Prairie State Group produces gravure-like quality at flexo costs with Full HD Flexo and Pixel+

PSG’s CDI flexo plate imager with Full HD Flexo has been a game changer; it has allowed the full-service printer to move away from rotogravure.

The Customer

One of four printers with SQF Level 3 Certification

Based in Franklin Park, IL, Prairie State Group (PSG) provides collaborative flexible packaging solutions, ranging from mid web laminated products such as stand-up pouches and bar wrappers to pressure sensitive labels.

They are one of four printers in the world with SQF (Food Safety and Quality) Level 3 Certification.

They are a full-service printer, with in-house pre-press along with a complete Esko workflow, platemaking, and a creative services department.

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When press operators with 15-25 years of experience come and say they love the plates, you know you have spent your money in the right place.

Dan Doherty, Executive VP of Operations and Principal, Prairie State Group, USA

The challenge

The tipping point

PSG’s former flexo plate imager was not capable of creating flattop dots, fades in highlights and shadows to meet market demands.

It wasn’t until a client requested flattop dots, though, that PSG reached a tipping point.


Esko’s system is simple to operate. With a full Esko front end, we knew that an Esko partnership would mean excellent support and training.

Dan Doherty, Executive VP of Operations and Principal, Prairie State Group, USA

The solution

A game changer

As opposed to the imaging system from their previous supplier, that added yet another step to the plate making process, Esko’s system was much simpler to operate.

PSG decided to invest in a CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager with HD Flexo and Pixel+.

Pixel+ provides additional flattop dot support for plate technologies; for example, plate-specific screening to further enhance the solid ink density beyond today’s flattop dot standard.

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Our Spark CDI with HD Flexo and Pixel+ has been a great marketing tool to differentiate ourselves. Our investment in CDI technology has given us immediate credibility.

John Reinhardt, Marketing Director, Prairie State Group, USA

The benefits

Raising the bar

  • PSG raises the bar and accelerates output. With the utmost ease of setting up files, minimums are rarely a concern any more.
  • Make-ready time and waste have decreased and PSG has more press uptime.
  • At the end of a roll, the process looks exactly the same as at the start. There is no dot gain or hue change and dots stay cleaner.
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