In April 2020, Miraclon customer ACME Graphics opened a new flexo trade shop branch in Cape Town. With national lockdown restrictions being enforced across South Africa, it was vital for them to have operations up and running quickly, having been recognized as an essential supplier to the industry. As a key part of its new operation, the company purchased a FLEXCEL NX system from Miraclon’s channel partner Thunderbolt and, in close collaboration with Miraclon, the system was installed in time for production to start as soon as they opened their doors.
Having now been operational for a few months, the technology has proved to be transformative for ACME, enabling the company to launch its new cloud-based colour management concept, ACME Digital Colour. Hauke Liefferink, Managing Director of ACME Graphics, says of the concept: “This is a completely new application that allows you to utilize your flexo press in the same way you would digital – there are no restrictions on the printable colour gamut. I believe this is a radical departure from the thinking behind extended colour gamut or printing with a fixed ink set. The fidelity of the FLEXCEL NX Solution is key here in delivering a flexo printed result that matches the digital press – we have not been able to achieve this with any other plates.”
Founded in 1997, ACME Graphics is the fastest growing flexo plate producer in South Africa. With manufacturing sites in three cities, the company supplies plates for producing packaging and label products for the food supplies, pharmaceutical and sanitation industries. Hauke comments: “We opened up the Cape Town facility in April as part of our move towards becoming a national manufacturer and to enable brand owners and packaging converters to access our services countrywide. The addition of the FLEXCEL NX system has been invaluable for us and means we can now bring our new ideas to market and offer the biggest range of flexo plate choices in the South African marketplace.”
Innovation was a key consideration for ACME Graphics, and the FLEXCEL NX Solution has met all the expectations of both the company and its customers. Other product benefits highlighted included the rapid set-up, enhanced colour fidelity and improved ink laydown. “We can now process conventional digital plates and flat-top dot plates with or without surface engineering,” continues Liefferink. “And additionally, we can process KODAK FLEXCEL NX plates with ink-saving DigiCap technology. Since installing the FLEXCEL NX Solution, customers are very happy with the quality of the plates and the feedback that we have received to date has been excellent.”
In addition to opening its Cape Town flexo trade shop, ACME Graphics has developed its new virtual repro offering, HDFlexoRepro.com, which allows the company to offer its repro services and its new ACME Digital Colour technology to narrow web label printing companies worldwide. Hauke concludes, “KODAK FLEXCEL NX technology allows ACME to deliver what I’d like to call a ‘true digital colour experience’ on a flexo press, printing without spot colours at up to 400m/min. With our HDFlexoRepro offering, we are also able to connect with a network of NX users worldwide to increase our reach.”