New flexo platemaking solutions by Esko

Ease of use, automation and plate quality consistency


Esko introduced two new solutions, the CDI Crystal 4835 and Print Control Wizard, on 7 June 2018, taking its ‘Flexo Simplified’ offer to a new level. They are said to improve the productivity of platemaking while ensuring quality, consistency and simplicity in flexo platemaking.

Flexo platemaking is a series of manual steps that requires highly skilled operators to produce the right plate for the right job. The two new launches by Esko are easy to use, highly automated and are the first and only automated flexo platemaking line in the industry.

CDI Crystal 4835: A simple CtP device
Esko follows the successful introduction of its CDI Crystal 5080 flexo imager with the introduction of the CDI Crystal 4835. This new launch supports the 48 x 35 inch plate size that is popular with flexo converters and provides the same benefits as the CDI Crystal 5080. The Crystal CDI features automatic plate loading and unloading and is extremely easy to use, with users reporting efficiency in both time and quality. Operators need minimal training and spend 50% less time at the device. In addition, plate waste and plate inconsistencies resulting from manual plate handling are completely eliminated.

A user of the CDI Crystal 4835, Lene Hoegh Madsen, prepress manager at the packaging group Schur in Germany, says, “The CDI Crystal and XPS Crystal are very easy to operate. We can train new operators very fast, and that enables us to make plates at night or early in the morning depending on our needs, and not only when our platemaking expert is in.”

CDI Crystal combined with Crystal XPS
The innovative XPS Crystal exposure unit has been introduced for both the 5080 and 4835 sizes. These systems are unique and were awarded for reducing the manual steps from nine steps to one, and for delivering plates of higher quality and consistency owing to their unique and patented digitally controlled simultaneous UV light main and back exposure.

Using the CDI Crystal in combination with the Crystal XPS frees up operators from mundane and repetitive tasks. The arrangement requires no more than a single system to monitor.

Print Control Wizard software combined with CDI Crystal XPS
The new Print Control Wizard software simplifies the platemaking process. Esko has worked its decades of expertise into an easy-to-use wizard that takes the complexity out of flexo platemaking. Flexo platemaking is now easier to use and learn for everyone eliminating the need to hire dedicated flexo platemaking experts.

The application goes beyond excellent screening and outputs the right plate fit for purpose based on a range of print run parameters. The plates produced through Print Control Wizard deliver superior print quality; they use a screen and dot gain curves that take into consideration the press, substrates, inks, anilox and other print run parameters.

“The first customers that worked with Print Control Wizard confirm that it is as simple as entering the production parameters in order to get superb screening fit for the print run,” says Robert Bruce, flexo product manager with Esko, “and the print results prove it: the plates last longer on the press and deliver brilliant, consistent quality.”

A quality growth path
Esko’s innovative Crystal line delivers flexo plates with unmatched quality and consistency for all flexo printing applications. The benefits build up along with the configuration:

  • CDI Crystal standalone for ultimate ease of use and plate waste reduction
  • CDI Crystal combined with the Crystal XPS adds automation and unparalleled plate consistency
  • CDI Crystal XPS combined with Print Control Wizard adds flexo know-how out of the box. With this configuration, automate the production of consistently high-quality plates is automated eliminating the need for platemaking experts.

Pascal Thomas, director Prepress and Platemaking, says, “Esko has always and will continue to protect customers’ long-term investments. With these three Crystal quality levels, we offer a transparent and modular growth path for our customers, who can decide what level of quality and automation best fits their business.”

Push the button solution
The combination of the Crystal CDI 4835, XPS 4835 and Print Control Wizard delivers the highest possible quality flexo print results available in the industry today. “As run lengths and deadlines get shorter, converters and premedia need to continuously improve efficiency,” explains Geert De Proost, director Solutions Marketing at Esko. “By expanding our flexo solution portfolio with these innovations, we simplify flexo platemaking even further. Today it comes yet another step closer to be a simple ‘push the button’ solution.”

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