Prior to the new investment, the company met its flexo plate requirements through an in-house conventional platemaking system. “Films for the conventional process will no longer be available, so we had to move into digital sooner or later. This was the right time to do it,” said Gautam Nerkar, managing director at UPOS.
The company specialises in labels, shrink sleeves, PET, clear film, clear on clear, filmic or paper label.
Nerkar evaluated the Esko as well as Kodak flexo CTP offerings before deciding on the Cron kit. “We use the Esko software, and though the Esko CTP is a proven technology, we had a budget to work with, and Esko’s flexo CTP did not fit into our budget,” he said, adding, “We wanted something that was price-friendly.”
Cron had unveiled its HDI flexo technology at Labelexpo Europe 2017 and then launched two variants of the HDI – 900 and 1600 at Drupa 2016. At the Labelexpo Europe 2017, Cron showcased the improved versions of the HDI.
Nerkar explained, “The improvements are in terms of clamping system, which does away with the usage of tapes. It also makes it possible to image on a diverse range of digital photopolymer media, as well as thermal offset plates and dry offset metal-backed plates.”
The Cron HDI 920S was installed two months ago, after a month and a half of trials. The imager fires plate up to 4,800 dpi, which is much higher than the conventional imaging’s 2,500 dpi at UPOS. And imaging at a speed of 2.5 meter/hour, Nerkar said suited his company’s requirement. “Speed was something that we did not concentrate on since we already had a conventional platemaking operation.”
Nerkar said that 70% of the label jobs at UPOS are repeats, hence the requirement in the next few months will be patching of repeat plate, as the curves are set. ”We will have to go the conventional way. The moment I have to prepare a new set, I will move from convention to digital.”
The Cron HDI 920S is driven by Founder Eagle RIP, which helps achieve fine dots, while kit’s Miracle cell technology – single density dots, which eliminates the noise in the plate. “As far as quality is concerned, the higher resolution of the digital imager is helping us do jobs, which did not do earlier. It also gives us the peace of mind that we don’t have to bother about quality because we don’t have to process the plates manually.”
Mumbai-based Nippon Color, the dealer for Cron flexo plates in India has supplied the kit to UPOS. Nippon has sold close to 200 Cron CTPs and CTCPs for offset operation.