Self adhesive label printing group Skanem is trialling digital plate making at its Skurup, Sweden, plant to assess its suitability for wider adoption throughout the group. Early indications are that the trials are a success, with digital plates assuring clean and sharper images with better detailing, improved stability during press runs, and easier and quicker to set up on presses.
Says Skanem president Ole Rugland: “There are not many producers in self adhesive labels, particularly in flexo printing, using digital but as Europe’s largest label group we thought it worthwhile to try the techniques out at the Skurup factory. Flexo printing is getting closer to litho in terms of quality, and by getting into digital plate making and cutting out the film stage, we are getting the quality between the two even closer.”
Production manager at Skanem Skurup Thomas Nilsson adds: “When we decided to move from letterpress and offset to UV flexo, digital plate technology was an important part of our strategy. We invested in a CTP Thermoflex from Creo, which will be producing digital plates for 80 per cent of our jobs by the end of the year.”
Skanem AS has 10 printing plants in western Europe. Its size makes it easier for the group to develop the new skills required by digital plate making on one site and then extend the practice to its other plants.
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