20 CDI devices with HD Flexo sold in Italy since 2009 launch.
If flexo printing is to compete with the quality of offset and gravure printing, flexo plate manufacturing must use high resolution optics combined with excellent screening technology. EskoArtwork (www.esko.com) made this possible with the introduction of HD Flexo in 2009. Combining 4000 dpi HD optics with advanced screening, HD Flexo delivers sharper and more accurate imaging. Italy is one of the countries where HD Flexo is causing a stir, with 20 systems in use or about to be installed.
One of the first flexo service providers that tried HD Flexo was Parma-based Zincopar, which has now obtained the HD Flexo certification from EskoArtwork. Owner Massimo Cipolla says: "After several trials the technology more than met our expectations. It didn’t take long to adjust to a new way of working and we’ve already seen very positive results, such as higher resolution, increased print definition and better ink transfer.” Zincopar discovered that the significant increase in quality was something that its customers were very happy about: “HD Flexo has helped us win new business because it allows you to compete with gravure. In fact, this technology is proving so popular it could well overtake gravure," adds Cipolla.
HD Flexo has also been winning praise from Forli-based Sidac. The company designs and manufactures flexible plastic packaging and labels for food, beverages and detergents. HD Flexo accounts for around 15 per cent of Sidac’s output, and is used on PET, PE, PP, PVC. Luca Mazzotti, Managing Director, comments: "We began using HD Flexo after seeing the quality gap between flexo and gravure get narrower and narrower. It delivers top-quality results and has helped us strengthen our relationships with existing customers. HD Flexo is perfect for customers who want the quality of gravure without the associated costs."
Monza-based Digital Flex, which is part of New Roveco, provides ready-to-print flexo plates. Production Manager Andrea Vergnano says: "After an intensive three-month trial we introduced HD Flexo to the market. Customers were really impressed with the outstanding quality it delivers. The 4000 dpi optics and HD screening technology allow fine gradations that fade to zero, while the increased color gradation results in a wider color gamut. There is now very little difference in quality between HD Flexo and gravure.”
Also Flexocit of Brescia, a flexo production company specializing in food packaging and part of Gerosa Group, has embraced the HD Flexo 4000 dpi technology. The company achieved EskoArtwork certification for printing with this system using screen rulings higher than 70 lines per square centimeter.
Schio (VI)-based GPS Packaging operates nationally and internationally, processing raw materials (paper and plastic) shopping bags and labels. The company has been using HD Flexo for around six months."We wanted to increase our print quality and HD Flexo has enabled us to do just that. We’re very impressed with the results. When we print the nuances we can make them soft and smooth, which is very important for printing high-quality shopping bags and beverage labels. The whole process has been very positive," says Managing Director and President Daniele Grotto. "“HD Flexo has proved very popular with our existing customers and will play a key role in helping us develop new applications and secure new business. Some of our customers claim that products printed with HD Flexo are better quality than gravure printing.”
Rotoflex is a flexo service provider based in Sesto San Giovanni (MI) and Reggio Emilia. The company was an early adopter of HD Flexo. Owner Giovanni Visinoni says: “We began testing over a year ago and we’re very satisfied with the results. HD Flexo is a totally new system. It’s equipped with high-res 4000 dpi optics and unique screening technology, related to UV exposure online. It ensures sharper and more accurate imaging, and allows us to print with more than 60 lines. It is an excellent alternative to rotogravure printing.”
"The HD screening makes it possible to reduce the presence of printable dots in the highlighted areas, and offers an extended tonal range compared with previous digital flexo systems. You can only get this effect by combining HD Flexo’s high-resolution optics with its intelligent screening technology. We’re pushing the adoption of this technology, offering it to customers who want higher quality and appreciate the marked difference between a 4000 dpi plate and a 4000 dpi HD plate,” adds Visinoni.
Among Rotoflex’s customers is Fiorini International, which offers paper packaging for the food industry, and also operates in the fashion and clothing sector. Fiorini opted for HD Flexo to print on one side coated paper: “HD Flexo is enabling Fiorini to achieve stunning results with high screen rulings, very clean whites and well-defined detail. The technology is fast winning over customers loyal to gravure," adds Visinoni.
About EskoArtwork (www.esko.com)
EskoArtwork is a global supplier and integrator of innovative solutions for packaging, commercial printing, sign and display finishing and professional publishing. Its products and services help customers raise productivity, reduce time-to-market, lower costs and expand business.
EskoArtwork is the worldwide market leader with pre-production and collaboration software for packaging buyers, designers and manufacturers. The CDI flexo computer-to-plate imagers, Kongsberg short-run converting and signage finishing systems complete the portfolio for the packaging, label, signage and display industries.
The company also provides a range of workflow solutions for the commercial printing and publishing market, as well as the Enfocus suite of PDF tools for graphic designers and print production professionals.
EskoArtwork employs around 950 people worldwide. Its global sales and support organization covers Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific and is completed by a network of distribution partners in more than 40 countries.
EskoArtwork is headquartered in Gent, Belgium, and has R&D and manufacturing facilities in five European countries, the United States, China and India. The consolidated full year financials ended for 2009 with revenue of EUR 145 million and an EBITDA of EUR 23 million.
For more information, visit www.esko.com