FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO: Shigetaka Komori) today announces the commercial availability of its FLENEX DLE (Direct Laser Engraving) B2 CTP system for the production of flexo printing plates. The system will be commercially available in Q2 CY2012.
Flexo printing is used mainly for packaging applications such as labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons, with a predicted annual market growth of 4-5% in the next few years. Fujifilm, a leading supplier of imaging technologies for printing applications, will be offering a benchmark solution using its unique flexo plate-making technologies for packaging print applications.
By developing a new DLE flexo plate and multi-channel CTP platesetter, Fujifilm has created a revolutionary new solution for flexo printing applications that achieves extremely high quality image reproduction.
Compared to common LAM (Laser Ablation Mask) systems, Fujifilm’s FLENEX DLE system has been optimised as a quick and eco-friendly way of making flexo plates. This is helpful for any job requiring a rapid turnaround, and particularly important in the event of a plate remake, considerably reducing press downtime.
The FLENEX DLE system eliminates the multiple processing steps (UV exposure, solvent or thermal processing and drying) that are required with current LAM technologies, which in turn creates a much more streamlined process and allows companies to make better use of their resources.
A highly-cured plate, manufactured using a unique polymerisation reaction combined with a digitally controlled engraving process, means the resultant dot profile is very accurate, resulting in extremely sharp image reproduction and superb fine detail.
The FLENEX DLE system is eco-friendly as it removes the need for the multiple pieces of equipment associated with the current LAM plate-making process, and is completely 100% free of VOCs. In addition, as there is no need for a lengthy, high temperature plate drying process, energy consumption is also reduced.
At drupa 2012, Fujifilm will be showcasing a B2 sized DLE platesetter called “FLENEX DL-25” and a DLE plate called “FLENEX WV-1”, suitable for UV and water-based ink applications. Fujifilm’s intention is that the FLENEX DLE system is expanded in the future to cover a wider variety of label, folding carton and flexible packaging applications.
“We are excited about having the FLENEX DLE system on our stand at drupa 2012. With the commercial availability of the system, we hope to be able to demonstrate that our technology know-how will provide packaging printers all over the world with a real alternative to the LAM based devices on the market,” comments Yasufumi Morimoto, senior engineering manager, Graphic Systems Division at Fujifilm’s headquarters in Tokyo. “We are always striving to expand our product base with solutions that will offer real benefits and we are confident that this development represents a milestone for the packaging industry.”