International image processing specialist for the packaging industry, Miller Graphics Group, has invested in the FLEXCEL Direct System for its Limoges plant. The company signed the deal at drupa 2012, and became the first prepress company in Europe to invest in the technology.
Miller Graphics Group has 380 employees operating thirteen sites in Europe, and generates a turnover of 45 million EUR. Its customer base comprises decision-makers and packaging printers, which use flexo technology to print paperboard boxes, flexible packaging, notebooks, kitchen paper, labels and more.
Miller Graphics France operates from three sites – Limoges (Limousin), Beauvais (Oise) and Avignon (Vaucluse) – and is the only prepress company in the country to manufacture and directly engrave elastomer sleeves for flexo printing. Miller Graphics France has a 140-strong staff, and generates a turnover of 16 million EUR.
Building on a successful partnership with Kodak
For Hubert Sampré, managing director at Miller Graphics, the decision to invest in the FLEXCEL Direct System was a relatively easy one, thanks to the positive feedback from its customers: “We spotted the FLEXCEL Direct System at drupa 2008 and were impressed by its laser diode technology. We had the privilege of being chosen by Kodak to test the machine, due to our experience of engraving ITR (cylindrically shaped) sleeves for flexo printing. We’ve been testing the FLEXCEL Direct System at our Limoges plant for six months. We’re very happy with the very positive feedback from our customers, so we decided to make our purchase official at drupa 2012.”
The FLEXCEL Direct System is more than just an engraving device. It is a complete, optimized end to end system that utilizes engraver, workflow and unique media to drive improvements in quality and productivity. “The FLEXCEL Direct System is easy to operate, and the media accelerates the rate of engraving and improves printing on all substrates,” continues Sampré. “It’s a truly complete system.”
The FLEXCEL Direct System simplifies the sleeve manufacturing process, eliminates variations inherent in traditional flexo processes, removes the need for harsh solvents and is ideally suited to all forms of printing: “The elastomer sleeves are ready to use, which helps boost production speed by around 50%,” adds Sampré. “Direct engraving removes the need for solvents and uses a powerful filter to neutralise particulates , making it a very environmentally-friendly flexo system. We also like the fact the high power laser system is energy-efficient, ergonomic and simple to operate”
Sampré has been particularly impressed by the print quality delivered by the FLEXCEL Direct System. “This engraver together with the dedicated KODAK Sleeves produces a level of sharpness that we’d not previously seen. The print quality produced with the FLEXCEL Direct System is equivalent to the best that can be achieved with digital flexo plates.”
Customers give their approval
Brands have quickly been won over by the attractive, high-quality packaging: “The feedback from our customers has been very positive – not least because top-quality, high-impact packaging will help them sell more,” adds Sampré. “As well as the quality, customers have been impressed by the greater consistency and shorter set-up times.
“With a rising demand for these engraved sleeves, and a plan to push the technology in the flexible packaging and label segments, we had no hesitation in finalising the purchase of the FLEXCEL Direct System.”