Flexo Technology


According to Steve Mulcahy, Contact OriginatorsCEO, in

order to meet the rapidly growing demand for sustainable packaging, manufacturers must constantly create environmentally friendly new technologies

management and flexographic plate production has done just that. Achieving the industry’s first extended gamut process print (EGPP) capability for corrugated flexographic printing, Contact Originators has taken a technique that was never intended for this market and fine-tuned it to serve emerging needs. “In today’s conscientious climate, such advancements are crucial,” says Mulcahy. “The recent media and consumer backlash against plastics is increasingly making corrugate the material of choice thanks to its stand-out recyclability and renewability. With its exceptional eco credentials and ability to provide adequate product protection, preservation and shelf appeal, the substrate is a more sought-after commodity than ever.” A Smithers Pira report, 'The future of global corrugated packaging to 2021' shows demand for corrugated board packaging will increase steadily over the next five years, forecasting the market to grow from $222 billion in 2015 to $269 billion in 2021, and to consume 160 million tonnes of board in that year. However, to maintain this prosperity and empower brands to demonstrate green commitment, manufacturers must develop greater capacity and contend with general inflation across the market. The paper-based boom is placing immense pressure on mills and printers to keep pace with orders, especially following unforeseen overseas demand in the past year which has contributed further strains on the European market. Although commercially advantageous, the upsurge, in correlation with rising labour rates across Europe and climbing resource costs, is forcing companies to rethink processes and planning strategies. “The key to ticking all of these boxes is enhancing efficiency, keeping outlays to a minimum and delivering outputs at the necessary speed, all with the least possible environmental impact. EGPP would be the ideal solution here, with its optimised use of inks and press production time reducing wash up and associated solvent

E 18 June 2018

nabling pioneering resource efficiency, the leading supplier of packaging origination, graphics

revolution was far from straightforward and involved creative engineering at each stage," says Mulcahy. "For example, to deliver an accurate six-colour press profile, we explored the best technologies available on the market and, after a rigorous testing phase, selected Hybrid Software’s Packz linking to GMG’s Open colour profiling and proofing system. “Next, to realise the Gopfert Ovation’s 0.25mm tolerance, we fine-tuned its AV FlexoLogic HD image recognition mounters to guarantee the fit to 100-micron colour-to-colour on plate mounting. It was a meticulous endeavour owing its success to the company’s pioneering philosophy.” A true breakthrough for the industry,

Contact Originators’ corrugate-compatible EGPP solution offers the best of both worlds and sets the standard for process viability. Adding further operational and

requirements, downtime, inventory, expenditure and administration. However, the technology has historically been limited to plastics, denying cartonboard manufacturers access to its benefits.” Constantly innovating to add real value to the wider industry as well as its customer base, Contact Originators set about changing this by adapting the technique to service the corrugate market. Collaborating with a number of other suppliers, the company worked with key client Smurfit Kappa Inspirepac, in Markham Vale, on their Gopfert Ovation 7 colour press with high specification anilox configuration. Enabling a unique six-colour plus varnish EGPP ink set and a fit of 0.25mm across all seven units, the development utilises the latest DuPont Cyrel EASY plate science and high definition screenings, coupled with the Esko Crystal XPS exposure system. “While our goal of pushing the boundaries in dot reproduction across an expanded range of substrates was clear from the outset, the execution of such a

environmental efficiency to an already green material, it satisfies the public’s appetite for sustainability across the entire product journey. By moving from CMYK inks plus a number of spot colours on a press to corrugate-compatible EGPP in design creation, the carbon footprint of each printed pack is reduced via optimisations such as cutting the number of inks needed. For the ink manufacturer, this creates economies of scale advantages, while the converter enjoys streamlined transportation, administration and inventory requirements. The number of press wash-ups is also lessened, increasing uptime and decreasing changeover substrate, plate and ink waste – all factors associated with significant expenditure. This also lowers solvent and VOC usage, minimising the release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere and creating cleaner work surroundings. With greater overall effectiveness and cost competitiveness, Contact Originator’s revolutionary EGPP system provides savings across multiple touch points, refines processes and curtails environmental impact. This equips the print and packaging industry to meet the growing demand for recyclable and renewable products across all sectors, making corrugate more readily available, eco-friendly and affordable,.

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