The Flexographic Pre-Press Platemakers Association (FPPA) recently presented its annual awards in San Antonio, TX, USA. The recipients of the 2008 Technological Innovator of the Year awards are NPP Packaging Graphics Specialists, Kodak, and Flexographic Prepress Solutions.
NPP's vacuum adhesive applicator is a machine that will apply adhesive (stickyback) to the back of a flexographic photopolymer printing plate without air entrapment. According to Bill Ruch of NPP, “It is difficult to manually apply adhesive without trapping air. If you fail to remove the trapped air you can create a high spot in the printing plate that could cause the graphics to distort and/or lead to premature printing plate wear during the printing process.” The equipment has been granted a US patent.
Kodak was recognized for its Flexcel NX Digital Flexographic System, a new method to image flexo printing plates for higher levels of consistency and capabilities. The system utilizes the offset Kodak SQUAREspot Imaging Technology on a Thermal Imaging Layer, which is then laminated to the Flexcel NX Plate, ready for exposure without oxygen or vacuum present to produce superior dot structure and consistency, full tonal range, with no bump curve, raising flexo plate quality and print productivity.
Flexographic Prepress Solutions was recognized for its D-Pod (Digital Plate on Demand). The D-Pod family of imagers is designed to image directly to the surface of a photopolymer plate. The D-Pod is designed to replace the need for film negatives and provide a complete digital workflow.
FPPA honored Dupont Imaging Technologies with its Supplier of the Year Award, for the second consecutive year. Platemaker members of FPPA rate suppliers in the areas of sales support, technical support, order fulfillment, and customer service, as well as product enhancement opportunities.