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Sun Chemical invests $5M in flexo plate facility



Published July 9, 2013
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Sun Chemical reinforced its commitment to printers and brand owners operating in the narrow web tag and label (NWTL), wide web, folding carton, and corrugated markets, with the upcoming opening of its new flexographic printing plate manufacturing facility in Concord, Calif.

A $5 million investment designed to provide the highest quality packaging graphics through the latest in plate manufacturing technology, the new 25,000 square foot facility opening on July 15, 2013 will consist of all new equipment for the manufacturing of the HD plates, including an Esko HD CDI laser imager, a MacDermid LUX laminator and DuPont’s DigiFlow/DigiCorr systems as well as the Esko Digital Flexo Suite (DFS) pin mounting system.

“Demand is growing for the high-end graphics in packaging and we want our customers to not only benefit from Sun Chemical inks and coatings, but also from our HD platemaking capabilities,” said Kreg Keesee, Vice President of Sun Chemical Graphic Services. “Our investment in the Concord facility shows that we are serious about this business and that we are determined to bring the best products and services to our customers to help them achieve the packaging graphics that brand owners demand.”

As part of the investment, Sun Chemical will be upgrading its Maumee, Ohio facility by adding a mirrored digital HD sheet photopolymer system. With two world-class platemaking plants, Sun Chemical can be a partner with customers for outsourcing plates with a rapid turnaround to meet all tight deadlines. Customers also have the opportunity to gain additional value through Sun Chemical by complementing their existing in-house plate production by avoiding expensive capital requirements to add HD technology.

“HD is still relatively new to the market, but it is growing quickly due to the CPG demands for higher-end graphics,” said Lee Luckey, General Manager of the SunGraphics Division of Sun Chemical. “Our Concord facility is designed to improve what we can provide with HD all the way through the entire pre-press and platemaking process.”

Sun Chemical’s platemaking facilities manufacture high-definition plate technology utilizing Esko HD software and CDI high resolution imaging of up to 4,000 PPI, resulting in expanded tonal range, wider color gamut and increased screen lines per inch (lpi) to produce sharper more vibrant images and colors.

The Concord and Maumee facilities offer two different methods for producing Flat-Top Dot technology—the MacDermid Lux system and the DuPont DigiFlow/DigiCorr system. The MacDermid Lux system utilizes a membrane laminator for an oxygen barrier and the DigiFlow/DigiCorr system uses a nitrogen flow environment to create a flat-top dot.

In addition, both facilities are equipped with Esko Advanced HD MicroCell technology to achieve higher ink densities, reduce or eliminate pin-holing, and improve print quality in the shadow areas.

Combining HD benefits and the quality of flat-top dot plate technology increases a printer’s capabilities by printing with a uniform flat surface between the screens and solids, which creates 30-60 percent less impression sensitivity compared to standard digital plates and allows for longer, cleaner, more consistent runs with fewer stops for press adjustments and plate cleaning.

The system sharpens images even further, allowing for smooth screen transitions to zero, reduction or elimination of hard edge highlight screen break, and decreased dot gain while minimizing the fluting effect in corrugated printing.

Sun Chemical offers HD plate technology to NWTL, wide web, folding carton and corrugated printers. With a 100% digital workflow from the front end art design process to the finished product, Sun Chemical can provide a complete package of offerings from design concept to consumer. The package could include everything from conceptual art creation, pre-press, color management, printing plates, inks, coatings, and consumables. By utilizing all of Sun Chemical’s services, printers can reduce the number of suppliers they use and obtain competitive pricing on plates, inks, coatings, etc.

To learn more about Sun Chemical HD plate technology, visit www.sunchemical.com/HDPlates.
 


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