Düsseldorf, Germany, June 2, 2008 – FUJIFILM Corporation today announces the introduction of a unique new CTP plate technology for Flexo printing at drupa 2008.
Flexo printing, a technology used mainly for long run packaging, carton and label applications, has experienced recent growth, particularly in developing countries such as BRICs. One of the reasons for this growth is that gravure printing is being replaced by flexo in certain situations because the former requires the use of harmful substances such as trichlorethylene. As a result, it is estimated that the Flexo printing market has been expanding by around 5% year on year.
Traditionally, flexo plates have been produced by exposing through Graphic Arts (GA) film, and then washed out to form the image. More recently, it has been possible to expose flexo plates directly by laser using CTP technologies, removing the need for GA film.
There are currently two types of CTP system for imaging flexo CTP plates. The first uses Laser Ablation Mask (LAM) technology, the second uses Direct Laser Engraving (DLE) technology. Up to now, the majority of the flexo market has utilised LAM imaging technology due to its high quality and productivity compared with DLE. However, LAM technology is not ideal in that it still requires UV exposure and a development process after laser imaging, similar to a conventional system, which is not necessary with DLE.
FUJIFILM, a leading supplier of imaging technologies for print applications, has been carrying out extensive research and development into flexo CTP plate imaging, in particular using DLE technology. As a result of its core knowledge in the fields of fine chemicals, plates and inks, FUJIFILM is proud to show for the first time at drupa 2008, a unique flexo plate technology for DLE imaging systems with the following features:
1. High productivity and wide application range
The new flexo CTP plate technology is applicable for a wide range of laser wavelengths, and an efficient thermal decomposition reaction at exposed areas achieves high productivity.
2. Fine image reproduction technology
Highly cured plate utilizing a unique polymerization reaction achieves sharp and fine image reproduction.
3. Flexible polymer material technology
Excellent blending technology of unique polymer materials provides a flexo printing plate with superb performance.
As part of FUJIFILM´s strategy to satisfy the needs of global print customers, it is the company´s intention to expand its product offering to offer benchmark solutions for flexo packaging print applications.