This edition of the company’s Technical Tips series specifically highlighted the new Flint Group nyloflex Xpress thermal processor and XPH and XFH thermal plates.
The Flint Group nyloflex Xpress thermal processor, designed and manufactured in the US, was launched at Labelexpo Americas 2016. “We’ve had multiple machines installed over the last few months,” said Harrell. “It’s not just a processor either, it’s a platemaking system.”
The thermal processor does not require a chiller or condenser, as a pre-heating system allows for an accurate control of heat distribution. In addition to maximum energy efficiency, the nyloflex Xpress offers remote service and diagnostics via Wi-Fi connectivity. Its state of the art heating system concentrates heat at the plate surface, and the plate backing temperature is tightly controlled–all of which leads to low power consumption.
“The power consumption itself is low and can be quantified,” explains Fronczkiewicz. “We’ve measured it to be $5.15 a day when running the processor 24-hours a day. That is about an 88% savings in electricity costs versus competitive sytems in the market.
“The VOCs on this machine are extremely low too,” he added. “We have a filter that captures the very little bit of VOCs that are generated.”
The processor’s small footprint yields plates with a minimum of 10” x 10” and a maximum of 42” x 65”. The nyloflex Xpress was developed to be user-friendly, featuring an HMI control panel with a fully integrated touchscreen CPU. A visual indicator and audio alarm sound for finished plates, as well. Finally, the nyloflex Xpress enables easy access through a lift-top cover. There is a hood lamp for inspection and heating components on a sliding rail design for a simple exchange.
During the webinar, Harrell also provided videos to show how the plate is mounted onto the roll. According to Anderson & Vreeland, the equipment is simple to use, even under time sensitivities. She noted, too, that the nyloflex Xpress thermal processor would need to be prepared for compressed air supply, exhaust and voltage prior to installation.
Fronczkiewicz then detailed the advantages to Flint Group’s nyloflex thermal digital plates. The nyloflex XPH and XPM plates have been specially developed for high line screens on paper substrates. The nyloflex XPH Digital is a 60 Shore A plate with minimal dot gain, while the nyloflex XPM Digital is a 50 Shore A plate that is suitable for printing on rougher substrates.
“I think we have something really different and really interesting to show to the market that hasn’t been seen with thermal plates before,” says Fronczkiewicz.
According to Fronczkiewicz, the plates provide “superior resistance to UV inks” and they’re also suitable for use with solvent- and water-based inks. The plates feature a very wide tonal range for reproduction of the finest dots at 200 LPI, with minimum printed dots at 5%. These details translate to outstanding solids on textured papers, providing an ideal matchup between substrate and plate.
The Xpress thermal processed plates appear similar to solvent-processed plates. “There is minimal developer roll pattern in the solids and very fine highlight screens,” added Fronczkiewicz.
The webinar also previewed the new nyloflex XFH plate, which is coming to market soon. It is a flat top plate designed for high-quality film printing applications. The 60 Shore A plate has been designed for printing on non-absorbent film substrates.
The nyloflex XFH plate’s stable flat top dot structure enables excellent impression and wear stability on long print runs at high speeds. It is also compatible with high resolution imaging, and can be used with solvent- and water-based inks, as well as most UV inks.