Saint André Plastique achieve high print quality with nyloflex FTM plates

Saint André Plastique chose Xsys to increase print quality in flexible packaging production

Saint Andre Plastique
Saint André Plastique choose Xsys for high print quality in flexible packaging production. photo saintandreplastique

Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to save waste and produce more sustainable products to alleviate consumers’ concerns about the impact of flexible packaging production on the environment. Many brands are moving from filmic substrates to paper-based materials to meet demands for the reduction or elimination of plastic packaging.

The nyloflex FTM digital flexo plate has been developed by Xsys to allow converters to address those paper applications in flexo printing more easily, by facilitating the switch from solvent-to-water-based printing. Introduced to the market in early 2021, it is the result of the drive-by Xsys to deliver sustainable solutions for flexo printing that are also cost-effective in production.

After several print trials, Saint André Plastique determined that the nyloflex FTM digital could help them optimize print production. “We are currently working on expanding paper-based alternatives to plastics in order to adapt our business to new market needs and stricter regulations, so we decided to evaluate our plate inventory to see if there was room for improvement,” said Saint André Plastique president Fabienne Lebreton. 

Growth and innovation

Situated on the outskirts of the village of Saint-André-de-l’Epine, in Manche, Normandy, Saint André Plastique specializes in flexible packaging products, both paper and plastic mainly for the food industry. The manufacturing company, which was established in 1973, remains in the hands of the founding family and is today headed up by Fabienne, who runs the company with her brother, general manager Mathias Lebreton.

Over the past few years, the company has significantly expanded its facilities and invested heavily in a new printing, converting and now extrusion machinery, a large-scale project. Having almost doubled its size the plant today employs over 170 people. The company’s exports make up around 22% of turnover and products are sent to many different countries mainly in Europe, including Belgium, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

The innovation lies at the heart of the company’s ethos, with a research and development department working on new solutions to meet current requirements for sustainability, convenience and high quality. Amongst the in-house developed technologies, we find SAP Fresh, which increases the shelf life of fruits and vegetables via controlled permeability, Cook’n SAP microwaveable food packaging, paper touch finish available in matt and gloss, and a range of biodegradable materials. 

Sustainable approach

Saint André Plastique has been nurturing its sustainable development approach for the past 15 years and actively participates in local and regional initiatives where members collectively work towards more responsible solutions. Finding the perfect flexo printing plate to support this work, as well as delivering high-quality print, is a key piece of the puzzle.

Created with inherent flat-top dot technology, the nyloflex FTM digital offers superior ink laydown and best-in-class highlights. It prints equally well on a wide range of both coated and uncoated papers where printers would previously have needed several plate types. Waste and costs can be reduced through the consolidation of jobs and a combination of solids and screens on the same plate. This also means storing a smaller plate inventory for a leaner operation.  

“We have used plates from Flint Group, and now Xsys, for many years and always associate their products with high quality and innovation, which is why we turned to them when we wanted to improve image quality even further,” said the industrial director Jean-Michel Levoy. 

“We are very impressed with the performance of the new nyloflex FTM plate, which allows us to maintain color consistency and repeatability, and that is incredibly important in the flexible packaging segment,” said Levoy. “The plate has an excellent transfer rate which translates to a very high printing resolution even on uncoated paper.”

The company also chose to incorporate the nyloflex FTM digital into production to capitalize on the flexo plate’s productivity benefits. In addition, because the plate comes with built-in flat-top dot technology, it slots right into the workflow at Saint André Plastique without the need for any additional special equipment or auxiliaries, meaning the company can expose the plate in its existing system before the solvent processing takes place.

A real partnership

The in-house pre-press department at Saint André Plastique has always strived to improve the image quality printed on the company’s flexo presses and find new sustainable ways of working. This setup makes it possible to test new solutions, such as plates, and directly analyze the result obtained on press. 

“Being 100% integrated with pre-press, plate making and printing on the same premises means that we are in complete control of the whole process,” said Levoy. “That also gives us a speed advantage so we can implement new solutions, such as the nyloflex FTM, and deliver great results to our customers very quickly.”

He concludes, “We have a real partnership with the Xsys team, they support our drive for ever-increasing quality and sustainability in every way they can with products, knowhow and service. We certainly enjoy all the benefits of their innovations, and the excellent potential we are now realising with the new nyloflex FTM digital plate is very typical of that great relationship.”

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement , for editorial and for subscriptions

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter

As 2023 begins and FY 23-24 unfolds, will you support us?

What lies in store for the packaging industry in India and South Asia this coming year? Inflation, disruption of supply chains or environmental regulation? Or the resumption of high rural demand, continued investment and industry consolidation? Whatever happens, Packaging South Asia will be there, providing clarity and independent technical and business information in India and South Asia and around the world. We are a compact Indian organization bringing a window of fair and rigorous technical and business information that the industry can access this year and beyond. Please support us with your advertising and subscriptions, to keep us going and growing.

Thank you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here