Essel Propack Installs Asahi AWP System

Correct-Touch Graphic Arts recently helped industry leader Essel Propack with the purchase and installation of Asahi’s AWP 4835 Plate Processing unit and AWP water washable flexo plates.  The use of Asahi’s AWP system brings improved quality and sustainability to Essel’s production and greatly improves their OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) with less downtime, reduced waste and increased repeatability.  This improvement has a great impact on their overall success and profitability.

The investment in Asahi AWP brings an increased efficiency to our business that allows us to greatly improve output during production.  The Asahi Plate processing unit along with the AWP plate material offers us maximum quality and control throughout the print process, and we’re excited for the overall benefit it brings to our company.  Both Asahi and CTGA really helped steer us through the entire process from consultation through installation to ensure we got what we needed,” said Srikant Jindam, U.S. Graphics Manager at Essel Propack when discussing the choice to go with Asahi AWP.

ABOUT ESSEL PROPACK

Essel Propack, part of the USD 4.2 billion Essel Group, with FY17 turnover of over USD 368 million, is the largest specialty packaging global company, manufacturing laminated plastic tubes catering to the FMCG and Pharma space.

Employing over 2852 people representing 25 different nationalities, Essel Propack functions through 19 state of the art facilities and in eleven countries, selling circa 7 billion tubes and continuing to grow every year.

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THE ASAHI AWP SYSTEM

AWP technology has been designed from the start with a strong consideration for the environment, and a commitment to minimizing any possible waste of precious resources. For starters, the system is water-washable, rather than relying on harsh solvents.  The entire plate developing process doesn’t generate any waste other than unexposed polymer residues, which are collected as dry ‘cake’ and safely disposed as combustible material.

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.

Gateway Packaging Company improves Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) with Asahi Photoproducts AWP™ Water-Washable Plates by 53%

Unique Clean Transfer technology of Asahi AWP™ plates improves quality, productivity

Tennessee-based Gateway Packaging Company has chosen to partner with CTGA and Asahi Photoproducts after an exhaustive search for an improved platemaking process.

Gateway operates three manufacturing locations serving the United States and Canada and produces packaging for consumer packaged goods manufacturers and industrial packaging for the food, agricultural, chemical and charcoal industries.

As a leading high-end printer/packaging converter and the largest pet food packaging provider in North America, Gateway Packaging is continually seeking ways to improve products and solve problems for its customers. By switching to Asahi AWP™ flexographic plates with Clean Transfer, the company has taken another step long its path of continuous improvement. Gateway also installed an Asahi AWP 1116 PD Processor as part of the revamping of its platemaking process.

“With the variety of flexographic plates and platemaking solutions available in the market, we wanted to do a thorough evaluation to ensure our investment decision was the best possible choice,” said Tharrin Akers, Prepress Manager. “With that in mind, we benchmarked solutions from the leading players, ultimately bringing our selection to the top two, including Asahi Photoproducts. As a final test, we ran a number of production jobs using plates generated by CTGA to compare efficiency with our current process, and we were very pleased with the results achieved using the Asahi solutions.”

The production test was run on an F&K 20six flexographic press using 40-pound coated white paper and solvent inks, with a run length of 675,000 feet (205,200 meters). The press ran at 1,400 feet per minute (427 m/min.). The run using competitive plates experienced a total 

production time of 483 minutes or 11 hours with a total plate cleaning time of 177 minutes and a requirement to clean plates every 2.5 rolls of media at 32 minutes per time.

“When running the Asahi plates,” Akers explained, “we were able to run the press at a 17% higher speed – 1,640 feet per minute (500 m/min.) – and only had to stop for plate cleaning once. And that only required cleaning two plates, consuming 20 minutes. The result was a total production time of 432 minutes or 7.2 hours and an astonishing 53% improvement in Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).”

As a result of these tests, Gateway decided to make a significant investment in a new platemaking department, implementing Asahi Photoproducts AWP™ water-washable plates and adding a Kongsberg cutting table, a Glunz & Jensen Concept 401 ECLF Exposure Unit, and the Asahi Photoproducts AWP™ 1116 PD Processor. Gateway estimated a payback period of 10 months for this significant investment based on the productivity and quality gains it would deliver.

 

The result was a total production time of 432 minutes or 7.2 hours and an astonishing 53% improvement in Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).

Asahi AWP™ plates feature Clean Transfer Technology, which allows a kiss-touch printing pressure setting. It 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. It also ensures precise register and fewer press stops for cleaning or plate changes, increasing Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Pictured:  Tharrin Akers, Prepress Manager Gatweay (left), David Bell, Technical Sales Representative CTGA (right)

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.

Looking To Bring Platemaking In-House?

If you’ve been considering bringing platemaking in-house, Correct-Touch Graphic Arts can make it happen.  Not only do we carry platemaking equipment, supplies and plate material from the top brands in the industry, but we also provide you with a one-stop resource for consultation, installation, maintenance and service.

When you work with CTGA we become your partner in the success of your business! Contact us today and get started.

CTGA IS WITH YOU FROM EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
  • We will consult with you to determine the optimum room size, layout and ventilation requirements
  • We will offer ways to reduce VOC’s in the plant
  • We will work with you to determine the most cost effective equipment
  • We will install your equipment for you
  • We will test various plate materials to determine what works best on press
  • We will train your plate making staff in the proper steps to make a great plate
  • We will show you how to print better, by optimizing the printing plate process
  •  We will work with your pre press provider to optimize art files, using the latest screening technologies and press characterization software. 
  •  Will help you fingerprint all of your press lines, ink sets and substrates as part of bringing the Asahi plate in house 
  •  Provide ongoing training to platemaking and pre press personnel

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!”

Read the complete article

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.

Read the complete article

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.”

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.

Asahi and CTGA Help Label Impressions Produce Award Winning Label

Article from labelandnarrowweb.com

Orange County, CA-based Label Impressions took home the top prize in the Flexography – Line & Screen, Tone/Prime category at the recent 2016 TLMI Annual Label Awards competition. The company had recently completed several upgrades to improve its quality, sustainability and profitability in line with emerging industry trends.

“This recognition validates our investment decisions,” says Jeff Salisbury, CEO. “We have moved to a new 30,000-square-foot facility with electrical and landscaping upgrades that improved our efficiency and sustainability. We have been using Asahi TOP Premium flexo solvent-wash plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer, which was a significant contributor to our ability to achieve this prestigious award. Our thanks go to Correct-Touch Graphic Arts (CTGA) and Asahi Photoproducts for their partnership and support.” Salisbury reports that Asahi and CTGA have been important partners as the company reconfigures its business. Both, quality and throughput were improved by the Asahi TOP Premium plates, making this award possible.

After a recent installation of a new Asahi AWP 230W Water Wash Plate Making System, the company also expects to reduce VOC’s by 85%, setting a new milestone for Label Impressions in terms of quality and environmental sustainability. “In addition,” he adds, “gray water from the water wash system will be used to drip irrigate our landscaping, important in California where water is precious and conservation is a must.”

The winning label printed with TOP featured high-resolution graphics as well as small type that needed to be extremely legible to comply with regulations and ensure brand integrity. “Our congratulations go out to Label Impressions and our distributor, CTGA, for this honor,” says Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager at Asahi Photoproducts. “We are pleased to be able to support our customers, helping them to stay ahead of the game and maintain a competitive advantage while also being considerate of the environment. Label Impressions is a great example of this partnership at work.”

Read more at labelandnarrowweb.com

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