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Based across four locations in and around Milan, La Prensa is a major label manufacturer expecting to produce more than 18 billion labels in 2017 and targeting turnover of €25 million. Operating in the food and beverage sector, La Prensa uses solvent and UV printing to produce many different types of labels: paper labels for bottled water, chocolate and canned goods; adhesive and thermal transfer labels; plastic labels and packaging; and shrink sleeve and adhesive film – all for some of the biggest brands in Italy and around the world.
Always looking for an edge and determined to increase production speeds and reduce its environmental impact, La Prensa made the decision in late 2016 to invest in Fujifilm’s Flenex FW water-washable plate solution. Installed earlier in 2017, the advantages have been immediately evident.
“We had a long wish list of things that we wanted to see in a new plate system,” says La Prensa Group CEO Emanuele Delfino. “Optimal colour transfer and high-quality print were non-negotiable and we wanted a plate that combined those benefits with a fast processing system and reduced chemical use. Fujifilm Flenex plates wash clean in water and a simple detergent, which means we have dramatically reduced chemical consumption and waste, and have reduced the unpleasant fumes in our factory to near zero, which has greatly improved the working environment for our staff.
“Our Flenex investment also means we can look forward to substantially less downtime on our presses, as the plates are faster to produce and last longer on press than the solvent-wash plates we were using previously. This will be especially valuable when we have a customer on site to approve a new job. It’s still relatively early days, but we have already noted that the quality of print from the Flenex plates holds up extremely well over long runs, our target is to get up to 600,000m2 per plate set.”
But it wasn’t just the attributes of the plate that convinced Delfino to make the company’s first investment in water-washable plate technology: “The name Fujifilm has long been synonymous with excellence and its track record of innovation is unrivalled,” he continues. “Partnering with Fujifilm gives us the confidence that we’re investing in the very best technology and Fujifilm’s continuous drive to innovate means that we can be sure we’re keeping pace with a rapidly changing market and offering our customers the very best.
“Already the feedback we’re receiving from customers, including some of the biggest bottled water companies in the market, is excellent. They have been very happy with the quality of work the Flenex plates have delivered and we’re now going to be able to deliver that level of quality to them, and to all our customers, more quickly and more reliably than we ever could in the past.”
Says Peter Verryt, Packaging Segment Manager, Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe: “We’re delighted that a company of La Prensa’s standing and reputation has invested in our innovative Flenex water-washable plate solution. They are already seeing the significant benefits of Fujifilm’s latest flexo plate technology and we look forward to helping them to continue to develop this service for their customers in the coming years.”
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