UV Choice Printing, available through KODAK FLEXCEL NX Print Suite for Narrow Web and enabled by the latest advanced plate surface patterning technology from Miraclon, is delivering significant time, ink and substrate waste savings for leading Spanish flexo tag and label manufacturer, Adhesivos Orcajada.
Over the past twelve months, the company monitored the performance of UV Choice Printing on their seven Omet UV presses that produce around 65% of all its flexo printed tag and label jobs. Documented savings include:
- Reduced ink consumption by over 20%
- Faster job changeover & set-up times of 15-20%
- Significant substrate savings thanks to faster start-ups
“The results are remarkable,” said Pedro Orcajada Montalban, Owner of Adhesivos Orcajada. “The impact on job changeover and set-up times are especially positive, at 15-20% faster. All this translates into significantly reduced substrate wastage and over 20% in ink consumption savings, which saves money and makes the process more sustainable. We’ve also reduced prepress times with much faster platemaking.
“On press, KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates also perform consistently, throughout the run and from job-to-job. The greater latitude on press means reduced operator interventions and fewer press stops for cleaning or color adjustments. Adding these benefits together with UV Choice Printing has proved a highly beneficial investment.”
Growing with FLEXCEL NX Technology
Adhesivos Orcajada is a longtime user of KODAK FLEXCEL NX Technology from Miraclon. “When we decided to upgrade our platemaking technology from analogue to digital more than 10 years ago, we tested and ultimately invested in a FLEXCEL NX System based on our first impressions and the overwhelming positive feedback we received from industry colleagues,” recalls Pedro. “From day one, we enjoyed a step change in stability on press, resulting in less dot gain, better highlights and consistent reproduction. Our customers were impressed with the positive change, but even more so our production team, who welcomed the simpler, less stressful, and more consistent press production process. Since then, we’ve established a close consultative relationship with Miraclon, so it was another collaborative approach when Miraclon selected us as a beta site for UV Choice Printing.”
UV Choice Printing, enabled by advanced plate surface patterning technology and accessed through FLEXCEL NX Print Suite for Narrow Web, is specifically designed to deliver better performance and stability for label and other UV flexo printed narrow web applications across a range of substrates. It optimizes UV ink transfer and increases ink density by up to 15%, minimizes on-press troubleshooting of quality issues, and delivers better reproduction of solids, fine lines, crisp barcodes and text at lower ink volumes. Other benefits are faster press set-up, reduced substrate wastage, and faster plate imaging times.
“Immediate impact” of UV Choice Printing
José Sanchez Gallego, Design & Prepress Manager for Adhesivos Orcajada, says UV Choice Printing made “an immediate impact — literally from the first job. With any new way of working, it’s vital to have the support of the production team, but in this case we decided to deliver the first set of plates to the press without any advance warning. That way, we believed we’d get an objective and unprejudiced reaction from the press crew. Their response was overwhelmingly positive — they saw the efficiency and consistency benefits at once. It was the same with customers, that complimented us on the clear improvement in quality.
“UV Choice Printing is delivering on-press benefits that make a really big difference for us in terms of efficiency, ink and substrate savings, and print quality,” continues José. “In particular, ink laydown is much improved. We achieve 100% uniform coverage in both solids and shadows without impacting midtones and highlights, which we no longer have to sacrifice to achieve both solid colors and a wide tonal range.
“As a rule, UV printed jobs are of higher quality and mostly on coated substrates. Because UV Choice Printing eliminates many of the difficult-to-control variables, press set-up is much simpler and more streamlined, and we get to color much faster than before. Without UV Choice Printing, for example, anilox selection could be complicated on certain jobs and changes more frequent as operators searched for the ideal anilox/ink combination. That no longer happens, as we now utilize UV Choice Printing for 100% of UV printed jobs.”
Up to 50% saving in press set-up times
As part of its investment in Print Suite for Narrow Web to utilize UV Choice Printing, Adhesivos Orcajada gained access to PureFlexo™ Printing for water-based ink applications, which “is especially beneficial when we’re producing a lot of solids.” José says that working in tandem, the two solutions have yielded further significant savings when UV jobs have to be rerouted to water-based production, and vice versa. “This happens occasionally for scheduling reasons, and it used to be a headache because of the prepress adjustments involved — modifying the TIFF and re-RIPing, for example. Now, despite working with different patterns, in most cases modifications are unnecessary, and we can consistently set up the new job being confident the results will be predictable. As a result, we’re saving around 50% in job set-up time — a huge difference.”
José adds that even when they don’t need to switch between presses for a specific job, the production team has reported a 15-20% reduction in press set-up times.
UV Choice Printing is also enabling Adhesivos Orcajada to grow the business and take on additional work. “The addition of UV Choice Printing further allows us to shift certain jobs from digital printing to flexo as it enables us to produce stable, high-quality prints at profitable speeds while enjoying measurable ink and substrate savings. Being able to utilize flexo for a wider range of jobs is especially beneficial when we’re dealing with highly porous, textured substrates.”
Pedro concludes: “UV Choice Printing with its widely versatile advanced plate surface patterning, together with the Miraclon team behind it, has completely changed my perception on the quality and efficiency that can be achieved in narrow web flexo printing. I thought we were doing just fine before, but now I know that with it, we’re doing just so much better.”