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Uniflex adopts Asahi Photoproducts flexographic plates for higher quality, improved efficiency

About eight years ago, Belarus-based Uniflex began its journey to enhance quality and competitive advantage through the use of fixed colour palette printing (also called Extended Colour Gamut printing), using a fixed set of inks to replace most, if not all, requirements for spot colour inks. Uniflex is one of the largest flexographic printing companies in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Eastern Europe. The company offers a wide range of high quality flexible packaging such as vacuum bags, pouches, sachets, roll packaging, and self-adhesive labels in up to ten colours and using a variety of materials.

"We saw fixed colour palette printing as the next milestone in quality and efficiency for flexographic printing," said Eugen Lungin, production manager of Uniflex. "We worked to assemble a suite of industry-leading solutions to position us at the forefront of modern printing techniques to better serve our existing customer base and to expand our global footprint. Our partnership with Asahi Photoproducts was essential to our success in achieving these goals."

Uniflex chose to use Asahi’s AFPTM-TOP and AWPTM flexographic plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer, finding them to be the ideal plate choices for Full HD Flexo production.

"Our customers have strict requirements relative to the quality of their printing," added Eugen Lungin. "We are always striving to take advantage of the latest innovations in flexography in order to meet and exceed customer expectations, and fixed colour palette printing is definitely one of those innovations. High quality, eye-catching, yet functional packaging is what our brand owners are looking for, and plates from Asahi Photoproducts are a vital enabler for us to achieve that and more."

Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer is a unique plate technology specifically engineered to transfer all remaining ink to the print substrate due to the photopolymer plates having a lower surface energy than other plates on the market. It is an ideal technology for fixed colour palette printing. Not only does this deliver stunning graphical quality, but it also improves overall production efficiencies due to reduced make-ready waste and fewer press wash-ups. In fact, independent testing reflects that Asahi plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer deliver at least a 26% improvement in Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

"We began our fixed colour palette printing journey with Asahi’s AFPTM-TOP plates after a thorough market review, and found they had the best and most consistent ink transfer from start to finish during production runs. We subsequently added AWPTM water-washable plates to take advantage of their precise plate-to-plate register, fast platemaking time and environmental benefits to round out our plate portfolio, for the best of all worlds in fixed colour palette flexographic printing."

"Uniflex is a delight to work with," said Martin Wohlschlegel, sales manager key accounts and emerging markets at Asahi Photoproducts Europe. "Their dedication to quality and environmental sustainability, and their heritage of innovation in the flexographic printing process, sets them apart and bodes well for their future success. We look forward to an ongoing relationship that is mutually beneficial."

"With the implementation of fixed colour palette printing and our use of Asahi AWPTM and AFPTM-TOP plates," Eugen Lungin concluded, "we not only have the cost and productivity benefits of fixed colour palette printing, but we also are able to achieve higher line screens and extremely brilliant colours without any compromise in colour stability. Homogenous ink transfer makes it nearly impossible to distinguish our fixed colour palette flexo printing from the highest quality gravure. We are now technically able to provide high-end printing quality that meets the expectations of even the most demanding customers while benefiting from improved OEE!"

For more information about solutions from Asahi Photoproducts, visit www.asahi-photoproducts.com.

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