This according to him is possible due to a combination of plate surface patterning technology and highlight imaging techniques, made possible by the unique nature of the Kodak SquareSpot imaging technology. Payne said, "Full tonal ranges are possible, eliminating the need for the bump curve and allowing offset-based separations for process printing. Using offset-based separations for flexographic printing enables greater consistency, simplicity in prepress, interchangeability of jobs between offset and flexo, and enhanced proof matches." The Flexcel NX can make flexographic plates that will enable the flexo industry to make significant advances in quality, consistency, and productivity.
Emma Schlotthauer, director, marketing and communications flexographic packaging solutions said that the higher quality, larger format and improved economics of the Flexcel improves flexo’s competitiveness against gravure, especially shelf-ready and retail-ready packaging. She said, "The resultant print quality means that flexo printers can now compete with the very best that roto-gravure printing has to offer, especially in terms of cost-effectiveness."
“There is a perception that Flexcel offers high quality, what is lesser known about Kodak products is its improved print performance including ink transfer and stability on the press,” said Schlotthauer. “The pressure in packaging from the brands is to get cost and weight down. Manufacturers want good print quality on lighter and thinner PP microns.”
Vidhu Gautam, director, Asia Pacific region for Micro 3D printing & packaging division said, "There is one major feature about the Flexcel NX system. It serves the wide-ranging demands of flexo print applications, including wide web flexibles, narrow web labels and paperboard printing, with a single plate type."
Vidhu Gautam, director of APac Region, shows off flexo's prowess printed with 250 lpi and 0.75 pt micro point text
Speaking about the Labelexpo show at Greater Noida, he said, "Our offering at Labelexpo will showcase flexo print samples of Indian and international customers. This way visitors can understand how flexo is evolving in such a way that packaging printers can truly meet litho and gravure quality standards in a cost effective daily production environment, and how Kodak is perfectly positioned with the Flexcel NX system to deliver beautiful print samples."
Flexcel NX System - How the system produces an image and plate which is ready for exposure and plate processing
Christopher Payne stated that "the Flexcel NX System comprises of the Kodak Trendsetter NX Imager, the Kodak Flexcel NX Thermal Imaging Layer (TIL), the Kodak Flexcel NXH digital flexo plate, and the Kodak Flexcel NX laminator."
The Flexcel is based on the Kodak SquareSpot Imaging Technology which ensures it reproduces dots with consistency and accurate imaging.
After imaging, if required for customer specifications, the imaged TIL can then be inspected or used to produce a 1:1 proof for records.
The TIL is then taken to the Kodak Flexcel NX laminator; where Flexcel NXH Plate is laminated.
Christopher Payne said, "This ensures 1:1 image transfer onto the plate".
After lamination, the plate and TIL combine is taken to the exposure unit. After which, the plate is peeled apart from the TIL.
Later, the plate then goes through a standard solvent washout system.
The plate is dried and finished like any other plate system.
Payne concluded, "The Flexcel NX System produces consistent, full-height dots as tiny as 10 microns. This permits 250 lpi screens and 0.75 pt micro point text.