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 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/UTECO STUDY PROVES OVERALL EQUIPMENT EFFECTIVENESS (OEE) IMPROVEMENTS FOR FLEXO ARE ACHIEVABLE

Original article from Asahi Photoproducts

Tokyo, Japan, & Brussels, Belgium, May 12, 2016 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported that it has carried out a practical OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) study with the Italian press manufacturer Uteco in Verona. Over the past 20 years, Asahi and Uteco have teamed on various projects to study how to make print production more efficient through a combination of the press, printing plates and other materials.

“Our studies show that printing plates make a significant contribution to overall performance in flexographic printing,” says Andrea Belloli, Italian Branch manager for Asahi Photoproducts, “and many of the studies we have conducted with Uteco over the years are designed to both guide our development efforts and prove the results as we bring new products to market. Uteco Group CEO Aldo Peretti adds, “Quality and performance are key customer requirements. These ongoing tests with Asahi are part of our ‘pit-stop project’ designed to find ways to speed up job changeover times on CI flexo presses. This latest study certainly proves that choosing the right plates can make a huge difference.”

During the study, two one-colour print runs of approximately 38,000 meters each were undertaken in Uteco’s Printing Technology Center, theConverdrome, in Verona. One run used standard solvent-washable plates; the other used Asahi’s AWP water-washable plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer. All other characteristics of the run were the same, including substrate and inks, and used the latest Uteco CI model press, the Onyx XS, running at a 300 meter per minute press speed.

• For the conventional plate, the run length was 37,368 linear meters. It took a total running time of 173 minutes. Total press down time was 47 minutes for plate cleaning. Waste produced was 1,025 metres. OEE efficiency was calculated to be 72%.

• For the Asahi plates, the run length was 38,000 linear meters. It took a total running time of 140 minutes. Total press down time was 8 minutes for plate cleaning. Waste produced was 450 metres OEE efficiency was calculated to be 91%.

“We were very pleased with these results,” Belloli states. “It translates to a 26% OEE improvement with Asahi AWP plates as compared conventional solvent plates and produced 575 linear meters less waste material while at the same time delivering higher overall quality. In a busy flexographic shop, this would translate to the ability to process two more jobs with similar length through the press by using AWP plates, a significant increase in throughput.”

As a result of these tests, Asahi was awarded the prestigious European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) Gold Award for Sustainable Manufacturing and Product Innovation.

Read the complete article here

Asahi Flexo Plates With Award Winning Pinning Technology

Asahi flexo plates provide customers with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer. This unique Asahi plate technology is specifically engineered to transfer all remaining ink to the print substrate due to the photopolymer plates having a lower surface energy than other plates on the market. Not only does this deliver stunning graphical quality, but it also improves overall production efficiencies due to reduced make-ready waste and fewer press wash-ups.

As an exclusive U.S. distributor of Asahi flexo plate material, CTGA is happy to play a part in the success and growth of our customers’ businesses by offering these ground-breaking quality flexo plates to their operations.  If you haven’t experienced the quality of Asahi flexo plates with pinning top dot technology yet, contact CTGA today and speak with one of our technical sales representatives about getting a free sample of Asahi Flexo Plate Material.

Asahi’s plate line includes:

AWP™-DEF water-washable plates, producing superior results compared to traditional technologies and even outperforming the latest generation of digital flexographic printing plates. The AWP™-DEF plate delivers a level of graphic reproduction with more complete ink transfer and a wider tonal range. With its solvent-free platemaking process, there is no need for high temperature processes and the result is a perfect, dimensionally stable plate that ensures high quality print registration without colour shift.

AFP™–TOP, a premium digital flexo plate designed primarily for wide-web film printing applications giving the printer a broader colour gamut with soft tonal shades fading out to zero. With superb press stability characteristics, it is able to consistently reproduce and print small dots and is able to print vignettes that run to zero. It delivers an average cost savings of 18% due to improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as compared to standard digital flexo plates, resulting in savings of several hundred thousand euros per year.

AFP™ – TSP for paper printing applications. These medium-hard plates are tailor-made for paper and higher quality corrugated board applications with water-based inks. TSP plates are compatible with water, solvent and most UV-curable inks, enabling all converters to benefit from Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer. These plates also facilitate homogeneous ink transfer in solid and line work, and better control of ink trapping when different colour inks are printed on top of each other.