Last updateThu, 29 Feb 2024 4am

Esko and Asahi unveil breakthrough solution for automated flexo plate making at drupa

Esko and Asahi Photoproducts have unveiled their CrystalCleanConnect fully automated flexo plate making system at this year's virtual.drupa.
"With CrystalCleanConnect, we have brought together essential hardware and software technologies from both companies to deliver many breakthrough benefits from design to print," said Pascal Thomas, director of flexo business at Esko. "CrystalCleanConnect provides a cleaner, greener operation that simplifies the flexo platemaking process, improves safety and increases print quality consistency."

Esko, the global developer of integrated software and hardware solutions for the packaging and label markets, has collaborated withAsahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in the development of flexographic photopolymer plates, on the innovative flexo plate making solution. CrystalCleanConnect automates the entire platemaking process from imaging to imaging to platemaking, reducing the number of steps in flexo platemaking from twelve to just one. This equates to a reduction from 36 minutes for plate making and plate cutting to just 2.5 minutes of operating time for all processing steps.
"With CrystalCleanConnect, the operational benefits to businesses are as significant as the environmental benefits," says Pascal. "By eliminating so many process steps, the required operator time is immediately reduced by 90%, which not only eliminates the risk of human error, but also brings immediate efficiency gains. Quality is assured through the completely natural interaction of Asahi and Esko technologies. The combination of improved efficiency and quality results in an average 25% increase in press GAE."
A holistic approach to networking technologies
Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager at Asahi Photoproducts, said, "Flexo printing needs to simplify processes while improving quality, consistency and profitability. This allows flexo printing to create new business opportunities and make a positive evolution towards a printing technology in harmony with the environment.
This breakthrough innovation is different from other solutions on the market in many ways," says Niederstadt. "It is not just a compilation of available platemaking processes that are available in-house, but rather a holistic approach to linking technologies upstream and downstream of the pre-press value chain. All this using an intelligent automation hub as the foundation and heart of the solution. CCC pushes the boundaries of plate automation by delivering a ready-to-assemble plate and is the first automated production solution that does not use VOC-based wash-out solvents in the plate-making process."
Pascal Thomas added: "At Esko, we have long been committed to improving platemaking in terms of quality, productivity and connectivity. Together with Asahi Photoproducts, we are taking the flexo plate making process to a whole new level, enabling our customers to be even more competitive while ensuring they can meet today's demands for a flexible and sustainable offering.
With CrystalCleanConnect, our ultimate goal is to improve our customers' overall performance and profitability," says Pascal.



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