“We’ve always had a strong focus on R&D at PRPflexo,” says Chris Green, general manager. “It is an integral part of our culture and what has contributed to our significant growth over the past several years. We recognized the benefits of thermal processing early on, with no solvent or drying requirements, it became the choice of many printers seeking faster production times and ‘greener’ processing. Unfortunately, the print quality was never able to compete with flat-top dot plate technology, so printers had to decide between print quality and overall speed, until now. In trials to date we have seen thermally processed flat-top dot results rival solvent produced plates.”
Thermal ExSpect printing plates are available in both digital and analog formats of any thermally processed materials. “We never found it to be a good business practice to impose restrictions on our customers. Many printers we work with have a preference for certain types of photopolymer they feel works well with the substrates they use, so by developing a process internally that works with any sheet material, they can continue to use what works best for them,” says Green.
Green adds that the company is considering licensing its technology to the market, so companies who’ve already invested in expensive equipment will not have to write it off, giving the printer the best of both worlds. “By creating a product that was not dependent on certain types of photopolymer or certain types of equipment, we feel we have given our customers the most flexibility available, and in the current tough economy, that is a key consideration for people looking to maximize their investments,” he says.
PRPflexo, who first marketed flat-top dot plate technology in 2004, is based in Beech Grove, IN, USA.