Miraclon strengthens flexo capabilities with PureFlexo Printing launch

The new technology helps control unwanted ink spread resulting in wider operating window, reduced unscheduled press stops and improved efficiency for flexible packaging printers.

30 Jun 2021 | By Aultrin Vijay

PureFlexo Printing is available through the Kodak Flexcel NX Print Suite

Miraclon, home of Kodak Flexcel Solutions, hosted its first Miraclon Innovates virtual event on 24 June 2021 to introduce PureFlexo Printing, a technology that the company claimed enables Kodak Flexcel NX System users to produce high-quality flexo print within a wider operating window on press by controlling unwanted ink spread in ways never seen before.

According to the company, PureFlexo Printing is specifically designed for wide web solvent ink on film applications. It is said to maximise press efficiency, repeatability and overall performance while enabling printers and pre-press providers to experience cleaner print, stable colour and a better bottom line for their business.

PureFlexo Printing is available to all Flexcel NX System users through the Kodak Flexcel NX Print Suite for flexible packaging.

Emma Schlotthauer, chief marketing officer at Miraclon, said: “For brands that rely more than ever on the power of packaging to connect with customers, brand consistency and eye-catching flexible packaging is increasingly important.

“Printers need solutions that help them meet the ever-expanding demands of graphic reproduction, without needing to operate at less than optimum production speeds or risking press downtime from continual adjustments and unscheduled stoppages. A wide print latitude is the key to profitable production. PureFlexo Printing addresses a core technical issue – unwanted ink spread – which helps to widen print latitude and reset the quality-efficiency balance.”

According to Miraclon, printers get the best out of their press machinery when they have the flexibility to run uninterrupted. They need wide latitude (also referred to as the operating window) and a robust process to manage production efficiently as a narrow latitude means small changes can push a print run out of acceptable quality or tolerances. By resisting unwanted ink spread, PureFlexo Printing gives printers the power to keep the press running with a low risk of getting unacceptable print.

Dr John Anderson, director of advanced print applications at Miraclon, explained how unwanted ink spread affects print latitude.

“Ink that flows easily is a natural characteristic of printing with solvent flexo inks on film. When that ink flows in unwanted places it can fill in, cause bridging and build-up, creating ‘dirty print’,” Anderson said.

“It’s not always easy to manage and is often made worse by practices designed to address other print issues – such as the use of harder tapes, higher ink volumes and over-impression. PureFlexo Printing addresses the issue head-on by using sophisticated plate surface patterning to resist and control ink spread, and sets a new standard for clean, predictable print,” he added.

Schlotthauer added that PureFlexo Printing and the reduction of unwanted ink spread has major financial benefits for both printers and pre-press providers.

“For example, if an unscheduled press stop to clean plates takes about 10 minutes, and with a typical billable press rate of around USD 700/hour you can easily start doing the math about the financial benefits in eliminating some of these stops,” Schlotthauer explained. “Add in the reduction of waste material and post-print capacity implications, and the need to address unwanted ink spread proves to be a particularly significant one.”

“With lower dot gain and significantly reduced ink build-up during a run, PureFlexo Printing not only brings a more predictable match to a press colour profile, but also reduces the need to stop the press to clean plates,” added Anderson. “This results in much greater production efficiencies while producing a high-quality result. The complete prepress and printing process becomes more efficient.”

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