15 questions with Robert Hannum of Dupont

PrintWeek India's Sriraam Selvam in conversation with Robert Hannum, corrugated segment manager – North America, DuPont Advanced Printing to understand more about the new Cyrel DLC plates

13 Jun 2019 | By Sriraam Selvam

Robert Hannum, corrugated segment manager, DuPont Advanced Printing

When did you launch the new low-durometer corrugated sheet photopolymer printing plate named DuPont Cyrel DLC in India?  
DuPont globally launched its Cyrel DLC plates commercially, including India, in March 2019. 

Tell us about these plates?
Cyrel® DLC is an innovative soft digital plate that uses a new polymer formulation developed especially for the corrugated market.

What are the advantages of low-durometer?
Its low-durometer is designed for better printing on lower quality recycled and thinner liner corrugated board using water-based inks. 

Where is the plate manufactured? 
Plates are manufactured in New Jersey, USA.

How different is the process from the traditional plates with Shore A durometer of 33-34 for a 0.250-in. thick plate?  
The durometer for a 0.250” thick plate is 26 Shore A. 

Corrugated packaging has seen giant strides in recent years. How does the DuPont Cyrel DLC benefit the end user? 
Two recent trends we have observed among our customers include the increased use of recycled paper and the use of thinner liner paper. DLC provides a much better solid ink coverage compared to a standard durometer plate. It also allows for increased impression latitude as DLC reduces board crush even with over-impression. 

Any other feature?
Other key features of Cyrel DLC, that benefit corrugated printer customers, include delivering better barcode accuracy and excellent positive and reverse print areas. 

Any tweak in the artwork preparation or pre-press process if a user deploys Cyrel DLC? Also, you have talked about solids BUT what happens to gradients and tints? 
No artwork changes are needed. DLC’s plate holding specifications are holding a 3% dot up to 85 line screen (LPI) for a .112” and .125” thick plate and 3% up to 71 line screen for plates .155” and thicker. 

Is a softer durometer plate the best option to optimize printing excellent solids on corrugated board, specifically B and C flute?
DLC is primarily focused on 1-2 colour line work for B and C board types.

What about the other flutes?  
Typically, thinner boards like E and F flute are used for higher-end graphics. 

Which collateral like shipping boxes, pre-printed liner board, in-store displays, etc are the early adopters?
DLC is primarily targeting shipping boxes.

Which customers don’t you recommend it for?  
It would not be recommended for pre-print (which is a thin plate application) or displays since display work is typically higher-end printing and we would recommend our EPC plate or DPC plate with DigiCorr flat top dot technology. 

Gravure was considered best for fine detail and tonal work, but flexo is enabling prints with higher resolution and detail as it evolves. What does the data from Clemson University Packaging Science Lab in Columbia, SC say about this?  
The Clemson data does not pertain to printing. It is related to edge crush data showing how DLC does not impact edge crush thus allowing printers to apply a good amount of pressure without causing the board to be crushed past the specification. 

The future of flexo-based corrugation in India? Where do you see the market in 2019-20?  
In the last couple of years, our customers have invested in more high-end machines - both in terms of productivity and print capability. We are also seeing customer investment in high-end roll to roll preprint.  

Your view at Dupont?
Our view at DuPont is that the print quality will leapfrog in the very near future as compared to the last decade. There will be a greater shift by customers from offset to flexo given the infrastructure being created. Flexo corrugator customers will need or demand much more evolved inputs; be it from plate suppliers, ink suppliers or others in the value chain to enable them to deliver the quality and productivity for which they have invested into the high-end presses.