Plate producers benefit from simplicity, efficiency and productivity with Esko’s new Flexo motor

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New Automation Functions and Features Announced in Latest Release of Esko

Flexo plate producers can now save time, simplify their operations and benefit from increased productivity with the launch of Flexo Engine, Esko’s latest innovation.

As part of the recently released Esko 21.11 software, the latest release of the industry-leading automation engine features the innovative new Flexo engine, with automated fusion and a host of new tools developed to increase plate room productivity.

“Whether in a commercial workshop or in-house, customers are facing increasing demands for flexo plate production,” said Robert Bruce, Flexo Software Product Manager at Esko. “The need to deliver high-quality plaques in the shortest possible time can be a major headache. This is why we have developed Flexo Engine, the next generation tool to help plate producers increase their efficiency, productivity and performance.

“Automated melting eliminates the need to use many different tools, while additional automation saves time and improves traceability in the flexo plate manufacturing process,” he said. “For example, an intuitive dashboard helps simplify operations, while connectivity with third-party equipment ensures a fully connected workflow. “

Flexo Engine also offers the innovative new Plate ID functionality, the automated solution to the challenge of precise and permanent plate marking.

“Today’s flexographic plates are marked with a variety of information necessary for the printing process, including job ID, color references, whether surface or reverse printing is required, size sleeve and date of manufacture. Until now, this important information was usually either included on a label, engraved on the plate or with a pen plotter, or even written by hand.

“Plate uses CDI Crystal XPS plate imaging and exposure technology to image all of this vital information on the flexo plate below the printing surface,” said Robert. “This makes the marks perfectly legible, but avoids the problem of erasing traditional pen marks under the influence of inks, solvents and other chemicals used in the printing process. This is the solution sought by manufacturers of flexo plates.

With PlateID, plate producers benefit from advantages such as:

  • Clear and permanent marking, eliminating the risk of loss of marks during cleaning or printing
  • Elimination of human error in the marking process, when adding information for the first time
  • Minimization of waste, as plate identification can be added inside the design area or space in one step and one repeat
  • Reduced time to find the correct plates, resulting in increased operator efficiency
  • Improvement of plate storage and handling logistics

The benefits of PlateID are available to anyone using the Esko Crystal XPS exposure system. In addition, Flexo Engine users will also benefit from another new added feature, Auto Plate Cut, which saves even more time and further reduces waste.

“Staggered die-cut plates for flexible packaging and label printing is a standard process that helps eliminate press kickback and increase print production speeds,” said Robert. “The manual process of setting up a staggered cut job can involve a number of different tools and take an operator between five and twenty minutes, per plate. But with Auto Plate Cut, the process is automated to take any PDF file in stages.

“Based on 1,000 tasks per year, automating this task can save around 250 hours each year,” said Robert. “Eliminating errors caused by plate bounce allows the printer to print faster with fewer restrictions and also helps reduce plate waste. “

Flexo Engine is part of the latest version of Automation Engine, released as part of the Esko Software platform in November 2021.

“Esko remains committed to speeding the process of getting packaged products to market and increasing plate productivity with the new Flexo Engine. This is a further step towards digitizing, automating and connecting the process, which is crucial for businesses, ”added Robert. “Flexo Engine delivers increased efficiency and productivity throughout the flexo plate workflow and is an integral tool for companies taking the next steps on their own digital transformation journey. “

For more information on Flexo Engine and the full suite of Esko software solutions, please visit Esko Innovation Hub at innovation.esko.com.

About Esko
Esko is a global provider of integrated software and hardware solutions that speed the process of getting packaged products to market.
For everyone involved in the process, Esko solutions enable them to work efficiently and deliver packaging and marketing content the first time, on time, every time.

Our goal is to facilitate the management of their packaging, labeling, regulations and marketing content for CPG and pharmaceutical companies. With our packaging management platform, brand and packaging marketing teams can increase productivity, reduce costs and save time.

For packaging and label stores, premedia service providers and printer converters, we digitize, automate and connect the entire print production process with software and hardware solutions for CAD design, prepress processes, flexo plate fabrication and print inspection.

Facts and figures

The packaging of 9 out of 10 major brands is produced by our customers
We are based in Ghent (Belgium)
Worldwide, we employ around 1,600 people of 40 nationalities
We serve over 25,000 customers in over 140 countries
61% of our staff are in daily contact with customers
Our global sales network consists of over 300 direct sales staff and over 120 resellers

For more information, please visit www.esko.com.


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