Last updateSun, 28 Nov 2021 1pm

Platemakers benefit from simplicity, efficiency and productivity with Esko's new Flexo Engine

Platemakers benefit from simplicity, efficiency and productivity with Esko's new Flexo Engine
New automation features announced as part of latest Esko release

Flexo plate manufacturers can now save time, simplify operations and increase productivity with the launch of Flexo Engine, the latest innovation from Esko.
Part of the recently released Esko Software 21.11, the latest version of the market-leading Automation Engine features the innovative new Flexo Engine with automatic merging functionality and a host of new tools designed to increase productivity in the plate room.
"Whether in distribution companies or in-house, the demands on flexo plate production are increasing," said Robert Bruce, Flexo Software Product Manager at Esko. "The challenge of delivering high quality plates in the shortest possible time can become a major problem. That's why we've developed Flexo Engine, the next-generation tool that helps plate manufacturers increase efficiency, productivity and performance."
"Automated merging eliminates the need to use many different tools, while automation continues to provide significant time savings and improve traceability in the flexo plate making process, " said Robert Bruce. "For example, an intuitive dashboard helps simplify operations. In addition, connectivity with third-party devices ensures a fully connected workflow."
Flexo Engine also offers the innovative new PlateID feature. This is an automated solution for the challenging task of marking plates accurately and permanently.
"Today's flexo plates are tagged with a variety of information needed for the printing process, such as job identifier, colour references, whether surface or reverse printing is required, sleeve formats and date of manufacture. Previously, this important information was usually either attached to a label, etched onto the plate with a pen plotter or even handwritten."
"Plate uses CDI Crystal XPS plate imaging and exposure technology to image this important information on the flexo plate below the print surface," says Robert Bruce. "This allows the markings to be read optimally, avoiding the problem of traditional pen markings being wiped away by inks, solvents and other chemicals used in the printing process. This is a solution flexo plate manufacturers have been waiting for for a long time."
With PlateID, plate manufacturers benefit from advantages such as:
Clear, permanent marking without the risk of markings peeling off during cleaning or printing.
No more human error in the marking process when information is added for the first time
Minimisation of waste as the mark can be added to the plate within the design area or a gap in the step-and-repeat process
Minimised time spent searching for the right plates, allowing operators to work more efficiently
Improved logistics for storing and handling plates
The benefits of PlateID are available to anyone using the Esko Crystal XPS imaging system. In addition, Flexo Engine users benefit from another new feature, Auto Plate Cut, which saves even more time and further reduces waste.
"Offset cut plates for flexible packaging and label printing are a standard process that helps eliminate print variation and increase production speed," says Robert Bruce. "The manual process of setting up an offset cut job can require the use of many different tools and cost an operator between five and twenty minutes per plate. But with Auto Plate Cut, the process is automated to handle any offset PDF."
"Assuming 1,000 jobs a year, automating this task can save around 250 hours a year," said Robert Bruce. "Eliminating errors caused by plate bounce allows the printer to print faster, eliminate print defects caused by vibration and reduce plate waste."
Flexo Engine is available in the latest version of Automation Engine, released in November 2021 as part of the Esko software platform.
"Esko remains committed to accelerating the time-to-market process for packaged goods. Increasing plate productivity with the new Flexo Engine is another step towards digitising, automating and connecting the process that is so critical to businesses," added Robert Bruce. "Flexo Engine drives greater efficiency and productivity throughout the flexo plate workflow and is an integral tool for businesses taking the next steps on their own digital transformation journey."



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