DEF Pinning Top Dot Plate Technology13 June 2015
DEF Pinning Top Dot Plate Technology
DEF Pinning Top Dot Plate Technology
Dr. Dieter Niederstadt Technical Marketing Manager Asahi Photoproducts Europe
Asahi Photoproducts, a worldwide flexographic plate manufacturer, recognizes the need for fast paced packaging and label printing companies to deliver every higher levels of graphic print quality, both consistently and profitably.
AWP- DEF Pinning Top Dot (PTD) flexographic photopolymer plate technology from Asahi ensures exceptional print performance and enhanced press profitability.
Enhanced print quality
Asahi AWP- DEF plates achieve a high quality print performance as a result of their engineered photopolymer chemistry design. With a very high plate resolution designed for fine text and minimum dots fading out to zero, the unique plate specification allows a larger total colour gamut to be achieved, particularly in any highlight areas, providing more design flexibility and graphic quality.
In terms of the plate production process, as the Asahi AWP™- DEF plate making process is solvent-less, there is no need for high temperature processes and the result is a perfect, dimensionally stable plate, which ensures high quality consistent print production without colour shift.
Branded Asahi AWP- DEF, Asahi's digital water wash flexo plate also has a lighter printing impression which produce constant repeatability of the print quality during a run, ensuring improved graphic consistency and print performance.
So how does it work?
Asahi AWP- DEF Pinning Top Dot plate technology from Asahi is specifically engineered to transfer all remaining ink to the print substrate. The science behind this beneficial property is simple; the Asahi
AWP- DEF plate has a lower surface energy than conventional solvent plates enabling improved ink transfer to the print surface.
Successful flexographic printing is not just about high quality print performance. In today's competitive flexo world, profitable production is key and this is where Pinning Top Dot plate technology ensures performance meets profit.
Improved Printer Profitability
The Asahi engineered low surface energy plate design facilitates low printing pressure, or "kiss touch" printing as it's known, which reduces dot gain and results in plates that last longer in the printing process. Less plate wear means reduced plate replacement costs for the printer. Reduced ink filling-in at the mid tone area during printing then also leads to fewer cleaning intervals and increased press production uptime.
As the plates do not need to be cleaned as often as conventional digital solvent plates, the reduction of press cleaning creates a significant step in profitability for users, as a result of the improvement in overall equipment effectiveness.
Two key areas of inefficiency in the modern print shop are also plate availability and time to press, which are also both resolved by this solution.
The solvent-free production of the Asahi plate does not require the incorporation of a drying process therefore on average the plate can be delivered to press in approximately one-hour minimizing the risk of press downtime. This speed to press also facilitates its application in combination printing, popular in label and flexible packaging printing applications.
In summary, the quality, register, availability, flexibility and reduced cleaning requirements of the plate ensures high graphic performance and productivity is secured. Combine these benefits with the premium plate quality and it is suitable to be used in the ever more popular Fixed Colour Palette printing process.
A 33% improvement in overall equipment effectiveness is secured
A recent case study by the Asahi team indicated a 33% improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) compared with using a standard solvent plate in the same print production set up.
A flexible packaging film printer with a CI Press printing water-based inks was using an anilox roller with a volume of 4cm3/m2 at 400/cm and had an average press speed of 350m/min. Working a three-shift system, 240 days per annum, at a machine cost per hour of €350*, the company had a total operating cost of € 2,016,000 per machine and annum.
Utilizing a standard solvent plate, the company was experiencing €987,840 of machine uptime cost and a non-production cost of €1,028,160. This equated to a Solvent Plate OEE of just 49%.
Simply transferring to the new plate, the company reversed that trend achieving a machine uptime cost of €1,310,400 and non-production cost of €705,600, securing an OEE of 65%.
The overall OEE advantage over the solvent plate was 33% or a saving of €322,560 per machine and annum.
Obviously OEE data varies press shop to press shop and printer to printer with all the variables that need to be taken into account but the evidence is clear - the reduced downtime achieved via reduced cleaning and time to press using the DEF plate delivered the exceptional profitability and enhanced print performance as promised.
As demonstrated in the example, the Asahi flexographic plate is a solution that can easily fit into any existing press shop environment with only the need for an additional water wash processor. This flexibility then enables the printer to react quickly to changing market requirements and trends whilst ensuring that the business efficiency improvement is sustained. Furthermore the plate can be used with high definition screening and microcell patterning technologies.
* The machine cost per hour included the labour cost, machine depreciation, storage, machine space and overhead costs including electricity, water and gas.