Plate Mounting Tape: What you need to know before you choose

Repost of Original Article from tesa.com


With few exceptions, no two plate mounting applications are exactly alike. To choose the right tape, you need to start with four basic questions: Who, where, how and what.

Here’s what we mean:

WHO = Standard Operating Procedures

WHERE = Environment

HOW = Equipment (both mounting and printing)

WHAT = Graphics

Quick and easy, right?

The short answer is, no.

Within each of these questions are lots of variables that you need to take into account. Taking the time to consider them will lead you to the tape that will work best. Along the way, you may also find that some simple changes – like using a different tool or switching out a printing plate – will help you do the same job better, faster and more efficiently.

Let us take you through our matchmaking-like approach to picking the right plate mounting tapes.

WHO = Standard Operating Procedures

We always start with standard operating procedures (SOP), which is really the human factor. After all, it’s people who set up the processes and put them in place (whether or not those processes are followed is a separate issue).

There are lots of different tools and many different ways of applying or mounting a tape. The recommended tape or adhesive will depend on your particular combination.

Maintenance is another key factor. Is the shop or work area kept immaculate or does it tend to get dirty? Are the plates cleaned as thoroughly and regularly as the other equipment?

We’re not judging. Just know that certain adhesives are more forgiving in dirtier conditions, and don’t lose their stickiness even when certain contaminants are left on the plate.

Other tapes perform best on equipment that is consistently kept very clean. They can also allow for an easier demount of the plate or smoother release from the sleeve.

If your company, and, more critically, the shop, are open to change, the benefits of new tools with a different tape may outweigh the time and inconvenience of making the switch and updating the SOP.

WHERE = Environment

Where are you working? To pick the right mounting tape or adhesive package, you need to know the conditions around your equipment. This includes the printing area as well as wherever the sleeves or cylinders are stored before and after the mounting.

Just like you’d look at the weather when packing for a trip, we study several factors to help identify the best tape for your operations:

– Average temperatures during working hours
– Temperature changes overnight
– Extreme temperatures – the highs and the lows
– Minimum and maximum humidity

Some tapes can take the heat, some can withstand the cold. Others are engineered to withstand wide swings in temperature and humidity levels while certain adhesive need regulated temperatures and controlled climates. It comes down to getting the right fit.

HOW = Equipment

The equipment — the “how” question – is closely related to standard operating procedures since whatever your company uses will, of course, impact those processes. Still, it’s worth taking a close look at the materials and the machinery used both in mounting and in the printing itself.

There are important differences in fully automated, semi-automated and manual mounting that will affect the type of tape that we’d recommend. Certain adhesives are definitely more effective when applied by hand. We’d also want to know if you use application tools like squeegees or rollers.

The size and condition of the sleeves or cylinders also come into play. For scored or uneven surfaces, flexible tapes are a good option because they conform closely for the best fit and better results.

On the printing side, the age and condition of presses are the big variables. If your equipment produces some bounce, chatter or vibrations when running, certain foam hardnesses can help compensate for those movements. There may be build-up tape on the presses – and on the cylinders and sleeves, too – for which a more suitable adhesive will be needed.

Don’t forget about the types of inks and solvents used on the machinery, too. They also help determine the chemical resistance of the recommended tapes and adhesives.

WHAT = GRAPHICS

Last, but not least, is the look of the final product. The designs and the types of plates used to create them influence the choice of plate mounting tapes.

Here’s where you consider the plate’s material and hardness (have your tried our Foam Advisor yet?)

The recommendations also consider if you’re printing solids, fine dots, highlights or a combination of all those design elements. The use of screening technology is another factor that will impact the decision-making process.

After all the analysis and discussion, a recommended plate mounting tape is only as good as the results it achieves. A trial run in your shop or factory is the ultimate – and best – test.

Techkon – Make The Switch

Are You Ready to Make the Switch? We Make it Easy

Let’s face it, the “switch” is on! At Techkon, they live it, breath it, and sell it every day. Printers in all markets and of all sizes are making the switch from other color management devices and software to newer Techkon solutions. We could go on and on and explain all of the reasons like more innovative products, unlimited customer support, and dedicated customer support. However, that’s not what this blog is about. Instead, this blog is to explain how Techkon can help you make the “switch”. Printers are thrilled to learn about the advantages of Techkon products, but to some, making the “switch” sometimes seems like a daunting task. So, here are the 3 top reasons why some customers dread making the “switch” and how Techkon can make it far easier than you might have imagined.

Customer Worry #1 – Will those new Techkon devices measure the same way as my current color management devices?

Solution – It turns out that Techkon devices are manufactured to be traceable to the same industry standards as other popular color management devices. As a result, new SpectroDens instruments measure almost as close to a competing device as they do to each other. This is big news and this means you don’t have to worry any more about scenarios where (1) color standards were originally created with a competing device or (2) using a mixture of a competing device and SpectroDens instruments across your color production workflow.

Customer Worry #2 – What about all my instruments and software that already have all of my color standards loaded into them?

Solution – No worries! Techkon is here to help and can migrate all of your color standards for you. This is part of the service you can expect from Techkon when making the “switch”. Their color experts can export your color standards out of your current software systems and install them in your new Techkon hardware and software so you don’t have to worry about this one. In fact, if they can get your color standards ahead of time, and can even install them on any new instruments you purchase before it’s shipped out to you! How’s that for easy?

Customer Worry #3 – How am I going to train everyone on using new Techkon hardware and software products?

Solution – First, Techkon designs all of its’ products to be intuitive and easy to use. This is their first design principle and they strive for excellence here. Second, Techkon offers unlimited technical support on their products. Your satisfaction and delight using our products and services is truly their goal here. Techkon offers remote, live training services, video tutorials, and telephone support until your team is fully trained and you are comfortable waving goodbye to your old tools. That’s their promise to you.

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.”

Introducing the new Kongsberg Motorized Roll Feeder

Get 100% accurate cuts on high volume soft signage jobs!

Eliminate inaccurate cuts on soft signage jobs due to wrinkles, stretch distortion or imperfectly rewound rolls. The Motorized Roll Feeder from Esko is a wide format roll feeder with active material feed for the Esko Kongsberg C64 cutting table.

This is the only solution in the soft signage industry that guarantees perfect cut results on tensile materials; from the very first cut through to the end of the roll.

Benefits you won’t find anywhere else

  • Consistent wrinkle-free and straight feed
  • Always in perfect registration with the print
  • Capable of handling heavy rolls up to 300kg/660lbs

See The Motorized Roll Feeder In Action