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.

Asahi’s green focus at Labelexpo Southeast Asia

Original article from printweek.in

Sam Yamamoto of Asahi, said, “At the show, our experts will be helping the visitors better understand how Asahi AWP plates can improve environmental sustainability, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and organisational profitability without any compromise on quality.”
According to Asahi, Clean Transfer Technology is a technology which enables clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas and thus resulting in fewer cleaning intervals and reduced press downtime.
Asahi will also talk about fixed colour palette printing, which uses a up to seven inks and thereby eliminates the use of spot colours.
Yamamoto explained, “Because it uses a fixed set of inks, there is no wash-up required between jobs, and combo jobs are made easier. Also, there is significantly less waste in the printing process, improving throughput and productivity.”
“This is the future of flexography, especially in label printing where digital printing has made significant inroads; it favourably positions flexography to compete with digital printing for the short run jobs,” Yamamoto added.

Read the complete article on printweek.in

Asahi Photoproducts to Support First Edition of Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2018 with Innovation, Education

Original article from flexoglobal.com

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, March 20, 2018 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported it will be showing its AWP™ line of water-washable flexographic plate solutions featuring its Clean Transfer Technology at Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2018. The show is a brand-new event in the Labelexpo Global Series. Asahi will be located on Stand D36 at the show, scheduled for 10 to 12 May 2018 in Bitec, Bangkok. Joining Asahi at the event will be its important distributor, Nagase who supports Asahi in Southeast Asia market.

“Labelexpo events around the globe are an excellent platform for introducing labels & packaging converters and brands to new and innovative technologies, and we are delighted to be participating in the first ever Southeast Asian Labelexpo,” states Sam Yamamoto, Senior Sales Manager for Asahi Asia & Pacific Region. “It is especially good timing for us to introduce that region to our environmentally sustainable water-washable plate technologies since governments there are gearing up to increase environmental regulations. At the show, our experts will be on hand to help visitors better understand how Asahi AWP™ plates can improve environmental sustainability, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and organizational 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 the benefits of 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. In addition, there is significantly less waste in the printing process, improving throughput and productivity. Asahi plates with Clean Transfer Technology deliver the precise plate-to-plate register required to implement this printing process successfully. “In our opinion,” adds Mr. Yamamoto, “this is the future of flexography, especially in label printing where digital printing has made significant inroads; it favourably positions flexography to compete with digital printing for all but the very shortest runs. This will be especially beneficial in Southeast Asia as the label market there continues to mature.”

At the show…

At Labelexpo Southeast Asia, Asahi Photoproducts will be showing 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 who are looking to achieve significant quality and OEE benefits.

Voice of the Customer

Colognia Press is a Czech-based label converter and satisfied Asahi customer 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 that 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 on flexoblogal.com

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)

Visit With Asahi At Labelexpo Europe 2017

Visit with Asahi Photoproducts at Labelexpo Europe 2017 and learn about all the exciting advancements in flexo plate material and equipment they’ve made this year.  Asahi will be in Brussels at the Expo on September 25-28 at Stand: 5A34.

“We are looking forward to exhibiting at Labelexpo in Brussels in September, and we hope you will join us there. This is a special venue for us, since Asahi Photoproducts Europe began operations in Brussels, our home city, in 1974. During Labelexpo, we are planning some very exciting events for you and our distributors to add even more value to your Labelexpo attendance.”

– Akihiro KATO, Managing Directory, Asahi Photoproducts

Read Asahi’s article on Tips For Preparing For Labelexpo 2017.  Here’s a snippet below:

Before You Go

Take the time to assess your operation and identify any gaps you find in operational efficiency, quality or the ability to produce jobs profitably. Document these gaps with as much quantification as possible. This will be the baseline against which you can measure the potential or actual improvements investments can deliver.

Make a list of the suppliers present at Labelexpo Europe who are likely to have solutions that can close these gaps. Map out a logical pathway through the show to ensure you are able to visit all of them.

At the same time, be sure to allow yourself time to explore new areas of opportunity you might not have considered. And don’t forget that this is a terrific opportunity to network with your peers to gain insight into how they have addressed moving their businesses forward.

Areas of Opportunity

There are several areas of opportunity that apply to most firms, even if they have taken significant steps to improve operations. It seems that there are always opportunities to do even more. Consider these:

  • Improve Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE). Downtime is deadly. Take a page out of the Colognia Press book – the company went from about 20% uptime to more than 50% uptime by simply changing out its plates and platemaking system. “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. Now we can run a full 10 kilometer 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!”
  • Consider implementing fixed color palette printing. By shifting to a process printing approach using up to seven ink colors, you can minimize the need for acquiring, managing and storing a large inventory of spot color inks. Using a fixed palette of inks means even more improvement in OEE, as makeready and job changeover times are significantly reduced, since there is no need to wash up the press between jobs. Plus, using a fixed ink palette also makes it easier to run combo jobs. Of course, process printing with up to seven colors requires plates that deliver precise registration and clean ink transfer to assure excellent quality in the highlights and midtones while still delivering required ink laydown for solid areas.
  • Find a partner willing to invest in you. Unfortunately, there are too many suppliers in the marketplace that consider a sale to be “one and done.” To truly transform your business, you need to find suppliers that have demonstrated they truly partner with their customers. This is where talking to your peers can be helpful. If you are interested in a particular supplier, ask for references, and then follow up with them. You’ll quickly find out whether customer experiences live up to expectations.

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

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.

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