Asahi AWP Plates Deliver Quality, Performance

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA—Asahi’s AWP line of flexo plates and plate equipment continues to gain recognition worldwide for its quality and performance. The AWP water washable flexo plate from Asahi pushes beyond the limit of what was once possible only in gravure printing. And, it’s making it possible in an efficient and sustainable production environment with no VOCs.

Correct-Touch Graphic Arts has been the exclusive U.S. distributor of Asahi Flexo products for 17 years. We’ve watched the success of Asahi continue to grow in the U.S. market firsthand. It’s nice to see it happen in Europe and elsewhere around the globe as well. In a recent article, TCL Packaging Limited working with Creation Reprographics (both U.K. companies) had this to say about Asahi AWP Flexo Plates:

“We’re all about replacement of gravure here at TCL,” said Dean Langford, TCL production manager. “We initially assessed about five different flexographic plates, but when we began working with Creation Reprographics, we were really impressed with the quality standard they could deliver on the Asahi AWP plate solution.”

Dean adds, “Creation Reprographics understood our desire to perform at a premium level in the market; and working with the Asahi AWP™ plate, we are able to extend our application reach, as well as meet the needs of premium brands in the market.”

AWP-DEF

Use Asahi’s AWP Plate material in conjunction with its state of the art AWP equipment, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination that will put you on the path to success.

Extensive AWP plate trials and live production jobs have proven the AWP plate’s ability to print down to 2 percent to 3 percent using classical round dot screening. With the latest screening technologies, the plate is able to reproduce a vignette fade to zero. Due to this quality performance leap, customers like TCL Packaging have already been able to successfully transfer production from offset or gravure to flexographic printing.

(January 2016, flexography.org)

tesa tape Announces Next Generation Line of Tapes

CHARLOTTE, NC—Members of the print and web processing division of tesa tape, inc., an affiliate of tesa SE, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes, recently announced the evolution of its line of products used in the package printing industry to create packaging for many commonly used consumer packaged goods (CPG) items.

The Evolution

For more than two decades, tesa tape has been supplying pressroom materials to flexible package printers around the world. Today, tesa Softprint Plate Mounting Tapes—tapes designed to adhere imagebearing printing plates onto print cylinders and sleeves—are a mainstay in most flexible package printing facilities.

In keeping with our commitment to innovation, tesa R&D and application engineers have once again revolutionized the company’s plate mounting tape line to best meet the needs of today’s customers and equipment. Working in tandem with tesa sales personnel and directly with flexible package printers and equipment manufacturers, tesa experts were able to identify specific challenges faced by printers during the expansive printing process. Based on months of extensive market research and observation, tesa R&D experts have developed the next generation line of plate mounting tapes designed to optimize print production and mitigate pressroom issues.

The next generation line of tesa Softprint products includes more than 30 tapes designed for all types of flexo image reproduction, including fine screens, combination patterns and solid images. The redefined product line has been refined using new product naming nomenclature which utilizes a smart numbering system to denote types of printing, foam tape thickness, foam hardness levels, adhesive system and more. The new products are also distinctly identifiable by the vibrant colored tesa logos which are imprinted on each product.

Joe Prunier, market manager for the print and web processing sector of tesa, had this to say regarding the redesign of the company’s flagship plate mounting tapes: “We have been a close partner to the package printing industry for many years and strive to continually provide our customers with state of the art pressroom materials. This launch of our next generation products is evidence of our continuing commitment to be a catalyst for finely crafted printed packaging products.”

(March 2016, flexography.org)

Coated vs. Uncoated Color

PMS Coated vs. PMS Uncoated

The PMS (Pantone Matching System) contains two very different lines of color references related to substrates. These two lines are referred to as PMS C (coated) and PMS U (uncoated). The C and U refer to the substrate the correlating PMS color chip is intended to be matched and ultimately printed on.

Here are a few examples of both types of substrate:
Coated Liner/Substrate                                           Uncoated Liner/Substrate
Kemi (lite, graph etc…)                                           Mottled
C.I.P (clay impregnated)                                         Bleach
SBS Bleached                                                        Kraft

It is ideal for the customer to choose the appropriate color from either the C or U PMS book based on the substrate.

The main difference between the coated and uncoated substrate is ink hold-out.
Ink hold-out is the ability or inability of the ink to penetrate the substrate. A coated substrate has a much higher ink hold-out than an uncoated substrate. This hold-out allows the ink to sit on top of the substrate and not absorb into the substrate. This gives the color a very dense and/or bright appearance, whereas an uncoated substrate will give the color a less dense and flat/muddy appearance.

Here is an example of the difference in the PMS U and C books using the same color for reference:

280cu

As you can see, the PMS U color is less dense, flatter, and appears “dirtier” than the PMS C color on the right. This is due to the C substrate allowing the ink to sit on top of the substrate whereas the U substrate allows the ink to be absorbed.

The difficulty for color matchers and ink suppliers is attempting to match a color intended to represent a C match but then is printed on a U substrate. The uncoated substrate simply does not allow the ink to sit on top of the substrate causing the color to lose its “pop” and density. Along with the loss in density, the uncoated substrate gives the color the appearance of being “dirty” or “muddy”. This is problem when attempting to match a PMS C color chip that is light in color or is “clean/bright” in color.

Here is an example of a light/clean color:

CG 1U&C

In the above example, the Cool Gray 1 C appears cleaner and crisper. The Cool Gray 1 U appears flatter and takes on more of a yellow tone.

The above samples are a few examples of why it is not best practice to use a C color chip for uncoated substrates. There are also some other factors to consider. One being resistance properties, especially rub (wet or dry). A dense C match requires more dispersion or pigment (color portion of the formula) to reach the strength level. This would take away from the resin (clear material in the formula that helps the ink transfer and bond) portion of the formula which in turn could cause excess rub when handled after printed.

Please take all of the information above into consideration when discussing color with the customer.

 

(Zeres Inc.  7/17/2013)

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