Flexo prepress provider Cromograf was seen as a graphics pioneer in Uruguay when it was established in 1947. Fast forward a few decades and it proved to be an unstoppable force in 1999 as it took on the photopolymer market when Miguel Angel Acosta came on board, his vision revolutionizing the traditional approach to photomechanics in Uruguay and Latin America. Under his management, Cromograf was the first in Latin America to acquire the KODAK FLEXCEL NX Mid system from Miraclon, and today his legacy lives on with his daughter, Alejandra Acosta Salati, who has taken over the reins.
Alejandra continues to be a firm believer in Miraclon, convinced that “it has the best plate on the market and a team of people who are its greatest asset”. She goes on to explain: “Since we installed the FLEXCEL NX Mid system, all our projects deliver total satisfaction, as it allows us to reach very high resolutions and densities.”
Superior stability, consistency and plate life
The FLEXCEL NX plates Cromograf uses with this system allow the image transfer to be carried out on any material, whether film, adhesive paper or cardboard. Alejandra is satisfied with the performance of these plates: “The FLEXCEL NX plates are stable in production and we know that they withstand longer runs than other technologies, extending the life of the plate. Another advantage is the faster processing time of each plate, allowing us to speed up our production process.”
“With the FLEXCEL NX plates, we have been able to improve quality as the dot reproduction isn’t distorted by reprints and remains stable print after print. They also allow printing speeds of over 300 m/min. There is no doubt that these plates offer greater consistency and superior lifetime, as well as excellent process control to produce an image dot size as small as 10 microns, thanks to SQUARESPOT Thermal Imaging technology,” explains Alejandra.
DIGICAP NX Patterning for ink uniformity and savings
Cromograf also welcomes the advantages of plate surface texturing using DIGICAP NX Patterning. “The Advanced DIGICAP patterns offer us ink uniformity and the different screens help to avoid the classic problems during printing, resulting in ink savings. We have other screens that allow us to achieve different effects, obtaining softer gradients and whiter whites,” points out Alejandra.
She continues: “We’re excited by the idea of putting more thought into how we design and produce packaging rather than churning it out on a wholesale production line. The enhanced capabilities of 1:1 reproduction enabled by FLEXCEL NX Technology allows us to create high-quality packaging where the dots commonly known as rosettes aren’t visible. We’re always on the lookout for something different, for innovations, and you know that you’re going in the right direction when a lot of people hold you up as an example.”
Cromograf’s management believes that they have provided a solution to their customers’ demands with the FLEXCEL NX system, offering them improvements in terms of press efficiency. “In particular, they have been able to run many jobs using only CMYK, allowing them to save on job set-up and changeover, and allowing us to keep down the costs. We have also converted many products from other printing systems to flexo.”
It is their customers’ focus on quality that sets Cromograf apart from its competitors. “Cromograf has always been a cut above others due to the quality we deliver. Our knowledge of FLEXCEL NX plates has been recognized by the different technicians who have audited us, and that’s because, for us, flexography is an art form. Each job is unique, like a piece of art that carries a little piece of our heart in its development. Nowadays, good service is often confused with the speed at which a first PDF is submitted for validation. We consider what we sell as art. Technological advances make things easier for us, but the quality of the printing hinges on the pre-press professional. Everything we design and produce is done so with precise and close analysis, nothing should be rushed.”
This good work has earned Cromograf several quality certifications awarded by Miraclon, the last one obtained last year during the pandemic. “For us, each certification is very important because it is proof that our process is governed by the manufacturing conditions of the FLEXCEL NX technicians, and that thanks to this we can count on an exceptional plate technology that offers high productivity and process stability, as well as easy maintenance. What more can you ask for?”
Cromograf has a reputation for the production of plates, providing a solution to all the development stages of any packaging, with special attention to the quality of the finished product and the rationalization of processes. Its aim is to supply the wide web, narrow-web and label markets. They work with a FLEXCEL NX Mid system from Miraclon, which they pioneered in Latin America on the advice of Niber Mendoza, owner of Lumila and Miraclon distributor. Together with them, they have been the driving force behind this technology on the South American continent.
The pandemic has not slowed Cromograf down, and has made them even more creative. Acosta explains that “now more than ever we manage production times with the competitive agility that the market demands, so that the client’s schedule isn’t affected by external processes, without neglecting the quality and differentiation of each pack. So Cromograf not only offers you the possibility of achieving the optimum quality you are looking for, but is also at your disposal 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And that is what we intend to continue doing. We are committed to offering an excellent service thanks to the quality of our plates, but are also looking forward to take on new challenges going forward, as that is our ultimate driver.”