New Asahi next-gen flexographic plate processor

A first water-wash processor of its kind

Asahi announced availability of it’s next-generation larger format water-wash flexographic plate processor, the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF

Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today announced the availability of it’s next-generation larger format water-wash flexographic plate processor, the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF. This is the first water-wash processor of its kind with an automated process from plate wash-out to the UV finished plate including plate processing, rinsing, drying, and UV post-exposure within one system.

“The market of larger volume users for AWPTM flexo plates and particularly for flexible packaging applications is growing,” says Dieter Niederstadt, technical marketing manager of Asahi. “For that reason, it was time for us to introduce a new member to our largest format processor family. Exclusively focusing on using the new AWPTM-DEW plate with this processor allows us to reduce the environmental footprint of the platemaking process by reducing the content of additives in the washout solution. It also allows us to speed up the time for each plate coming out of the line dramatically.”

The system is designed to be able to use two standard formats at approx. 3-5 plates per hour, either 1200x 900 mm (48 x 36 inch) or 1067 x 1524 mm (42 x 60 inch), which gives both Asahi and its customers’ incredible flexibility in machine utilization. Plus, The AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF is an automated combination of washer-dryer-light finishing, providing the opportunity for reduction of operator hands-on requirements and potential associated errors. For customers already having a separate light finisher, the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor is available in a version without the light finisher function. This processor combination is the first incremental system of its kind and also features an improved UVA/UVC inline post-exposure uniformity vs. offline systems with a light finishing drawer.

AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF: The Details

The AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor is the successor development to Asahi’s 1116PD processor which has been used by many high-volume end-users in the market. New features as compared to the older model include:

· Integrated plate punching system for pin bar

· Integrated air knife after plate rinsing unit to dry the plate

· Higher post-exposure uniformity with inline UVA and UVC light finishing

· Filter unit is located inside the machine with easy roll-out operator access

· New machine maintenance concept including low maintenance pumps and easy pipe layout

· Water safety tray located on the side frame without the need to clean leaked solution

· Asahi remote human-machine interface (HMI) access and optional smart glass support system (future option)

· Optimized machine footprint at 6112 x 2070 x 1295 mm (smaller vs. separate units)

New Asahi maintenance concept

With the introduction of the new processor, Asahi has also realized the need to improve its AWPTM machine maintenance concept for our customers. As just-in-time production today is very important, the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor has a modem communication link on all machines to the processor’s human-machine interface (HMI). This allows our technical support team to connect with the customer machine from any location for first-level maintenance support. Our experience shows that 60% of the causes of all machine-related service issues can be traced with this support. In addition to tracing the cause of any problems, Asahi has also introduced a remote smart glass support concept as a future option on all systems. According to Alex Downes, service engineer, Asahi, “The difference this functionality makes is unbelievable; pictures can explain so much more than words. A typical support interaction with a customer that took me hours of travel time in the past can now pinpoint the detailed problem in no time, allowing us to either fix the problem immediately or at least send the exact needed spare part to the customer. If we didn’t have the appropriate part with us on a traditional service call, that often required an additional visit, leading to more cost and potentially a longer downtime. Now everything can be done quickly and in one step, often eliminating the need for any travel at all and getting the customer up and running quickly.”

Niederstadt adds, “Based on what we have seen in the start-up phase of this new service, we believe we can speed-up our service and reduce the amount of travel by half. This will better utilize our engineers and provide higher quality service for our customers.”

“Following the announcement of the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor at Labelexpo Europe in 2019, the first prototype machine was installed at a flexible packaging printer/converter,” Niederstadt added. “Now looking back over the last nine months of testing and more than 4.000 square meters of plate production, we are ready to bring this innovative processor into the market together with our AWPTM-DEW plate.” AWP™-DEW digital flexo plates are ideal for use with UV, EB, water-based and solvent-based inks and make a transition to Fixed Colour Palette printing easy, minimizing the need to use a larger number of spot color inks. These durable plates also deliver improved plate lifetime on the press.

For more information about flexographic solutions from Asahi Photoproducts, visit

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here