Digital Flexo Platemaking System Puts Trisoft Graphics a Cut Above

An ongoing commitment to technology innovation has driven Trisoft Graphics to the forefront of flexo service providers in California. The high-end trade shop located in Costa Mesa was the first on the West Coast to adopt digital platemaking and thermal processing several years ago. In late 2008, owner Tristan Zafra's shop became the first West Coast installation of a Kodak (Booths 1227, 5227) Flexcel NX digital flexographic system.

“We weren’t actively looking for a new imaging system, but when I saw samples from the Flexcel NX system, I was convinced that we needed it,” says Zafra. “It produced higher quality than anything I’d seen. There’s nothing else out there that can come close. In a highly-competitive market, the Flexcel NX System gives us a quality advantage that separates us from our competition.”

This InterTech award-winning system uses the Kodak Flexcel NX thermal imaging layer in conjunction with flexographic plates. The specially-formulated thermal imaging layer, which is exposed on a Kodak Trendsetter NX Imager with Kodak imaging technology, enables high-resolution, fast imaging and intimate optical contact with the plate during UV exposure. Squarespot Imaging Technology produces precise, robust dots that are less susceptible to variations in plate, processor and environmental conditions than other imaging technologies. After imaging, the thermal imaging layer is laminated to a Kodak Flexcel NX digital flexographic plate using the Kodak Flexcel NX laminator. This quick and simple process removes the oxygen between the layer and the plate, and results in the creation of high quality, full amplitude, flat-top dots.

 

No environmental issues

The Flexcel NX system requires solvent processing, which was initially a concern for Trisoft. California is one of the strictest states in the U.S. when it comes to environmental regulation. However, this has not turned out to be an issue. “Solvents nowadays are much more environmentally-friendly than they used to be,” says Zafra. The company performs solvent recovery on-site with its own reclaim units, and the waste-processing cost associated with the Flexcel NX system has been negligible.

Flexcel NX plates are so durable that fewer plates are required to run long jobs, and plates can be stored and reused for subsequent runs. This extended plate life helps minimize environmental impact and reduce waste in both prepress and the pressroom.

Trisoft Graphics is attaining unprecedented flexo print quality from the new system. “Before the Flexcel NX system, we were maxed out at 200 line screens,” says Zafra. “With the Flexcel NX system, we can make flexo plates that print successfully at 300 line screens. You don’t have to constantly clean the plate. The printing is very sharp. There’s no banding. We’re getting more density and better ink transfer out of this plate. Color is much more consistent throughout the run.”

The quality gives Trisoft’s customers a competitive edge, which ultimately helps the trade shop solidify its advantage and grow its business. “Every single one of our customers love the Flexcel NX plates,” says Zafra. “One customer told me, ‘My pressman has gotten better all of a sudden.'”

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