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TCL Packaging Teams with Creation Reprographics and Asahi Photoproducts to Bring Gravure Quality to Flexo

TCL Packaging Teams with Creation Reprographics and Asahi Photoproducts to Bring Gravure Quality to Flexo

TCL Packaging Teams with Creation Reprographics and Asahi Photoproducts to Bring Gravure Quality to Flexo

Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported that TCL Packaging Limited of Telford in the UK, in partnership with Daventry-based Creation Reprographics, credits Asahi Photoproducts AWP flexo plates in part with its ability to make significant progress toward its goal of migrating gravure production to flexography for food and non-food flexible packaging. TCL promotes itself as a supplier of perfectly printed packaging films and operates out of a 70,000 square foot facility with 55 employees.

"We’re all about replacement of gravure here at TCL," says Dean Langford, TCL Production Manager. "We initially assessed about five different flexographic plates, but when we began working with Creation Reprographics, we were really impressed with the quality standard they could deliver on the Asahi AWP plate solution."

Extensive AWP plate trials and live production jobs have proven the AWP plate’s ability to print down to 2%-3% using classical round dot screening. With the latest screening technologies, the plate is able to reproduce a vignette fade to zero. Due to this quality performance leap, customers like TCL Packaging, have already been able to successfully transfer production from offset or gravure to flexographic printing.

Langford adds, "Working with our repro team, Creation Reprographics took two eight-colour gravure jobs, did extensive colour management and fingerprinting work and delivered them in five colours on our new Uteco line investment, with outstanding performance according to our customer.

"Creation Reprographics understood our desire to perform at a premium level in the market; and working with the Asahi AWP™ plate, we are able to extend our application reach, as well as meet the needs of premium brands in the market."

Today, business is booming at TCL Packaging. For the past three years, TCL has been growing at an average of 10% per annum, which outstrips overall market growth, with the UK flexo packaging market having grown at about 3% annually in recent years.

Asahi AWP plates have made a significant contribution to this success, according to Langford, who concludes, "The fact that we can drive our print performance up above standard gravure using the Asahi AWP plate says we going to be competing and ahead of the game in the long term."

Asahi AWP: The Details
Asahi’s water-washable AWP plates feature Pinning Technology, which enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced press downtime, as well as significant quality improvements.

Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer allows a kiss-touch printing pressure setting. It makes use of low plate surface tension, made possible by a specially engineered Asahi polymer chemistry, to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results in a cleaner and more homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate, helping flexographic printers meet the ever increasing quality demands of their customers.