Clicherlux has found that the results are excellent. "I like the flexibility of the system. It's easier to combine different screens and dot shapes on the same plate with Full HD Flexo. When we changed the system, we found more detail in the highlights," adds Trombeta. "Meanwhile, on the other side, the shadows are perfect. Because of this, it is expanding our gamut considerably. Our customers are printing a greater range of color. And, we are able to adapt Full HD Flexo plates to different flexo applications, such as flexibles, corrugated and paper."
With the stability of Full HD Flexo flat top dots, Clicherlux's prepress department can control curves and touch up images with Photoshop much more easily. "It's as if flexo printing has turned into offset printing," marvels Trombeta.
HD Flexo saves Clicherlux time and money
Because Clicherlux is able to extend its highlights and shadows, thus controlling its color, it is now able to spend less time working on image treatments. "For example, we had worked on packaging for 44 different flavors of ice cream. Each four flavors required one to two hours of prepress operator work for image treatment and curves," says Trombeta. "The Full HD screening technology took care of transitioning highlights to zero. Along with flat top, Full HD dots, we were able to save more than 16 hours on this project alone."
At times, Clicherlux is also able to reduce the number of ink units on press. "For a bread company, we printed the four flexo CMYK colors rather than going on press with eight gravure colors, as was done in the past," explains Trombeta. "We prepared test plates with color squares assessing three variations of CMYK for each Pantone color. After we printed them, we showed the customer the best matches for each. We converted the Pantone colors to the best CMYK match on the original Illustrator design file. Using those colors, we went to press. The customer was extremely pleased with the results."
Makereadies are easier, as well as the printing itself. On press, the stability of the flat top dot created by Full HD Flexo has allowed Clicherlux customers to work with higher line screens, but with the same anilox settings. Customers are pleased to get more quality and definition on press without having to invest on a new anilox. "It is helping us get better density and highlights faster," explains Trombeta. "We can separate solids from the dots easier. We can get the gamut we used to get with eight colors, but with only four colors--and it looks better than before. It has been amazing. Our customers are printing better with four colors than they did with eight."
Heavy ink coverage is not always helpful in flexo. Depending on the press setup, double prints may occur, wasting a lot of time on makereadies, because the press operators must tune the press and adjust with ink, sticky back, and other settings to avoid this problem. "We are glad to be able to easily work with different ink levels. By using Microcell screening, we can deliver different levels of ink coverage specially suited to the customer's setup. We're able to get 'right on the spot'," adds Trombeta. With Microcell screens, Clicherlux has also been able to improve small text and barcodes on micro-corrugated and folding cartons. Dots no longer 'squash' on press, and dot gain has been drastically reduced.
The black Ink coverage using Full HD Flexo is also an advantage for Clicherlux. "We have many jobs that needed two black plates to achieve a desirable ink laydown. Using the extreme Microcell screening offered by Esko, we can easily get sufficient black coverage with only one plate." In the past, in order to assure good definition in some images, Clicherlux had to add cyan, magenta and yellow together with black. Because Full HD Flexo can produce highlights combined with good shadow contrast, Clicherlux can now achieve the same detail quality by using only black ink, alone.