Company can now meet demand for large-format and HD work
Ghent (Belgium), May 2013 - Flexocolor (www.flexocolor-fr.com) is a long-standing Esko customer. The company is equipped with WebCenter, a 24/7 communication, visualization and approval tool, 48 licenses for the latest version of the interactive ArtPro prepress editor, HD Flexo technology, five Cyrel Digital Imagers (CDI) to expose digital flexo plates and letterpress plates, and Digital Flexo Suite workflow automation, linked to a Kongsberg digital cutting table.
“A company must be creative and reactive to remain competitive," comments Franck Nivard, Managing Director of Flexocolor. “It’s also crucial to put in place processes that allow you to deliver work within ever-shorter turnaround times. We’ve always kept one step ahead of the competition by following Esko's technological innovations. The investment in the new large-format CDI will enhance our offering. We can now meet demand for flexible and cardboard packaging and films, labels, POS etc – and all in high definition, at high speed and via a workflow that facilitates collaboration with our customers at every step of the process.”
Extra productivity, flexibility and reactivity
Flexocolor’s large-format CDI Spark 5080 (1270 x 2032 mm) will complement the company’s two CDI Spark 4260s, producing 1067 x 1524mm plates, and two CDI 4835s for 1200 x 900mm plates. All these CDIs are equipped with fiber lasers and special optics, guaranteeing high-definition exposure. They provide a vast tonal range, with smooth gradients and improvement to highlights.
The CDI Spark 5080 has an imaging resolution of 4000 ppi. Fitted with Optics 80, it reaches a record scanning speed of 8.0 m2/h. Used with Digital Flexo Suite, it helps reduce photopolymer plate scraps and minimizes waste. Plates made on the CDI with the HD Flexo and flat-top dot technology (LUXTM system) option meet the stringent demands of printers, manufacturers and private labels. These high-resolution systems ensure coherence and perfect repeatability, and improve print quality.
“Flexocolor was among the first companies in France to invest in HD Flexo,” continues Mr. Nivard. “We use this application depending on the type of decoration and printing substrate. It gives more latitude in designs and offers more choice in artwork, as it guarantees visuals will be reproduced accurately."
With the CDIs it’s possible to use any type or brand of digital flexo plates. Flexocolor transforms Asahi, DuPont, Flint, and MacDermid plates, and uses HD Flexo, flat-top dot (LUX™ system) and MicroCell technologies. And just recently they invested in a high-performance exposure frame.
Christophe Racaud, Administrative and Financial Director, adds: “Our multi-production sites give us the assurance of back-up, if necessary. We can image on one CDI to another, and from one site to another.” Flexocolor also uses Digital Flexo Suite, a package of Esko software specifically designed to meet the needs of platemaking and mounting flexo plates. It allows operatives to prepare several jobs and control several CDIs simultaneously.
Conquering new markets
The CDI Spark 5080 enables users to diversify their product portfolio, meet tight deadlines, and service demand for high-definition, large-format work. The 1270 X 2032mm format means Flexocolor can now broaden its services and enter new markets, such as the cardboard, mineral water, beauty, perfumery and hygiene sectors.
“This latest investment will allow us to deliver more top-quality, large-format work – and to shorter deadlines – than heliogravure,” says Philippe Defaye, Sales Director. “It also gives us new commercial opportunities with printers. We’re thinking of increasing our plate production over the next two years by 5.000 m2, and in the long term we’re aiming for an annual production of approximately 30.000 m².”
Flexocolor's conclusion: “Esko is our preferred technology partner, because they always come up with innovative solutions. By regularly investing in new printing techniques and collaboration tools, we’re able to save time, improve communication, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.”