Bobst Technology a Winner in France

MEX, SWITZERLAND | Bobst Group reports that Graphilabel, Rheims, France, the inventor of the THQ printing technology, took away the Prix de l’Innovation at the FlexoStars competition late last year. The event is organized by ATF Flexo, the French flexography association. Bobst has partnered with Graphilabel since 2015 and holds exclusive rights to this process for corrugated cardboard, known as Bobst THQ FlexoCloud. The process is available on a wide range of the brand’s new flexographic post-print machines. The FlexoStars jury also gave awards to four Bobst Group customers for the quality of their work in the corrugated cardboard category. 

Dominique Ravot, sales & marketing director, Bobst Lyon (l), & Didier Guenu, founder of Graphilabel

Didier Guenu, founder of Graphilabel, says, “Before THQ technology was invented, printing professionals using flexography couldn’t reproduce an image’s full richness and emotion on a product package. The color range was restrained, and ordinary printing on corrugated cardboard was impossible due to the fluting. Reproducing a motif in color necessarily meant reducing quality. THQ has changed all of that.”

The companies say that BOBST THQ FlexoCloud technology is opening flexography to markets previously restricted to offset and photogravure, adding that the rendering can reach very high definition far greater than 350 lines/centimeter, and the cheaper tools associated with the flexographic process allow very competitive production costs for short and medium runs.

“Thanks to the THQ process, now flexography can also meet brand owners’ new needs for package authentication and traceability,” says Guenu, whose company has been active for more than 30 years in encryption of fiduciary documents and security documents. He says a color separation algorithm allows very effective anti-counterfeit printing using “nano messages” invisible to the naked eye.

BOBST THQ FlexoCloud technology relies on three key elements: the THQ ceramic cylinders (supplied by Bobst), the THQ CMYK inks and varnishes for demanding jobs (supplied by Siegwerk exclusively for THQ FlexoCloud customers) and the THQ printing plates (supplied by Graphilabel).

“It’s a flexographic solution that’s very easy to use on corrugated cardboard and provides crucial advantages for users of flexographic equipment,” says Dominique Ravot, sales and marketing director at Bobst Lyon. These advantages reportedly include the following:

  • Print image quality as good or better than offset
  • Four-color reproduction with a wider range of tones, thanks to an algorithm that covers 65% of the color gamut
  • Special THQ CMYK inks that can be used throughout the printing process, ensuring shorter machine calibration times and substantial savings (up to 30% on ink, on average, compared to the standard flexographic process)
  • A high-performance flexographic post-print technology for reproducing images on corrugated cardboard without “rib” effects and in one pass.

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