Asahi and Esko collaborate to automate flexo platemaking

Innovation to improve platemaking experience

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Asahi
Asahi and Esko collaborate to automate flexo platemaking (Image: Asahi)

Asahi Photoproducts, a flexographic photopolymer plate development enterprise, and Esko, a global provider of integrated hardware and software solutions for the packaging, label, and wide format sectors, have announced their collaboration on developing an innovative and automated flexo platemaking solution.

The collaboration will bring together critical hardware and software technologies from both organizations to deliver a highly efficient and sustainable print form solution for the packaging sector.

Today, flexographic companies are operating in a complex, fast turnaround industry that often impacts their operational efficiency and profitability. For that reason, they need to simplify their processes while improving quality, consistency, and profitability. In doing so, they can create new business opportunities and positively transform their environmental impact,” said Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing manager for Asahi Photoproducts Europe.

This breakthrough innovation will be different to other solutions on the market. It is not just an assembly of available plate making processes delivered inline, but rather a holistic approach to connecting technologies, up and downstream of the prepress process, using an intelligent automation hub as the backbone and heart of the solution.”

Pascal Thomas, director of Flexo Business with Esko, added, “At Esko, we have long been dedicated to improving the platemaking experience, in terms of quality, productivity, and connectivity. Together with Asahi Photoproducts, we are taking the flexo platemaking process to a brand new level, enabling our customers to be even more competitive while ensuring they can meet today’s demands for flexible and sustainable supply.

Our aim, by collaborating with Asahi, is to deliver a cleaner, more environmentally balanced operation, that simplifies the print form making process, improves safety, and creates higher print quality consistency. The ultimate objective is to improve our customers’ overall business performance and profitability.”

Asahi Photoproducts was founded in 1971 and is a subsidiary of the Asahi Kasei Corporation. Asahi Photoproducts is into development of photopolymer flexo printing plates. By creating high-quality flexographic solutions and through continued innovation, the company aims at driving print forward in harmony with the environment.

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.

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