Contact Originators Uses Esko Plate System

BREDBURY, STOCKPORT, UK | Contact Originators, a packaging origination and graphics management company, has claimed a UK first in corrugated for its investment in Esko XPS Crystal technology. As part of the project, Contact is also the worldwide partner of Esko in the testing of flexo plates and its Crystal screening technology for the corrugated industry on the XPS. 

Contact Originators personnel L to R: Steve Mulcahy, CEO, Gary Walker, Finance Director, Les Jones, Print Innovation & Product Development Manager, & Nick Mitchell, General Manager

The new and award-winning Esko XPS Crystal digital screening solution is a digitally controlled UV LED exposure device that reportedly provides near simultaneous main and back exposure in a single operation. As part of a complete automated platemaking system linking to a CDI imaging unit, the new XPS Crystal 5080 is said to deliver a superior flexo plate for the corrugated market, capable of imaging at the highest quality levels. The plates are placed onto the glass surface, where accurate back and main exposures by patented LED UV light technology allow precise control with no further operator intervention. The consistent light source delivers unmatched image consistency and perfectly formed dots, company adds.

Steve Mulcahy, CEO of Contact Group, says, “The key factor influencing plate stability is fast UV exposure which holds the finest lines and text onto the plate. In the future, our plan is to link the XPS to the CDI, reducing the traditional process from five manual steps to one, securing full automation. Combine this with our MIS and JDF driven digital workflow systems and our corrugated customers are literally receiving the fastest and highest quality possible plate on the market.

Mulcahy adds, “The XPS Crystal 5080 delivers true consistency for our customers. Today, conventional frames hardly achieve plate relief tolerance due to fluctuations in temperature and inconsistent energy output. The XPS solution offers unparalleled plate relief consistency resulting in less plate waste and remakes, as well as consistent and predictable results driving up print quality. This consistency and quality of the XPS allows ESKO to push the boundaries further on its HD screening in the form of its new Crystal screening set, now being trialed and tested at Contact and its partners.”

Among other awards, the Esko Crystal technology has been recognized with the Innovation Award for Prepress Graphics from the Flexographic Technical Association and InterTech Technology Award from the Printing Industries of America.

Robert Bruce, flexo product manager at Esko, says, "Esko was happy to work together with Contact on our Crystal XPS Corrugated Pre-Release Program, as they are a technology-based company that specializes in the corrugated sector. The Contact customer base that we worked with are looking to push the boundaries for both pre- and postprint corrugated, so the fit was ideal and successful. We look forward to seeing some great corrugated print produced from the Crystal XPS system in the coming months."

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