Skanem is trialling digital platemaking at its Skurup, Sweden plant to assess the process's suitability for wider adoption throughout the group. Early indications are positive, with digital plates assuring sharper images, better detailing, improved on-press stability and easier, quicker press set-ups.
Skanem president Ole Rugland says: “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 at Skurup. Flexo printing quality is getting closer to litho and by getting into digital platemaking and cutting out the film stage we are getting the quality between the two even closer.”
Thje company says its size – the group has 10 printing plants in Western Europe – makes it easier for it to develop the new skills required for digital platemaking on one site and then extend the practice to other plants.
Thomas Nilsson, production manager, Skanem Skurup, adds: “When we moved from letterpress and offset to UV flexo, digital plate technology was an important part of our strategy. We invested in CTP Thermoflex from Creo, which will be producing digital plates for 80% of our jobs by the year end.”