Prodded by a customer to look into flattop dots, Prairie State Group has invested in an Esko CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager with Full HD and Pixel+, along with a MacDermid LUX In-the-Plate.
Based in Franklin Park, Ill., Prairie State Group (PSG) provides collaborative flexible packaging solutions, ranging from mid-web laminated products such as stand-up pouches and bar wrappers through to pressure sensitive labels. With SQF (Safe Quality Food) Level 3 Certification, PSG is a full-service printer with in-house prepress along with a complete Esko workflow, platemaking and a creative services department.
PSG’s previous flexo plate imager was not capable of creating flattop dots, fades in highlights and shadows.
PSG evaluated imaging systems from its former supplier and Esko. “Esko’s system was much simpler to operate. With a full Esko front end, we knew that an Esko partnership would mean excellent support and training,” says Dan Doherty, Executive VP of Operations and Principle.
In November 2017, PSG, working with Esko and All Printing Resources (APR), decided to invest in an Esko CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager with HD Flexo and Pixel+, together with a MacDermid LUX In-the-Plate system. Pixel+ was developed particularly for Esko’s flexographic plate supplier partners. It provides additional flattop dot support for plate technologies; for example, plate-specific screening to further enhance the solid ink density beyond flattop dot standard.
“The greatest benefit is the ease of setting up files. Our minimums are rarely a concern anymore,” says Charles Strezo, Lead Prepress Technician. “Our prepress department is less concerned about challenging jobs, and we are willing to raise the bar without all of the preparation. We just let the screens fall where they are, which, in turn, accelerates our output.”
“With our new imaging system, line colors in the type and backgrounds look a lot better than before,” adds Tom Peters, second shift Supervisor. “Also, at the end of a roll, the process looks exactly the same as when we started. We don’t find any dot gain or hue change, and dots stay cleaner. We do not get as much swell on plates because there is not as much pressure on them. Our press operators are much happier.”
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