The trend-setting flexo printing form manufacturer adopts Esko’s combined plate imaging and exposure concept
Ghent (Belgium), 15 February 2018 – Its innovative approach and desire to be at the forefront of technology have driven the decision for the German company Stichnothe Druckformen GmbH to invest in the CDI Crystal 5080 XPS combined flexo plate imaging and exposure solution from Esko. As one of the leading providers of flexo printing forms in Germany, Stichnothe is aiming to further expand its manufacturing capabilities and production capacities by integrating plate imaging and exposure in a single process. The two devices – a CDI Crystal 5080 for flexo plate imaging and an XPS Crystal 5080 for simultaneous UV main and rear exposure – were installed at the beginning of 2018.
“We owe our success in part to our commitment to invest in state-of-the-art technology,” explains Dennis Melching, Managing Director at Stichnothe Druckformen. “This helps us maintain low tolerances across the entire production process. With Esko as a market leader in flexo plate exposure and imaging, choosing the CDI Crystal 5080 XPS was easy. A deciding factor was the fact that the Esko solution is an open system, which means that we are able to image a wide range of different plates.”
Stichnothe has been familiar with Esko devices and software solutions for many years. In addition to CDI Spark imagesetters and the corresponding workflow software, the company also uses two Kongsberg cutting systems: one fully automatic, the other with a milling unit. “We apply professional colour management, market-leading proofing systems, the latest direct-to-plate applications and special flexo printing software. This ensures that when we get to the review stage, just before plate production begins, everything is ready to start producing the perfect printing form,” Melching adds. With the new combined solution from Esko, Stichnothe aims to strengthen its presence within the high-quality flexo printing segment, especially for flexible packaging. Excellent results during plate production provide a good surface structure of microcells and flat dot shapes.
The CDI Crystal 5080 XPS combined solution requires 50% fewer manual operations compared to other technologies. In addition, it drastically cuts the time needed to produce a print-ready plate. One of the key factors ensuring plate stability is fast UV exposure, transferring the finest lines and smallest print onto the plate. Combining the XPS and CDI automates the process, reducing it from five manual operations to just one. In 2017, Esko’s innovative Crystal Technology received the prestigious Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) Innovation Award for PrePress Graphics as well as the renowned Printing Industries of America (PIA) InterTech™ Technology Award. In addition, it won the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2017, presented by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen.
Stichnothe Druckformen GmbH was founded in 1953 and has since become the leading German manufacturer of flexo printing forms, thanks to its several decades of experience and state-of-the-art technology. Approximately 25,000 m2 of flexo plates are manufactured each year in three shifts on four production lines. The company, with its headquarters near Hanover, Germany, employs 47 staff and operates in the prepress, corrugated cardboard and flexible packaging sectors. Its customer portfolio encompasses food and non-food applications in Germany and neighbouring countries, including France, Poland and the Czech Republic. www.stichnothe.com