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Benson brings plate production in-house

UK folding carton manufacturer Benson Group has installed Dantex coating plate production equipment at its Gateshead food packaging factory.

UK folding carton manufacturer Benson Group has installed Dantex coating plate production equipment at its Gateshead food packaging factory.

Previously, the site used a mix of its own hand prepared cut-out blankets and plates provided by an external supplier. The new Aquaflex 900F plate processor utilises an environmentally-friendly washing process to provide "the greenest solution to coating plate creation currently available". Plates are originated by producing a negative image on a standard Epson inkjet device, which is driven by specialist RIP software.

The negative is exposed onto the Flexo NVO 114 Aquaflex Varnica water wash coating plate, via a regular exposure frame before being processed through the Aquaflex 900F. A dry, ready to run plate can be created in approximately 40min using this state-of-the-art system. Older solvent-based plate production systems could take over two hours in the drying process alone for one plate.

Lee Appleby, Benson’s operations manager for the North East, comments: "This system gives us a tremendous advantage in terms of the time it takes to create a plate for the coating unit. With our customers having ever more demanding delivery schedules it is a significant benefit to have control over the production of this part of the process. The plates produced are also highly durable – we have already had one running in excess of one million impressions – and produce excellent, consistent quality on the run."