A recent Flexo Marvel has been the latest MacDermid Calendar – a product that presents the vast capabilities of Flexo with regard to print quality, economy and luxury.
- Jaychandra (JC) of VeePee Graphics took care of the prepress –selecting right images, conceptualizing and producing great results.
- Mr Gopi and his team at iTek, Bengaluru took care of the printing – his keen interest and effort help through the final spectacle.
- Esko’s CDI Crystal, XPS Crystal plate imager and exposure equipment and MacDermid’s LUX ITP 60 – the technology behind the calendar.
The technology that goes behind the beautiful calendar includes Esko’s CDI Crystal and XPS Crystal plate imager and exposure equipment and the plates used being MacDermid Graphics Solutions LUX ITP 60 (045 gauge). Jaychandra (JC) of VeePee Graphics took care of the prepress and he was very much involved since beginning in selecting right images, conceptualizing and responsible for producing this result. Mr Gopi and his team at iTek, Bengaluru took care of the printing and whose keen interest and effort helped through the final result.
The calendar represents the birds life impressively. “We wanted to demonstrate, nature’s beauty and colourful world full of contrast and we found birds to be the most suitable theme we can use,” says Prasenjit Das, Sr Cluster Manager, MacDermid.
The secret behind the vibrant colours in the attractive images is the LUX ITP 60 plates which played a very important role to producing this quality. “Selection of right images, prepress done by VeePee and the experience of iTek resulted in producing this high quality calendars,” sums up Prasenjit. And the result is a beautiful CMYK + OGV rendering with cold foil matt and gloss varnish embellishment.
VeePee used multiple screening technologies in these images to achieve the right contrast in this first calendar project by MacDermid, which produced about 1000 copies to be distributed to all existing and prospective flexo printers in the county.
Flexo is today a preferred technology and decisions fall in its favour due advantages of application, cost, quality as well as availability of convertors etc. Similarly, for brand owners – quality cost and consistency play important role.
The premier LUX ITP plate product is LUX ITP 60, a hard durometer plate formulated with award-winning technology from MacDermid. LUX ITP features the convenience of flat-top dots right out of the box. No additional platemaking steps or equipment are needed to take advantage of the print quality and consistency that LUX flat-top dots provide. Apart from the state-of-the-art technology at hand, good prepress skills with experienced printing knowledge with LUX ITP 60 plates played central role while producing such quality product. Paramount was the role of other inputs like the choice of substrate, ink and repro etc. which played their best part in producing this quality.
In addition to the quality that LUX ITP 60 is capable of producing, it comprises an environmentally friendly technology and processing. “The LUX ITP 60 can be processed in either solvent or thermal processing systems, like MacDermid’s LAVA system. Trade Shops or Convertors do not have to keep two types of plates for solvent and thermal process. This helps in maintaining adequate inventory, less wastage,” explains Prasenjit.
“MacDermid Graphics Solutions Product Regulatory Department understands the importance of Product Stewardship. We are committed to offering safer products by understanding the health, safety, environmental and social impacts of our products throughout the supply chain. MacDermid is taking the leadership position in providing a dedicated consultation line answering customer’s questions about industry regulations and our products,” he adds.
Speaking of Flexo technology per se, he says it has many advantages over other printing processes especially in high-quality products. “The calendar we have printed via flexo speaks for itself and demonstrates flexo printing capabilities. One of the biggest advantages of flexography is that it can print a various range of applications and on many different substrates,” emphasizes Prasenjit.
Flexo is today a preferred technology and decisions fall in its favour due advantages of application, cost, quality as well as availability of convertors etc. “Similarly, for brand owners – quality cost and consistency play important role,” says Prasenjit.
There are surely some fears that come up when printers go for flexo. According to Prasenjit, “Probably availability of skilled man power is the biggest issue for any printer. Though with the improvement of modern technology in prepress, platemaking and printing, with more and more automation, human intervention is getting reduced.”
MacDermid Graphics Solutions has announced plans for an exciting, collaborative endeavor, The Flexo Xperience Center (The FXC) where customers can see the flexo capabilities live. The FXC is founded by MacDermid and SOMA and is an expansion of their initial plans to install a SOMA Optima2 printing press at MacDermid’s facility in Atlanta, GA, USA, announced in December 2020. The FXC will include multiple industry-leading partners providing software, equipment, and consumables. The Flexo Xperience Center was conceptualized in late 2020 by the leadership, marketing, R&D, and sales teams at MacDermid and SOMA while discussing plans to install the printing press and plate mounting equipment at MacDermid’s facility. The teams identified a need in the package printing industry for a wide-web flexo printing center with every aspect of the flexo process, including artwork, prepress, platemaking, print, print finishing, and print evaluation.
“The mission of The Flexo Xperience Center is to move flexo forward. This global center will combine both hands-on and virtual visits for a “one-stop-shop” for the package printing industry’s entire workflow to experience the latest flexographic printing innovations. In addition, the FXC will foster and host industry training, collaboration, research, experimentation, and learning, all designed to ensure package printing excellence. The center will be open to pre-media suppliers, trade shops, printers, converters, consumer product good companies, industry associations, educational institutions, manufacturers, and other players in the package printing market,” explains Prasenjit.
“We are very confident that Indian, printers, convertors and trade shops will be excited to visit FXC, whether in-person or virtually, and improve their skills.”
The latest calendar by MacDermid depicts Flexo’s coming of age as regards answering segments previously been answered by other technologies like offset printing. “Flexo is a quickly growing printing method, as such many industry suppliers are working on innovations to continually improve the entire flexo workflow. From advanced screening and high quality printing plates, to printing press automation, flexo can now compete in quality with other printing methods like offset and gravure,” asserts Prasenjit.
MacDermid Graphics Solutions has been an innovator in flexo plates for over 50 years. From the first capped digital plates, to the first inherently flat-top dot plates, MacDermid is focused on the future success of flexo printing. “We partner with the top industry suppliers, to ensure our plates work with the latest technology like advanced screening and UV led plate exposure,” says Prasenjit.
Besides, MacDermid’s LAVA thermal plate processing is optimized for processing 25 in. x 30 in. to 50 in. x 80 in. plates. LAVA integrates easily with the most popular front-end prepress systems and software, making it a plug-and-play solution for almost any workflow.
Some of the key features of LAVA Thermal Plate Processing are:
- Press ready plates in less than an hour
- Eliminates solvents and VOC’s in platemaking
- Advanced design and improved ergonomics
- Internal filter system for reduced footprint
- Automated lid lift for work efficiency
- LED illumination
“I strongly believe that MacDermid Digital Thermal LAVA Workflow is the most effective complete end-to-end workflow,” affirms Prasenjit who concludes by affirming his belief that Flexo is the future and Flexible Packaging and Corrugation are the key growth areas of Flexo in near future.