Product of the month: Xeikon ThermoFlexX series
When it comes to flexo imagers, productivity coupled with quality and ease of operation, becomes critical. Add to it the ability to change resolution on-the-fly, and you have a kit that can produce jobs with different resolutions to be produced on the same plate. The ThermoFlexX is one such kit from Xeikon, says Christophe Lievens, the director of sales and marketing pre-press at Xeikon
15 Nov 2019 | By PrintWeek Team
Q: What does the ThermoFlexX do?
ThermoFlexX systems are used to image digital data onto digital flexographic plates by means of a 1064nm fibrelaser.
Q: When was the first imager in the ThermoFlexX series launched?
The new generation ThermoFlexX imagers was launched in 2015, starting with the ThermoFlexX 80.
Q: Which are the different models in the ThermoFlexX series and how do they differ from each other?
We offer five different models of ThermoFlexX – 20, 30, 48, 60 and 80. The difference is mainly related to the size and as such to the industry they are intended for, like labels, folding carton, flexible packaging, and corrugated packaging. All ThermoflexX imagers offer the same unique features in terms of productivity, quality, plate handling, robust design, unique remote support.
Q: What was the need for the new gen ThermoFlexX?
Before introducing our new generation ThermoFlexX imagers we did a lot of research about the real needs of our potential customers and the flexographic industry. As a result, it seemed that a majority of the customers were looking for a digital imager which offers them the highest productivity with the highest quality and easiest operation. So this is why we developed our ThermoFlexX imagers based on three pillars - quality, productivity and operational handling.
Q: How does the ThermoFlex work?
All of our ThermoFlexX imagers are very easy to use. On the TFxX 20 and 30, the plate loading and unloading are manual because the plate sizes are rather small and easy to manipulate. The internal dual air filtering systems allow you to put the small TFxX imagers even in your office without experiencing any inconveniences from the digital plate imaging. On our ThermoflexX 48, 60 and 80 customers enjoy the fully automatic operation of the plate loading and unloading. Once a plate is loaded, you select the job you want to image, and there you go. You do not have to worry about which resolution you should select first or if the vacuum is correctly allocated, the TFxX does it all for you.
Q: Any upgrade?
Xeikon continuously improve our imagers with new features. Recently the company introduced a plate thickness sensor, verifying if the plate you loaded matches the plate design you prepared in your pre-press software, in terms of plate thickness, avoiding plate waste.
Q: What are the USPs of the kit?
For the flexographic printing industry, Xeikon offers resolution of up to 5080 dpi; in case of security printing it can even go up to 10,160 dpi. ThermoFlexX 48, 60 and 80 imagers all have a flextray offering automatic plate loading and unloading. Hence there’s no need for manual intervention. Even in case of partial plates the imagers automatically allocate vacuum according to the size of the plate eliminating the need for taping. Xeikon’s unique imaging head design allows for automatic resolution switching on one and the same plate. The standard auto-calibration system guarantees consistent, high quality day in day out.
Q: Plate compatibility?
The ThermoFlexX imager works with any digital flexo and letterpress plate. It can also image digital film and screens. The company recently introduced Woodpecker Nano surface screening, which is a technological breakthrough in flexographic LAM’s plate imaging. It offers increased solid ink density and smoother ink lay-down. The surface screening patterns are applied in the imager while imaging, no need to manipulate the jobs in the pre-press software or RIP. This offers maximum productivity with highest quality. Additionally, any new development can be implemented on any of the new generation ThermoFlexX. So, the products can grow with customer’s business and with new developments.
Q: How fast is it?
The fastest ThermoFlexX models, TFxX 60-D and 80-D, can image up to 12 m2/hr.
Q: How easy is it to use?
Xeikon made sure that the ThermoFlexX imagers are very easy in operation, as it enables the operators to spend minimum time on the imager and focus on other tasks in their pre-press.
Q: How much does it cost?
The price of the ThermoFlexX imagers depends on the size of the imagers and the productivity.
Q: What training and support are on offer?
During installation, the operators are thoroughly trained on the operation of the ThermoFlexX imagers. Customers, if they wish to, can follow a standard service training at the Xeikon factory in Ypres, Belgium.
Q: ThermoflexX installations in India, and how many do you expect to install in 2019-2020?
Until now, Xeikon has sold 11 ThermoFlexX imagers. Since the beginning of this year, Xeikon has been working with Repro Graphics. They have proved to be a very solid partner. Repro has sold five imagers in less than 12 months. So I can only say that we are looking forward to a bright future for ThermoFlexX in India, thanks to Repro Graphics.