Miraclon’s PureFlexo making flexography more sustainable

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Miraclon, home of Kodak Flexcel Solutions, has introduced PureFlexo Printing, a next generation technology for flexographic printing. PureFlexo expands the operating scope for flexo. Print providers and their customers now have much more flexibility in choosing printing methods. PureFlexo printing is designed for printing wide web solvent inks on films and provides unprecedented control over ink spread and dot gain. This means fewer press stops, say for cleaning plates where ink has built up, and a more stable, predictable and consistent process. For brand owners PureFlexo ensures that flexo printing is more reliable and delivers stable quality.

PureFlexo is about press efficiency and repeatability, so it tells a good sustainability story as well as a quality one. Ability to deliver improved colour consistency, is vital for brands so PureFlexo helps printers deliver the expected so it’s good for their business story too. Process reliability enhances margins and profits and PureFlexo can help to cut risk. This could help migrate work away from other more complex, unsustainable and expensive printing methods, such as rotogravure and printing on aging, polluting offset presses.

PureFlexo uses a sophisticated plate surface patterning to ensure that ink only flows to where it is needed. With tight control over ink spread waste is reduced along with the time and energy to stop the press, clean the plates and get the press up to colour again. This obviously has tangible financial and sustainability benefits.

Miraclon has considerable expertise in developing continual improvements for the Flexcel NX System. Techniques to control the behaviour of ink as it transfers from the printing plate to the substrate increase both output quality and press latitude. PureFlexo Printing has been tested over the last couple of years on over 20,000 commercial jobs. PureFlexo Printing extends Miraclon’s Advanced Plate Surface Patterning Technology to can reduce unscheduled press stops due to dirty print and deliver more predictable colour. It can also decrease press-to-proof match problems and cut the impact of other production changes, such as changing operators.

This is a story of process efficiency based on exploiting the characteristics of the plate surface and the behaviour of solvent based flexo inks on packaging films. The technology improves flexography’s sustainability by cutting downtime and the waste associated with remakes. There are also no emissions associated with bringing the press up to speed again following a break. This has economic benefits for the printer as well as enhancing the sustainability of print. Reduced substrate waste, closer print to proof match, tighter control over print quality add up to improved sustainability in the printing industry.

– Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris Project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Miraclon, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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