Innovative Flexo Plate Making Process Delivers Gravure-Class Results
An ongoing commitment to technology innovation has driven Trisoft Graphics to the forefront of flexo service providers on the West Coast. The high-end trade shop was the first in California to adopt thermal processing several years ago. In late 2008, Owner Tristan Zafra advanced his company again, becoming the first West Coast installation of a Kodak Flexcel NX Digital Flexographic System.
Zafra notes, “We weren’t actively looking for a new imaging system, but when I saw samples from the Flexcel NXSystem, I was convinced that I wanted to invest in it. It produced higher quality than anything I’d seen. There’s nothing else out there that can come close. In a highly competitive market, the Flexcel NX System gives us a quality advantage that separates us from our competition.”
This FPPA and InterTech™ award winning system uses the unique Kodak Flexcel NX Thermal Imaging Layer in conjunction with flexographic plates. The specially-formulated thermal imaging layer, which is exposed on a Kodak Trendsetter NX Imager with Kodak squarespot Imaging Technology, enables high-resolution, fast imaging and intimate optical contact with the plate during UV exposure. squarespot Imaging Technology produces precise, robust dots that are less susceptible to variations in plate, processor, and environmental conditions than other imaging technologies. After imaging, the Thermal Imaging Layer is laminated to a Kodak Flexcel NX Digital Flexographic Plate using the Kodak Flexcel NX Laminator. This quick and simple process removes the oxygen between the layer and the plate, and results in the creation of high quality, full amplitude, flat-top dots.
No Environmental Issues
The Flexcel NX System requires solvent processing, which was initially a concern for Trisoft. California is one of the strictest states in the U.S. when it comes to environmental regulation. However, this has not turned out to be an issue. Tristan Zafra comments, “Solvents nowadays are much more environmentally friendly than they used to be.” The company performs solvent recovery on-site with its own reclaim units, and the
In addition, Flexcel NX Plates are so durable that fewer plates are required to run long jobs, and plates can be stored and reused for subsequent runs. This extended plate life helps minimize environmental impact and reduce waste in both prepress and the press room.
Raising the Flexo Bar with 300 Line Screens
This groundbreaking system enables unprecedented flexo print quality. As Tristan Zafra says, “Before the Flexcel NX System, we were maxed out at 200 line screens. With the Flexcel NX System, we can make flexo plates that print successfully at 300 line screens. You don’t have to constantly clean the plate. The printing is very sharp. There’s no banding. We’re getting more density and better ink transfer out of this plate. Color is much more consistent throughout the run.” He continues, “We’ve also seen a dramatic improvement in highlight reproduction. Because the Flexcel NX Plate can hold a much finer and more consistent dot, highlights are much crisper and smoother. We can now actually print a vignette that goes down to zero without hard lining, which was impossible with our previous system.”
“The Flexcel NX System is helping us win more business from existing customers, and it’s opening new doors.
We’re getting into accounts that wouldn’t even talk to us before.”
Results That Sell Themselves
The level of quality made possible by Flexcel NX Plates gives Trisoft’s customers a competitive edge, which ultimately helps the trade shop solidify its advantage and grow its business. Zafra relates, “Every single one of our customers loves the Flexcel NX Plates. One customer told me, ‘My pressman has gotten better all of a sudden!’ Other customers have asked us to create promotional labels for them so they can market these plates. It’s been really amazing.” The Flexcel NX System is also generating excitement with prospects. As Zafra notes, “I’ve been courting one company for three years. Recently, when I walked in with samples printed with Flexcel NX Plates, I didn’t even have to do any talking. They did all the talking and, in fact, wanted to arrange a visit to my facility for the next day.”