• Tues
  • 06
  • Oct
  • 2020

Green & Efficient Technology: Water Washable Flexo Plates

In recent times, there has been an inordinate shift in the world, unprecedent to none.  Its impact is excessive, touching every sphere of life, calling for a change, a change that reverberates through all – man, machine, material, and methods. The old order dies and gives place to the new one. This being a wakeup call, prudent manufacturers in India, which is home to different established technologies are moving towards an environment friendly, emerging green technology.

Fujifilm India, rising to challenging times, introduced their first Digital Flexo water-washable Plates. Fujifilm India along with its Go-Green Technology Partner, Insight Print Communications Pvt. Ltd., successfully implemented the project in India. 

The Water Wash Advantage:
While Flexo plates can be processed with solvents or thermal, water wash technology is also a viable option. Water wash plates are processed at relatively low processing temperatures and do not swell. This provides excellent dimensional stability, resulting in highly accurate registration and improved ink transfer characteristics, allowing plates to run cleaner with less ink build-up.

For Indian market, Fujifilm offers Flenex FW Series plates and the C-Touch Processor. In addition to environmental friendliness, the product range features increased ink transfer, high-quality flat-top dots, and reduced plate making time.

“Flenex FW series water wash plates provide one of the fastest, high quality, and cost effective Flexo plate making processes in the industry today,” says Madhav Bharule, Flexo Product Manager at Fujifilm India. “The FW series plates reduces plate making processing times to nearly 40 minutes, maximizing your output while maintaining high-quality through its naturally occurring flat-top dot technology.”

Washout of the Flenex plates is accomplished using a C-Touch All-In-One processor with mild detergent and warm water reducing the environmental impact. Fujifilm states that converters can now maintain a stable eco-friendly environment with a consistent flat-top dot reproduction of 1% at 200 lpi, delivering more reliable and repeatable results in less time than ever before.

The main advantages of Water Washable plates are given as under
Flat top dot is achieved by material properties not by assisting equipment such as laminator etc. which adds to your investment and space requirement in case of Solvent Plates

  1. It is a complete solvent free process; therefore, Solvent recovery unit is not required which reduces capital investment
  2. Considerable savings on Solvents
  3. Green processing
  4. No exposure to hazardous solvents ensures safe working conditions
  5. Cheaper all in one processing unit is available. All in one unit are extremely easy to operate and maintain.
  6. Less swelling during processing
  7. Flenex Plates have shown 20-45% less Swelling on Press due to Ink Solvents
  8. Overall low Capital Investment
  9. Less than 40 mins of processing time. Apart from time saving this helps in reducing operational costs. It takes only 180 minutes to Process 10 Flenex Plates Compared to 400 minutes for Solvent Processed Plates.

In-house Plate making now becomes very compelling for Label Converters

Label Converters can now start to plan to have an in-house plate making setup rather than outsourcing the plate making. 

  1. Most importantly with water washable plates – continues to meet the environment norms on Chemical discharge. 
  2. Overall Capital cost is much reduced as the investment is in only a narrow wide Flexo CTP and compact all in one processing unit without investing in any solvent recovery units. 
  3. In-house facility improves efficiency and reduces time to deliver the end-product to his customer. Also reducing cost by preparing plates in-house.
  4. With in-house CTP, a label converter starts to improve prepress and design capabilities and gets ready for digital label press in future

Making striking Labels a reality with Green Technology:
Many a times – it is assumed that green technology means it will be expensive – but with water washable plates we get to go green with a cutting-edge Flexo Plate for long runs of many well-known products on the shelf, from Cosmetics to Personal care to food and drink and at a reduced cost of ownership and much lesser time to market.  

D. Alwin Alfred
General Manager Sales – South India
Insight Print Communications Pvt. Ltd.