolute best way to make flexographic printing a CLEANER technology (and more profitable!)

Tokyo/Brussels, 28 May 2019 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported it will be again exhibiting at Labelexpo Europe, scheduled for 24 to 27 September in Brussels. Asahi will be located on Stand 5a34 at the show and will be displaying its full array of flexographic plates. Featured at the show will be Asahi’s CleanPrint™, a technology which has evolved over time to become the industry benchmark for CLEAN flexographic printing.

“Since Asahi first brought to market its innovative flexographic plate technology, which enabled complete release of ink onto the substrate for a cleaner image and fewer press stops for plate cleaning, our thoughts about the value of the technology have evolved,” said Dr. Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi’s Technical Marketing Manager. “Not only do we continue to improve our plate quality and performance, but we have also learned from our customers that the value of the technology goes way beyond the quality and productivity benefits it enables. Not only does it eliminate the need for volatile solvents in the platemaking process, speed up the process to consume less energy and deliver the same high quality and press productivity (OEE) our customers have come to expect, but the technology reduces makeready times and waste as well as the amount of time the press needs to run. All of these benefits add up to a much cleaner platemaking and flexographic printing process than can be achieved with any other plates on the market.”

Read full release and download documents

Asahi Photoproducts at EskoWorld 2019 with enhanced plate Portfolio

Attendees will learn how Asahi CleanPrint™ significantly improves Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) across the entire flexographic production process

Tokyo/Brussels, May 23, 2019 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today announced it is again attending and sponsoring EskoWorld 2019, scheduled for 24 to 26 June in Nashville, Tennessee. During the event, Asahi representatives will be speaking with attendees about the OEE advantages of Asahi AWP™ water-washable plates, as well as their effect on improved environmental sustainability.

“We began using Asahi AWPTM-DEF plates in 2010,” said Gene Martin, Plant Manager at The Robinette Company’s Bristol TN plant. “At the time, it was taking us three hours for the platemaking process with solvent plates. With the Asahi AWPTM-DEF plates, the first time out in the platemaking process was one hour, with each additional plate in 20 minutes, increasing our platemaking capacity by 33%.” Since Robinette only uses Asahi plates, this is a substantial time saving in the plate room.

Read full release and download documents

CTGA: Celebrating 20 Years Of Being Your Source For Quality Flexo Plates

It Began With A Simple Goal

For 20 years now, CTGA has been a top source for Flexo Plate Material and flexographic printing products and equipment in North America.

We started this business with a simple goal, to supply our clients with the highest quality flexo plates, and help boost flexographic printing to the top of the printing industry.  To accomplish this goal we partnered with Asahi, a company we saw having the foresight to innovate flexo plates and bring improved quality, productivity and sustainability to flexo.  It was the best decision we could’ve ever made, as Asahi plates have taken Flexo by storm since then, and achieved a new level of success for our clients who use them.

From there we built out the rest of our product catalog with products and equipment from the top brands in the world, Esko, Glunz & Jensen, Tesa, Techkon,  Beta Industries, CGS Oris and our own Green Dragon line.  Together with our complete line of Asahi flexo plates and equipment, we believe we offer the best and most comprehensive product catalog in the business.  And, our clients’ success over the years backs that up.

Asahi Flexo Plates

The outstanding performance of Asahi Flexo Plates is the result of over 30 years of technological development in the field of photopolymer plates for flexo printing. In that time, Asahi has grown to become a leading manufacturer of digital and analog printing plates for the flexo market. They’ve achieved this by setting the highest standards in product development and manufacturing, while continually breaking new ground in advancing technologies to improve print quality, cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability.

AWP-DEF

Asahi AWP Water Wash Flexo Plate

AFP-TOP

AFP-DSF

Introducing Green Dragon Products By CTGA

We Carry The Top Brands In The World

ESKO

TESA

Techkon

GLUNZ & JENSEN

BETA INDUSTRIES

CGS ORIS

Label Impressions, The Most Eco-Friendly Label Company In The World With Help From Asahi AWP

CTGA customer Label Impressions, Inc. remains one of the greenest label companies in the world today, and part of that is due to it’s use of Asahi’s AWP Water Washout Flexo Plates and Equipment.  In their commitment to stay eco-friendly and sustainable, Label Impressions began working with AWP and never looked back.  They immediately saw an increase in productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability with AWP.

But that’s not the only way Label Impressions has achieved the greenest label company status…

In addition to operating a 100% wind powered, carbon neutral facility, Label Impressions is the exclusive supplier for tree-free, stone paper labels. They also offer 100% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) recycled labels, biodegradable labels with biodegradable adhesives, and we even create our own drinking water from the humidity we reduce in our manufacturing area.

Label Impressions, Inc. is dedicated to keeping our environment healthy “one label at a time.” As an industry sustainability leader, Label Impressions has been instrumental in developing several green label materials and environmental standards. They are currently the ONLY label printer to be certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and to be awarded carbon neutral status through non-profit CarbonFund.org. Label Impressions’ president, Jeff Salisbury, is a contributor to the industry’s L.I.F.E. program (Label Initiative For the Environment) and a regular speaker on environmental packaging and manufacturing solutions.

 

State-Of-The-Art Technologies On Display At CTGA’s LabelExpo 2018 Booth

Visit with us in Chicago at LabelExpo 2018 and see samples of the ground breaking technology we offer our customers through partnerships with incredible brands like Asahi, Esko, and more.

In our fast-paced and rapidly evolving industry, efficiency, waste reduction and speed to market are critical. By partnering with Label Impressions, Inc., Esko and CTGA, Asahi has brought together solutions from world-class companies to create a faster, more efficient and more consistent flexographic platemaking workflow. Esko’s Crystal technology reduces the number of platemaking steps required and is making the process more consistent. By adding Asahi’s AWP™ water washable plates with Clean Transfer Technology to the mix, our customers can take OEE to a brand-new level of efficiency while boosting print quality and reducing their environmental footprint.

As one of the only national U.S. distributors of Asahi AWP plates and plate making equipment, CTGA is proud to represent the future of flexographic printing to our customers, and we hope you visit with us at LabelExpo 2018 to see a sample of this work in partnership with the amazing companies listed above, and to learn what we can do to help drive the success of your business!

The Specifications for this special LabelExpo Promo Piece are:

The construction for the Expo label: 
– Clear PolyPropylener
2.3 White Bopp
– Silver Cold Foil
– Clear Self Wound Lamination (adhesive already applied)
– Fasson (Avery Dennison)
Press speed: 
– 180 fpm
– Nilpeter 4200 10/color press
Ink:
– Siegwerk UV
Sticky- Back: 
– 3M E1215 for process and E1315 spot black and cold foil
Harper Anilox layout: 
– Reverse print image (back)- K 1400 1.7, M 1400 1.69, Y 1400 1.72
– Surface print (front) – CF 360 5.0, Y 1400 1.52, M 1400 1.33, C 1400 1.59, K 1400 1.5, Spot Blk 800 3.5
Plates:
– 200 LPI
– True fade to zero
– XPS Exposure
– Screen package = HD Flexo_Benchamrk_FTD_XPS_HDScreens_H34_Esko_Crystal_XPS_198lpi

Label Impressions recently received the TLMI Annual Excellence in Printing award

CTGA Client, Label Impressions, recently received the TLMI Annual “Excellence in Printing” award for an 8-color promotional label on static cling material. This TLMI (Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute) award is coveted by label printers nationwide. While many converters send in dozens of submissions in hopes of winning LII submitted just ONE and took home the trophy!

Static cling is notoriously difficult to maintain consistent color, fine dots, and crisp text. Label Impressions was able to achieve unprecedented results with our HD Flexo plates, advanced production equipment, and exceptional experience in flexographic printing. Our work on this and all of our process color labels rival Gravure and Offset traditionally known as ‘the’ go-to when top quality is an absolute must.

Label Impressions also utilizes Asahi AWP plate material and water washout technology for high quality print and a more sustainable and environmentally friendly production process.  CTGA is proud to provide these high quality Asahi products that drive quality, success and sustainability.

As the label industry’s leader in innovation and quality, Label Impressions adds this latest achievement to a number of unique accomplishments like plantable labels, clean release and window cards, various expanded content solutions, and truly green production.

 

ASAHI PHOTOPRODUCTS TO EXHIBIT AT LABELEXPO AMERICAS

Repost from asahi-photoproducts.com

A focus on quick, consistent and highest quality creation of plates with Asahi AWP™ flexographic plates

Tokyo/Brussels, August 2, 2018 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today announced it will be exhibiting at Labelexpo Americas 2018, scheduled for 25 to 27 September at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Asahi will be located in Stand F6479 at the show. The company will be showing its AWP™ family of water-washable flexographic plate solutions featuring Clean Transfer Technology, including its new AWP™ -DEW plate with washout speeds 2.5 times faster than previous plates, making it ideal for on-demand platemaking and a more efficient flexographic operation in even the busiest plants.

“At the show, we will be showing flexographic print samples printed using AWP™ plates imaged on an Esko Crystal XPS system whose simultaneous UV main and back exposure produces highly consistent digital flexo plates,” said Makoto Nagata, Sales Manager Overseas for Asahi. “We are looking forward to welcoming visitors and sharing information about the possibilities created with the quick, consistent, and highest quality creation of plates using the Asahi AWP™ family of plates.”

Asahi experts will also be available to speak with visitors about the Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) benefits of Asahi AWP™ plates. “Printing operations stand to reap huge benefits from moving to AWP™ plates,” adds Mr. Nagata. “Companies like Czech-based Colognia Press are seeing press uptimes of more than 50%, up from 25% with their previous plates, and even report running a 22-hour job with one set of plates, no stops, and with very consistent quality from beginning to end. In our experience, AWP™ plates make these types of results very achievable for flexo printers.”

Read complete article on asahi-photoproducts.com

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