Italian Repro House Zincografia Empolese Improves Sustainability, Productivity For Customers With Asahi CleanPrint Flexo Plates

Exceptional Asahi support, reduced cycle time in plate production, improved press room OEE for customers are some of the benefits achieved

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2022. Asahi Photoproducts reported that Italian repro house Zincografia Empolese has installed an Asahi AWP™ 4835 P flexographic plate processor and Asahi AWP™-DEW CleanPrint water-washable plates to its production platform. The company, which has been in business since 1985 and is a business unit of ZE Group, is located in San Miniato, Italy. Zincografia Empolese provides high-quality flexo plates to its customers, who produce labels, flexible and corrugated packaging.

“Prior to acquiring our Asahi plate processor using AWP™-DEW CleanPrint plates, we used a variety of different products,” said Noemi Bisoli, Managing Partner. “We made the switch for a number of reasons, including the excellent support we get from Asahi, the faster processing time for plates in prepress, and the reduced downtime in the press room for plate changes or press stops for plate cleaning at our customer sites. We also appreciate how sustainable the entire platemaking process is with Asahi AWP™-DEW water-washable plates, a factor that is more and more important to our customers.”

Bisoli notes that the company uses a significant amount of flexo plate material annually, and with the new efficiencies offered by the Asahi configuration, expects that number to grow a lot.

Asahi Photoproducts experts will be available at the upcoming Print4All trade show to explain the benefits of Asahi AWP™ plates and processing technology as well as the benefits Zincografia Empolese has achieved. Scheduled for 3 to 6 May 2022 at Fiera Milano, Print4All offers an opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in the world of print, including converting, package printing and labeling. Asahi Photoproducts will be located in Pavilion 9, Stand P17 – R18 at the show. Visitors to the Asahi stand will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with both Asahi experts to learn more about the benefits of Asahi CleanPrint plates and plate processing systems.

No VOC-based washout solvents required

Asahi AWP™ CleanPrint water-washable flexographic plates are processed without VOC-based washout solvents, use less energy in the production process and deliver a faster time to press than VOC solvent-wash plates. The ability of Asahi´s CleanPrint water-washable flexographic photopolymer plate technology to deliver high-quality print performance results from its engineered photopolymer chemistry design. The water-wash technology also features a low-surface energy plate, resulting in fewer press stops for plate cleaning, significantly improved OEE in the pressroom, and reduced press waste. All of these elements make them the most sustainable flexographic plates in the industry. In addition, AWP™-DEW CleanPrint plates deliver extremely high-quality print due to their precise registration and ability to deliver perfect printing balance between highlights and solids.

Japanese Flexographic Printer Kindai Bijyutsu Co., Ltd, Upgrades Flexo Platemaking With Solutions From Asahi Photoproducts

Japanese Flexographic Printer Kindai Bijyutsu Co., Ltd, Upgrades Flexo Platemaking With Solutions From Asahi Photoproducts

Water-wash flexo plate processing delivering cleaner print, fewer press stops and flexographic printing in harmony with the environment

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, April 20, 2022. Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development and a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, today reported that Kindai Bijyutsu Co., Ltd, headquartered in Okinawa, Japan, has acquired an Asahi AWP™-2530 AA – All-In-One water-wash processor for use with AWP™-DEW CleanPrint water-washable flexographic plates. The company produces labels and flexible packaging for a wide range of customers in the food industry. While Kindai had already been using water-wash plates, the company chose this solution due to improved performance with the AWP™-DEW CleanPrint water-washable flexographic plates, including plate accuracy with precise registration, excellent ink transfer, reduction in press stoppages due to plate cleaning, and elimination of the need for washout solvents.

” We are very satisfied with the print quality resulting from our Asahi AWP™ water-wash platemaking system,” commented Ms. Emi Oshiro, CEO of Kindai Bijyutsu Co., Ltd, “as well as with the stability it delivers with both our water-based and UV inks. As the need for package printing that is in harmony with the environment increases day by day, this acquisition positions us to deliver the highest quality products with even more reliability.”

CleanPrint in Harmony with the Environment

Asahi´s CleanPrint water-washable flexographic photopolymer plate technology’s ability to deliver high quality print performance is a result of its engineered photopolymer chemistry design. The water-wash technology also features a low surface energy plate resulting in fewer press stops for plate cleaning for significantly improved OEE in the pressroom and reducing press waste. All of these elements make them the most sustainable flexographic plates in the industry. In addition, AWP™-DEW CleanPrint plates deliver extremely high-quality print due to their precise registration and ability to deliver perfect printing balance between highlights and solids.

REGISTER TODAY: Comexi – Asahi – Esko Webinar

Register today for a combined webinar together with Comexi, Esko and Asahi to show how easy it can be to produce flexo plates in under one hour.

During the 1 hour webinar you will see a production of an AWP plate hosted in the Comexi Technical Center, following a Q&A session at the end.

Join one of two sessions offered by registering below:

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT:

Fast print ready plates within 45 minutes

Join Esko, Comexi and Asahi Photoproducts to learn more about the latest flexo platemaking and printing technologies. Within 45 minutes, we will create a print ready flexo plate while explaining you more about the key technologies used to achieve outstanding print quality and consistency. See and experience the whole platemaking process from prepress, plate imaging, LED back- and front exposure to developing the plate.

They will be joined by Asahi Photoproducts to demonstrate the whole platemaking process with AWP™ water-washed plates compatible with water, solvent and UV/EB ink curing systems.


KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Best in class print ready plates within 45 minutes
  • Standardized and simplified processes enable in-house platemaking
  • Unmatched quality through LED plate exposure
  • Alternative to solvent based process solutions: water-based

There will be a live Q&A session at the end of the presentation.

Can’t make it to the live session? Register and you will receive the recording.

Shanghai Hengze Printing Company Levels Up with CrystalCleanConnect for Increased Productivity, Quality, Sustainability

Re-post from asahi-photoproducts.com

Chinese label manufacturer is second printer worldwide to install innovative solution that reduces 12 steps to 1 in flexographic platemaking process

 

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, January 11, 2022. Asahi Photoproducts,  today reported that Shanghai Hengze Printing Company is in the process of installing a brand-new CrystalCleanConnect flexographic platemaking line. This Chinese label manufacturer had already adopted Asahi AWP™-DEF water-washable plates to boost quality and improve its competitive positioning. The addition of the CrystalCleanConnect line, and a switch to Asahi AWP™-DEW water-washable plates that are optimized for use with CrystalCleanConnect, will take the company’s productivity, efficiency and sustainability to the next level, positioning it even more favorably in the highly competitive Chinese market. The company was founded in 2001 as a letterpress shop producing labels for products in daily use among the Chinese population. Shanghai Hengze offers complete end-to-end services under one roof, from product design and prepress to the finished product, enabling a high level of customization and personalized service for its customers.

“Over the last two years, since we implemented the Asahi AWP™ CleanPrint water-washable plates, we have seen excellent quality improvement results,” said Mr. Li Xiaocheng, founder of Hengze. “When we learned about the added value CrystalCleanConnect could bring to our operation, we could hardly wait to get started. We are also very pleased to be an early adopter of this unique, highly productive and innovative solution.”

CrystalCleanConnect was developed as a result of a collaboration among Asahi Photoproducts, ESKO and Kongsberg. It brings together key hardware and software technologies from all organizations to deliver a highly efficient and sustainable mount-ready water-washable flexo plate for the packaging industry, bringing a new level of standardization to flexographic printing. CrystalCleanConnect offers a number of breakthrough advantages, from design to print, including:

  • A fully automated and connected process that begins with the operator loading plate material and pressing a button to initiate the process. Plates are then imaged, developed and cut in-line in a single integrated process, delivering mount-ready plates at the back end.
  • Significantly reduced total cost of ownership. By reducing steps from 12 to 1, minimizing the need for operator intervention and automating the entire workflow, not only are labor costs reduced but there is less wastage and reduced opportunity for error. Plates are also produced faster than with other methods, increasing throughput and decreasing time to market for flexo printed products.
  • Excellence in print quality consistency. Automation of a proven platemaking process delivers plates that are more consistent, ultimately making the pressroom more efficient and cost-effective.
  • A best-in-class environmental footprint that includes less waste, elimination of VOC-based washout chemicals associated with solvent-based platemaking, reduced energy use, and more.

Asahi Photoproducts Announces PAS 2050 Certification of their water wash AWP-DEF/DEW Flexo Plates by the Carbon Trust

Original post from Asahi Photoproducts


This certification is a milestone toward the ultimate goal of PAS 2060 Carbon Neutral certification

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2021. Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported it has received PAS 2050 certification by the Carbon Trust for its AWPTM-DEF/DEW CleanPrint water-washable flexographic plates. This certification is the starting point for Asahi to implement a Carbon Management Plan in order to drive product development in harmony with the environment. The ultimate goal is to achieve PAS 2060 Carbon Neutral certification soon.. These efforts are in line with the Carbon Neutrality Policy of Asahi Kasei Group with the ambition of the entire corporate operation becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“For many years, Asahi Photoproducts has recognized that climate change is a serious global issue, impacting both the natural environment and society as a whole,” said Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager at Asahi Photoproducts, a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei. “Its group mission has been, and continues to be, to contribute to life and living for people around the world. This Carbon Trust certification is an important step for us toward the achievement of Carbon Neutral status. PAS 2050 takes a process life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to evaluating the GHG emissions associated with goods or services, enabling companies like ours to identify ways to minimize emissions across the entire product system.”

In concluding this LCA study with the Carbon Trust, Asahi Photoproducts considered all aspects of the product system for AWPTM– DEF/DEW flexographic plates, from acquisition of raw materials used through to the end of life of the products. Asahi Photoproducts collected primary data from their manufacturing facilities for all processes in the product life cycle. Where primary data was not available, this was supplemented by secondary data provided by the Carbon Trust. Being able to measure the existing carbon footprint and establishing specific goals for reducing it is the first step toward becoming Carbon Neutral.

Niederstadt added, “No one individual, company or government can single-handedly cure the climate crisis. It takes universal, global collaboration and cooperation to get the world to a point where climate deterioration is mitigated, or even fully abated. Asahi Photoproducts, is proud to be contributors to this worldwide effort.”

For information about the Carbon Trust, visit www.CarbonTrust.com.


Read the complete post on Asahi Photoproducts website

Tesa’s Commitment To Sustainability: Strategies for Today, Tomorrow & Beyond

With over 80 years of innovation and science backed support across numerous industries, Tesa realizes that sustainability and doing their part to help reduce an impact on the environment should be a solution everyone is working towards.  Which is why starting in 2020 Tesa began an employ a strategy for sustainability for today, tomorrow and beyond.

In their own words:

The climate crisis and other environmental problems are posing enormous challenges to both tesa and society as a whole. And time is running out. If we have any hope to change the course of our future, many different players will need to contribute. And we as a company have to do our part, too. At tesa, we are convinced that sustainability is not simply a trend but actually the most important topic of our time. It is for this reason that we have made “sustainable growth” a core element of our corporate strategy. Our sustainability agenda clearly defines how to align our three pillars of Environment, Customers and, Society. Since 2020, this has applied to the whole company and serves as a benchmark for all of our strategic decisions – today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Tesa's Sustainability Agenda

As one of the world’s leading companies in the field of adhesive technology, tesa can achieve great things while also shouldering a great deal of responsibility. Tesa’s new sustainability agenda is an integral part of their business strategy and covers the three areas of Environment, Customers and Society as well as the seven focus areas. They have defined mid- to long-term goals in each category.

Environment

At tesa, we want to do our part to achieve this goal and mitigate the consequences of climate change. We have already accomplished a great deal during the last two decades: For example, as a company, we have reduced the CO2 emissions of our end products by 48 percent per ton of end product in 2019 compared to 2001. As part of the sustainability agenda, we have now set new, ambitious climate targets. As part of the sustainability agenda, we have now set new, ambitious climate targets.

Customers

Regardless of whether we’re talking about industrial and commercial partners or consumers, we want to enable our customers to be more sustainable.

That’s why it’s our mission to offer them high-quality products and create a better environmental footprint.

Society

We want to continue to be an attractive employer today and in the future. This includes ensuring that our business relationships along the entire supply chain are aligned with ecological, social, and ethical standards. Our commitment to society also reaches beyond our everyday business operations: We are proactively promoting educational projects that support the innovators of tomorrow and generations to come.

Asahi Unveils AWP™ CleanFlat Flexo Plate At SINOFLEX

Water-washable FlatTop plate delivers high quality, consistency and improved ink laydown

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, July 19, 2021. Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported successful participation in SinoFlex, Asia’s leading trade platform focusing on flexible packaging. At the show, which was held in Shanghai from 14 to 16 July, Asahi unveiled its new AWP™ CleanFlat FlatTop out-of-the-box water-washable flexo plate with CleanPrint technology, and displayed its full range of CleanPrint plates, explaining to attendees how these plates not only deliver flexo printing in harmony with the environment, but also deliver improved quality and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Asahi CleanPrint plates are available for a wide range of applications and substrates and have been specifically developed by our chemical engineers to transfer the remaining ink to the printed substrate, reducing press stops for plate cleaning while delivering exceptional consistent quality throughout the entire run.

“We were extremely pleased with the warm reception by attendees of our line of CleanPrint plates, especially the AWP™ CleanFlat water-washable FlatTop plate that made its worldwide debut at the show,” said Ryo Ichihashi, (Manager at ASEM China). “All across Asia, flexographic printing operations are looking for more sustainable platemaking processes as focus increases on reducing their carbon footprint. Asahi’s line of CleanPrint plates ticks all the boxes in this regard.”

The Asahi AWP™ CleanFlat FlatTop plate with CleanPrint technology is used out of the box with no special workflow or equipment required. CleanFlat plates are compatible with standard workflows including UV bank light tubes, UV LED or FULL HD exposure systems as well as modern microcell screening technologies to ensure the highest level of quality and consistency throughout the print run.

Other Asahi CleanPrint plates on display at the show included:

  • AWP™-DEW, ideal for the highest quality flexo applications, including flexible packaging and labels. Designed to move away from VOC washout solvent-based plate processing, offering a cleaner alternative to the flexo industry.
  • AFP™-BFTH, a high-quality solvent wash FlatTop plate solution with best-in-class printing press consistency. These plates deliver improved ink laydown on wide web flexible packaging film, paper and label substrates in combination with solid screening patterns and keeping highlight dots at perfect quality.
  • AFP™-Leggero, super soft plates specifically designed for printing with minimal kiss-touch pressure on corrugated transport boxes, delivering minimal washboarding and good ink coverage for the utmost in quality while eliminating board crush to better protect the packaged goods.
  • AFP™-TOP, a premium hard digital flexo plate that delivers a broad colour gamut and soft tonal shades fading out to zero. Kiss-touch printing pressure facilitates repeatable print quality and fewer cleaning press stops. Compatible with high definition screening and microcell patterning technologies.
  • AFP™-TSP, the perfect plate for sticky inks and for products like pet food packaging. It is the perfect plate solution for most sticky ink formulations, allowing fewer press cleaning stops and consistent print quality.
  • AFP™-APC/TPC are digital and analogue plates developed for the high-quality corrugated board display and signage printing market where image quality matters. On double flute coated liner board, the plate delivers with its CleanPrint technology ex­ceptional image printing performance with minimal dot gain flute marking.

Water-Based Flexographic Printing Steps Up To The Sustainability Challenge

Water-Based Flexographic Printing Steps Up To The Sustainability Challenge

By Takumi Saito, Printing Solutions Project, Asahi Kasei Corporation

The recent Leaders Summit on Climate, hosted by U.S. President Biden, demonstrates the growing commitment leaders of many countries have to addressing the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) among other initiatives. This will likely translate into increased regulatory pressure on a variety of industries, including printing, to moderate their emissions of CO2 and other global warming gases such as CH4 and N2O. As a leading supplier to the flexographic printing industry, Asahi Photoproducts is dedicated to delivering flexographic solutions that are in harmony with the environment. In doing so, the company enables its customers to be proactive in contributing to the overall reduction of GHG emissions

Over the last half century, Asahi Photoproducts has worked hard to bring innovative solutions to flexography, and most recently with the Asahi AWP™ CleanPrint water-washable plates. This solvent-free process delivers more sustainable printing while at the same time improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in the press room to the tune of 30% or more, which results in a significant increase in quality due to the precise register these plates deliver.

What that means for the printing industry is that flexography is now competitive with gravure for all except the longest print runs. To validate this assertion, Flexo Technical Association Japan (FTAJ) and Water-based Flexographic Printing Advancement Council partnered with the Sustainable Management Promotion Organization (SuMPO), a well-known Japanese association, to calculate GHG emissions during the entire printing process for each of these two technologies, using the Life Cycle Assessment method (Fig.1).

The results were enlightening. We found that when printing a job of 5,000 linear meters with water-based flexographic printing and comparing the result with the simulation of the same job with gravure printing, GHG emissions from water-based flexographic printing can be reduced by about 65% compared to gravure. We measured GHG emissions from the gravure life cycle at 668 kg, whereas emissions from water-based flexography were 231 kg.

The gravure printing simulation results from using electronic engraving of the cylinders and solvent-based inks, while water-based flexographic printing uses water-washable plates and water-based inks. The results are shown in the image below, broken down into 3 steps: platemaking/engraving, ink manufacturing, and printing.

<Fig.1>  Calculation result by SuMPO about GHG Emissions (kg-CO2e) at 5,000m printing.
(This result is calculated by the conditions of Ref.1 and not typical value of water-based flexo printing and solvent gravure printing)


The sustainability of the print can be further enhanced by using solvent-free laminating where lamination is required or desired, instead of dry lamination where the bonding agent is dissolved in solvent, applied, and then evaporated in a drying oven. With solvent-free lamination, a low viscosity adhesive is applied, requiring only a heated nip to mate it to the substrate. This creates an additional advantage of solvent-free lamination beyond the reduced GHG and VOC emissions since it does not require a drying component, further reducing energy consumption and increasing its sustainability as compared to the conventional dry lamination process. Thus, we recommend water-based flexographic printing technology combined with solvent-free lamination and water-washable flexographic printing plates as the most sustainable approach to producing packaging.

All of this demonstrates the significant progress that has been made towards reduction of the carbon footprint for flexographic printing as compared to gravure, and the fact that this approach to packaging printing has the potential to change the global packaging market. But we are not stopping here. The talented and innovative engineers at Asahi Photoproducts continue to seek new ways to reduce the environmental impact of flexographic printing processes even further, and we have full confidence that they will find even more ways to make flexographic printing more sustainable.

Asahi and Esko Unveil Breakthrough Automated Flexo Platemaking Solution

CrystalCleanConnect - The Future of Flexo Plate Making

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, April 21, 2021 – Asahi Photoproducts and Esko have showcased their breakthrough, fully automated flexo platemaking line CrystalCleanConnect at this year’s virtual.drupa event.

Click the button below to view a pdf slideshow of the the launch of the CrystalCleanConnect at DRUPA:

Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, has collaborated with Esko, the global developer of integrated software and hardware solutions for the packaging and labels markets, on the innovative flexo platemaking solution. CrystalCleanConnect fully automates the entire flexo plate production, from imaging to plate cutting, reducing the number of steps in the flexo platemaking process from 12 to just one which equates to a reduction from 36 min operator plate making time to only 2.5 min.

“With CrystalCleanConnect we have brought together key hardware and software technologies from both organizations to deliver a number of breakthrough advantages from design to print,” said Pascal Thomas, Director of Flexo Business with Esko. “CrystalCleanConnect delivers a cleaner, more environmentally balanced operation that simplifies the flexo platemaking process, improves safety and boosts print quality consistency.”

According to Pascal, CrystalCleanConnect offers operational as well as environmental benefits to businesses. “With the removal of so many process steps, there’s an immediate 90% reduction in required operator time, which not only eliminates the potential for human error but also delivers immediate efficiency gains. Quality is assured through Asahi and Esko technologies working in complete harmony, and the combination of improved efficiency and quality delivers an average increase of 25% in press OEE.”

A holistic approach to connecting technologies

Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager for Asahi Photoproducts stated: “Flexo needs to simplify its processes while improving quality, consistency and profitability. In doing so, flexo can create new business opportunities and positively transform into a printing technology in balance with the environment”. “This breakthrough innovation is different in many ways to other solutions on the market,” Dieter said. “It is not just an assembly of available plate making processes delivered inline, but rather a holistic approach to connecting technologies, up and downstream of the prepress value chain, using an intelligent automation hub as the backbone and heart of the solution. CCC is truly pushing boundaries to the current scope of plate automation delivering a mount-ready plate as well as being the first automated production solution without the need of VOC based washout solvents in the plate making process.”

Pascal Thomas added: “At Esko, we have long been dedicated to improving the platemaking experience, in terms of quality, productivity and connectivity. Together with Asahi Photoproducts, we are taking the flexo platemaking process to a brand-new level, enabling our customers to be even more competitive while also ensuring they can meet today’s demands for flexible and sustainable supply. With CrystalCleanConnect, our ultimate objective is to improve our customers’ overall business performance and profitability.”

Visit www.asahi-photoproducts.com/en/CCC and www.esko.com for more information.

Miles Label of Tucson Increases Productivity With Asahi AWP

Miles Label Company, located in Tucson, AZ has been in business since the 1930’s, providing their Customers with high-end labels. Miles Label Co. is a very tightly run family business that has always had first rate quality and service in mind. They recently chose Correct-Touch Graphic Arts (CTGA) to be their “go to” for a new ESKO CDI and Asahi 2530 AA  all-in-one water wash equipment.

Per PJ Miles, Asahi AWP “blew away” all competitive plate materials that they had tested on their new 13″ and 17″ presses. PJ says that the “AWP plate runs cleaner with fewer press stops, allowing Miles Label’s to drastically improve their printability and product output.”

According to PJ, “CTGA continues to provide us with excellent technical expertise and support, which allows Miles Label to run smoothly and efficiently.” Furthermore, PJ states “from Asahi AWP to Esko’s CDI equipment, CTGA represents and supports the best products for all flexo applications.”

CTGA Asked Miles Label Company a few questions about their business and their experience using Asahi AWP:

Q: How many presses does Miles have? 
A: 2 presses from 17” to 13” 


Q: Why did you decide to go with the AWP system and plates?
A: We tested the Asahi AWP plate and were blown away on the quality.


Q: What print benefits have you noticed on press? 

A: They are cleaner running, less press stoppage.


Q: What plate processing benefits has you pre-press team noticed? 
A: No more chemicals…no VOC’s


Q: How would you describe your partnership with CTGA?
A:  CTGA has always been there for me. From Asahi to Esko equipment, these guys service and represent the best products for flexo applications.

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