Miller Graphics Roeselare (www.millergraphics.com), a packaging specialist based in Belgium, is enhancing production of its plates and in-the-round (ITR) sleeves with an investment in Esko’s (www.esko.com) Full HD Flexo CDI Advance Cantilever, the first flexographic imaging device that can digitally image both flexo plates and ITR sleeves. This is the second investment within the Miller group in Esko’s top technology, Full HD CDI, for use on flexo plates and ITR sleeves, increasing quality and allowing Miller Graphics to stay ahead of the market. It is a confirmation of the long-term and ongoing partnership between Esko and Miller Graphics.
Miller Graphics Roeselare is a member of the Miller Graphics Group. It serves a wide range of customers in the printing and packaging industries across Europe.
The flexible and corrugated packaging specialist’s investment is the final element in a triple review of personnel, infrastructure and equipment designed to create a forward-looking vision of the business.
A part of that it is addressing the need for higher quality and guaranteed delivery times. This led to the development of Millnet, an online workflow solution for packaging management that meets the objectives of OTIF (On Time in Full) and RFT (Right First Time). It also forms the basis for internal production and provides a powerful and user-friendly customer portal.
Managing Director Philippe Bataillie comments, “In order to ensure that we meet both current and emerging customer needs, Miller Graphics Roeselare keeps a keen eye on new flexographic prepress technologies. Being a member of a large European group, we have the opportunity to test new technologies in our various markets. Internal and customer experiences are then shared with the entire group to give us an objective basis for informed strategic decisions.”
Unique production performance
Philippe Bataillie continues: “After a careful study of market options and comparison tests, we chose Esko’s Full HD Flexo CDI Advance Cantilever to produce both ITR sleeves and flexo plates. It is the first and only system that combines all of the necessary techniques in one device to produce both plates and sleeves while also ensuring very high resolution for the sharpest point formation. It delivers perfect HD Flexo highlights and digital Inline UV2 for flat top dot formation. These capabilities ideally position Miller Graphics Roeselare to deliver the highest quality flexo printing in the market with both plates and ITR sleeves.”
Precisely controlled process
Esko’s Full HD Flexo allows printers to achieve gravure quality results with a flexographic solution. Unlike other processes that require intermediate analogue or manual exposure steps, Full HD Flexo is the first and only fully automated digital plate- and sleeve making workflow in the industry. Full HD plates and sleeves are prepared completely within the Esko CDI Advance Cantilever imager and are immediately ready for processing after unloading. To provide the highest quality in sleeve processing Miller Graphics Roeselare invested in parallel into state-of-the-art plate processing peripherals.
With this fully automated sleeve processing workflow the company strengthens its unique market position as European photopolymer sleeve producer.
The CDI Advance Cantilever with Full HD Flexo has an inline UV2 main exposure, an integrated, digitally controlled, ultraviolet diode array that eliminates the need for main exposure as an analog process performed on a light table, controlling the polymerization process during exposure. This enables a precise, digitally controlled inline process, performed within the equipment right after the imaging of the flexo plate, without any operator intervention. Through the integration of the image carrier, a digital flexo plate also has sharper image definition and steeper relief shoulders than conventional plates produced with film. Image deterioration caused by UV light absorption and scattering in the traditional process using a vacuum sheet and film is totally eliminated, resulting in a crisp, first-generation image on the plate. The CDI Advance Cantilever with Full HD Flexo works with all popular digital flexo plates and sleeves.
Mr. Bataillie concludes, “Implementing the latest Esko technology enables us to produce unmatched and repeatable quality in flexo-printed packaging. With high contrast, high resolution images, we can now produce packaging that delivers great results for the most demanding printing markets.”