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

Welcome Charles Shofner To The CTGA Team

We're Excited To Welcome Charles To The Team

Bringing decades of expertise and knowledge to our Midwestern U.S. customers

CT Graphic Arts is very happy to welcome Charles Shofner to our Technical Sales Team.  Charles will be bringing his decades of expertise and knowledge in the printing industry to CTGA customers in the Midwest region.  He brings experience in nearly all facets of flexo printing through a very successful career as both a sales professional and company owner.  We are excited to have someone of Charles’ caliber representing our company and bringing our catalog of flexo plates, platemaking equipment, prepress and plateroom solutions and more to our customers.  Welcome to the CTGA team Charles!

Bringing Pre-Press Home: Closing the Gap in the Printed Package Value Chain

As digital technologies progressed in offset, the printing industry saw a rapid migration of plate making from outside resources to on-site production.

The same thing is positioned to occur in flexography, as technology has evolved to streamline and simplify the plate making process. Flexographic converters in the labels and packaging space are in a growth business. Still, they face a number of challenges in a highly competitive marketplace. At the same time, they confront challenges from alternative technologies such as offset and gravure printing. Customers are increasingly looking for shorter and more varied runs, faster delivery times, and, of course, a competitive cost structure. Plus, the interest in a more sustainable environmental footprint on the part of brands and consumers is growing.

There are a number of technological developments underway in flexography that will help flexographic printers meet these tests and retain existing customers while also acquiring new ones. One such development is being demonstrated through the Turnkey Project, hosted by Comexi, in which Asahi Photoproducts is a partner. The Turnkey Project is designed to demonstrate the value of bringing flexographic plate making in-house to flexible packaging converters. Today’s technology makes it easy.

For the flexographic printing operation, bringing plate making in-house is one way to improve operational efficiency by providing more control over the cost, scheduling and timeframes for making plates. It also makes it faster for replacement plates to be made when required, reducing press downtime and keeping jobs running through the plant more efficiently. But in the past, making high-quality flexographic plates could be tricky, deterring many printers from bringing the operation in-house. This project demonstrates how that is changing.

Beyond this project, our industry is focused on bringing even more automation and operational efficiency to the flexographic prepress process, adding to the contributions already made to improved quality, profitability and sustainability.

The faster and more efficiently a press-ready print form can be generated, the more flexibility a plant will have in what it can produce. But as always, quality is a key consideration and must be balanced with efficiency for a holistic approach to the process of producing press-ready print forms.

By removing even more manual touches from the flexographic plate making process, we will be able to deliver a more efficient and profitable prepress process, as well as a high level of standardization through automation, thereby reducing the skill level required for operators in an environment where skilled prepress operators are often hard to find.

Among the resulting benefits, the process speeds production times, allowing companies to produce more jobs in a day with the same or less labor, while simultaneously reducing the opportunity for costly errors along the way. That’s the vision the next generation of flexographic prepress solutions will be about.

Turnkey Project Details

An important milestone on the route toward this vision for Asahi and several other industry partners is our participation in the Comexi Turnkey Project at its Manel Xifra Boada Technology Center in Girona, Spain. The project features water wash equipment and water washable plates with CleanPrint technology. Water wash processors are generally considered to be more in harmony with the environment than conventional solvent systems. Many, in fact, credit them with producing plates that achieve the highest level of quality in flexographic printing.

In addition, the water wash process is much faster than solvent. While it may take up to two hours for solvent-based plates to dry, Asahi’s complete AWP plate making process, serving as one example, delivers a plate to the mounting department in less than one hour. That same example plate is specifically engineered to transfer all remaining ink to the printed substrate, reducing makeready time and press cleaning stops.

The Manel Xifra Boada Technology Center—Comexi CTec—specializes in training, advice and technical process support for the printing and converting sectors of the flexible packaging industry. It has incorporated into its portfolio this new service, whose objective is to help flexographic printing operations integrate the prepress process, from ground zero, into their own facilities.

The project culminates once the client independently completes the prepress process while adhering to all defined quality standards. The estimated time to complete the project is approximately six months.

Word on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

In any industry, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a measurement of the performance of a machine. It’s a calculation—OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality—that delivers a percentage. OEE is a fact-based way to measure the efficiency of your operation and identify ways to continuously improve it over time.

Print production inefficiencies can occur due to a combination of elements, such as printing shift length, press makeready time, press stop downtimes, actual press speed, run lengths and total material waste.

The OEE calculation provides focus and simplicity to decision making, in respect to availability, performance and quality produced. Having measured all three elements, a focus for improvement in the OEE percentage figure can be established. The higher the OEE percentage is, the more effective your printing shop becomes. The higher the OEE, the better the impact is to the bottom line. Plus, inherent in a higher OEE is an increase in customer satisfaction and retention.

Calculating OEE is not rocket science; it’s easy to understand and involves calculating press availability, performance and quality. For more information on the calculation of OEE, request an easy-to-use OEE calculator by contacting CTGA today.

FFP Packaging Wins Best in Show At the EFIA Awards 2020 Using Asahi AWP Flexo Plate Technology

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, 7 October, 2020 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, is delighted to congratulate its customer FFP Packaging Solutions as winner of ‘Best in Show’ at the recent EFIA Awards 2020. FFP’s entry won Gold in the category ‘Flexo on Film – Reverse Print Wide’ using Asahi’s AWPTM-1.14 plates to achieve the high quality results. FFP’s entry ‘Juicy Meat Company, Large Beef, Easy Cook Pouch’ was acclaimed for superior design and excellent quality printing in CMYK, achieving exceptional density in the black areas alongside perfect soft highlights.

Paul Hesketh, Print Development Manager at FFP says, “Everyone at FFP is absolutely delighted to have won this year’s ‘Best in Show’ at the EFIA awards.”  As a leading flexible packaging innovator and converter with 50 years experience, FFP is unique in comparison to many other companies in their sector as they produce their plates in-house. Hesketh explains, “To take control of plate production we needed to find the best plate technology and a supplier and partner we could work with. Our relationship with Asahi supports our strategy to provide consistent high quality products. We purchased Asahi’s AWPTM 4835 water-wash plate processor around 5 years ago and Asahi supply us with the raw polymer so we can manufacture plates in-house. We decided to produce AWPTM-1.14 plates  after extensively researching the market, we found that Asahi plates gave us consistent and excellent quality results every time, with good ink lay-down and superior ink densities – perfect for very high quality work and challenging designs. The results we are able to achieve with this plate are so good, we offer them to our customers under our ‘Platinum Print’ brand.”

The print team at FFP Packaging Solutions quickly recognised the technical difficulty in achieving soft highlights and strong vibrant colors from the CMYK on challenging designs such as the winning entry.  The design on the Juicy Meat Company pack is predominately a dense black with contrasting lighter shades in the product images. To produce award winning designs FFP also has to focus carefully on its color management processes – they use IQC color management software and X-Rite spectrophotometers to measure digital tolerances.

Hesketh continues, “We have a great design and color management team at FFP but at the end of the day, high quality results are a lot to do with the plates and the way we set them up.  The success of the end product is down to achieving the correct balance with the plate, the ink system and the anilox and the key objective is to perfectly match the proof. We found the AWPTM 1.14 plate offers excellent quality and color consistency when used in conjunction with solvent based ink systems on our Windmöller & Hölscher high speed Miraflex Printing press.

All FFPs award entries are selected from the production Print that come off their presses on a daily basis. There is no special preparation made to produce an award winning piece of print. Hesketh explains, “I regularly see great print coming off the end of our presses and think – I’ll keep that.”  These samples build up throughout the year and when its time to send the entries for the awards, Hesketh and his  team review and select the best and the most appropriate print from the samples.  Hesketh works on the principle that everything they produce for their customers is top quality and good enough to win an award.

Hesketh concludes, “We take awards seriously.  Within our industry we regard EFIA as the most prestigious organisation.  We have been members for many years and won many awards but it was very satisfying indeed this year to receive their award for ‘Best in Show’.   Working in-house is fundamental to FFP maintaining the highest levels of quality products in a challenging and ever evolving market.  To do that we had to carefully consider our choice of technology partner.  We chose to partner with Asahi and use their AWPTM plate 5 years ago and we are still winning awards with it. We did look at other suppliers but we are very glad we went with Asahi as we believe their plate technology is top class.   We strive to be the best and use the best equipment available which is why we use Asahi’s AWPTM plates. Our competitors can’t compete.”

Asahi Announces New AFP-Leggero Flexo Plate For Corrugated Board Applications

Super-soft and smooth plate results in no board crush, fewer flute marks, good ink density, for the ultimate in post-print flexographic quality

Tokyo, Japan & Brussels, Belgium, March 26, 2020 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today announced the availability of a brand-new flexographic plate. Asahi AFP™-Leggero CleanPrint plates have been specifically designed for printing on lower quality low-liner corrugated board. This super-soft plate delivers kiss-touch printing without board crush, good ink density with reduced washboard effect, and is ideal for simple brown-box corrugated applications such as fruit trays and single-color logo type printing.

“With the growing use of corrugated board packaging around the globe, brands and retailers increasingly seek ways to increase quality appearance and protect their goods at the same time,” said Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi Photoproducts’ Technical Marketing Manager. “Asahi’s AFP™-Leggero flexographic printing plates deliver both higher quality and better protection of the product by not damaging the corrugated box flute structure. This is a very new approach inside Asahi, not only to focus on print quality aspects, but also to add value for protection of the packaged goods. Our ‘Just Kiss. No Crush.’ tagline reinforces this quality and protective result delivered by Asahi AFP™-Leggero CleanPrint plates. In addition, as with all of our CleanPrint plates, the Leggero plates ensure less waste, fewer press stops for plate cleaning and consistent exceptional quality throughout the run, the hallmark of Asahi’s CleanPrint flexo plates. We expect packaging converters will be able to achieve up to 15{402c2385650ceb937fc5dfccd4761ceed5dd330756c4d730d625389f210d2cf9} improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) when they use these plates for corrugated post-print, delivering a solution in harmony with the environment.”

CleanPrint plates from Asahi Photoproducts have been specifically engineered to transfer all remaining ink to the printed substrate. The AFP™-Leggero CleanPrint effect is achieved because of the soft plate base material. The result is very clean printing. Another important benefit of Asahi’s CleanPrint plates, including AFP™-Leggero, is that they do not need to be cleaned as often as conventional digital solvent plates. Reduction of plate cleaning stops creates a significant productivity improvement as well as more consistent quality.

“With AFP™-Leggero’s soft-touch kiss printing,” Niederstadt added, “not only is the historical problem of board crush and washboarding virtually eliminated due to the softness of this plate, but there is also virtually no dot bridging and good ink laydown. That means that areas of solid colour as well as highlight areas are clean and crisp, as are fine lines and smaller type. This is the ideal plate for corrugated board post-print and will enable packaging converters to broaden the range of applications they can produce for customers, especially those that are not willing to sacrifice quality.”

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.”

CLEAN PRINT: THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NAMING CONVENTION

Since Asahi first brought to market its innovative flexographic plate technology that enabled complete release of ink onto the substrate for a cleaner image and fewer press stops for plate cleaning, our thoughts about the value of the technology have evolved. Our customers remember that we initially called this technology Pinning Top Dot technology, since we were thinking about it from a technological perspective. Over time, we began to realize, based on customer experience, that the value went well beyond the ink transfer to the increased quality and productivity it enabled when looking at the entire process from the plate room to the press room. We also wanted a naming convention that was more descriptive; thus, the naming changed to Clean Transfer Technology.

Now, after several years of field experience with this technology, and as we migrate it to other plates within our portfolio to address a wider array of applications, we have come to understand that the value of the technology goes way beyond the quality and productivity benefits it enables. There are significant environmental benefits as well, especially with our water-washable family of

plates. Not only does it eliminate the need for volatile washout solvents in the platemaking process, speed up the process to consume less energy and deliver the same high quality and press productivity (OEE) our customers have come to expect, but the technology reduces makeready times and waste as well as the amount of time the press needs to run. All of these benefits add up to a much cleaner platemaking and flexographic printing process than can be achieved with any other plates on the market. CleanPrint embodies all of these things and aims to make flexographic printing “CLEANER”.

That means that using Asahi’s AWPTM family of water washable flexo plates delivers significant benefit, from both a quality and sustainability perspective. Water washable plates are now well-positioned to completely replace solvent-based platemaking workflows for most applications. This results in faster platemaking, improved OEE on press, higher quality and longer lasting plates, reduced or eliminated VOCs, and no need to manage or dispose of toxic chemicals.

CleanPrint plates from Asahi, then, not only produce cleaner printed images, but they do so in a much cleaner, more environmentally balanced way. Some of the benefits include:

  • Significantly reduced platemaking and on-press time results in a reduction in power consumption.
  • Plates last longer and don’t require press stops for cleaning, further improving press OEE.
  • Faster run up to color and more consistency throughout the run means less waste of expensive packaging substrates.
  • Full transfer of the ink from CleanPrint plates to the substrate creates significantly higher printing quality at less cost.
  • Elimination of VOC solvents in the plate processor also making the workplace safer in better balance with the environment.

Get the details www.asahi-photoproducts.com/en/resource/46

Asahi Photoproducts to Unveil CleanPrint™ at Labelexpo Europe 2019

The absolute best way to make flexographic printing a CLEANER technology (and more profitable!)

Tokyo/Brussels, 28 May 2019 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported it will be again exhibiting at Labelexpo Europe, scheduled for 24 to 27 September in Brussels. Asahi will be located on Stand 5a34 at the show and will be displaying its full array of flexographic plates. Featured at the show will be Asahi’s CleanPrint™, a technology which has evolved over time to become the industry benchmark for CLEAN flexographic printing.

“Since Asahi first brought to market its innovative flexographic plate technology, which enabled complete release of ink onto the substrate for a cleaner image and fewer press stops for plate cleaning, our thoughts about the value of the technology have evolved,” said Dr. Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi’s Technical Marketing Manager. “Not only do we continue to improve our plate quality and performance, but we have also learned from our customers that the value of the technology goes way beyond the quality and productivity benefits it enables. Not only does it eliminate the need for volatile solvents in the platemaking process, speed up the process to consume less energy and deliver the same high quality and press productivity (OEE) our customers have come to expect, but the technology reduces makeready times and waste as well as the amount of time the press needs to run. All of these benefits add up to a much cleaner platemaking and flexographic printing process than can be achieved with any other plates on the market.”

Read full release and download documents

Asahi Photoproducts at EskoWorld 2019 with enhanced plate Portfolio

Attendees will learn how Asahi CleanPrint™ significantly improves Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) across the entire flexographic production process

Tokyo/Brussels, May 23, 2019 – Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today announced it is again attending and sponsoring EskoWorld 2019, scheduled for 24 to 26 June in Nashville, Tennessee. During the event, Asahi representatives will be speaking with attendees about the OEE advantages of Asahi AWP™ water-washable plates, as well as their effect on improved environmental sustainability.

“We began using Asahi AWPTM-DEF plates in 2010,” said Gene Martin, Plant Manager at The Robinette Company’s Bristol TN plant. “At the time, it was taking us three hours for the platemaking process with solvent plates. With the Asahi AWPTM-DEF plates, the first time out in the platemaking process was one hour, with each additional plate in 20 minutes, increasing our platemaking capacity by 33{402c2385650ceb937fc5dfccd4761ceed5dd330756c4d730d625389f210d2cf9}.” Since Robinette only uses Asahi plates, this is a substantial time saving in the plate room.

Read full release and download documents

CTGA: Celebrating 20 Years Of Being Your Source For Quality Flexo Plates

It Began With A Simple Goal

For 20 years now, CTGA has been a top source for Flexo Plate Material and flexographic printing products and equipment in North America.

We started this business with a simple goal, to supply our clients with the highest quality flexo plates, and help boost flexographic printing to the top of the printing industry.  To accomplish this goal we partnered with Asahi, a company we saw having the foresight to innovate flexo plates and bring improved quality, productivity and sustainability to flexo.  It was the best decision we could’ve ever made, as Asahi plates have taken Flexo by storm since then, and achieved a new level of success for our clients who use them.

From there we built out the rest of our product catalog with products and equipment from the top brands in the world, Esko, Glunz & Jensen, Tesa, Techkon,  Beta Industries, CGS Oris and our own Green Dragon line.  Together with our complete line of Asahi flexo plates and equipment, we believe we offer the best and most comprehensive product catalog in the business.  And, our clients’ success over the years backs that up.

Asahi Flexo Plates

The outstanding performance of Asahi Flexo Plates is the result of over 30 years of technological development in the field of photopolymer plates for flexo printing. In that time, Asahi has grown to become a leading manufacturer of digital and analog printing plates for the flexo market. They’ve achieved this by setting the highest standards in product development and manufacturing, while continually breaking new ground in advancing technologies to improve print quality, cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability.

AWP-DEF

Asahi AWP Water Wash Flexo Plate

AFP-TOP

AFP-DSF

Introducing Green Dragon Products By CTGA

We Carry The Top Brands In The World

ESKO

TESA

Techkon

GLUNZ & JENSEN

BETA INDUSTRIES

CGS ORIS

1 2 3 4