The platemaking operation of Tennessee-based Interstate Packaging has increased throughput and gained significant cost savings using Esko’s Digital Flexo Suite with a Kongsberg XL20 digital finishing table.
The system, with full connectivity to a CDI Spark 4835 imager has reduced plate waste, eliminated human error, and brought automated plate traceability to the company’s flexo plate operation.
Digital Flexo Suite automatically and simultaneously sends optimized plate files to the CDI Spark for imaging and cutting layout data the Kongsberg XL table for precision cutting. The CDI imaging file and the Kongsberg cutting file carry identical names and registration marks that are automatically marked on the flexo plate, for later identification, registration, and cutting. Contact a Digital Flexo Suite specialist!
This automated, cost-effective solution reduces plate cutting waste to an absolute minimum. For Interstate Packaging, that capability is essential. “Our highest costs, in order, are substrates, ink, and plate material,” explains Jeff Cassell, Graphics Manager at Interstate Packaging.
“We felt that with plate material, there were opportunities to reduce costs.” Along with some other modifications to the platemaking process, such as barcoding plates, the use of Digital Flexo Suite with the Kongsberg table led to Interstate Graphics saving 30% on the amount of plate material used.
Another critical element is the traceability and accountability for each plate. At Interstate, each plate has a unique number and that number is logged into a database. The etched number of the plate is placed on the back of the plate. Interstate can go into the database and enter the plate number and find where the plate is in process.
“Interstate Packaging has over 8,000 active SKUs, averaging 8 colors per SKU. We are talking lots of plates. We now know where each plate should be at all times. Let’s say a plate is left out of an envelope.
We can go to the database and see if the plate is active or belongs, conversely, in the recycle bin. Now, driven by the Esko workflow and etched by the Kongsberg table, we can assure we are using the right plate for each run. We eliminate potential errors.” says Jeff Cassell.