Fujifilm has said that it will launch its Flenex FW narrow web flexo plates into the European market at the Labelexpo show this autumn. This is a water-washable photopolymer plate containing a special rubber-based compound that is not sensitive to oxygen. This reduces the effect that oxygen has on the dot shape, cutting down on dot gain and leading to better ink transfer for cleaner and brighter print results. Thus it delivers a consistent 200lpi at 4,400 dpi with a 1% flat top process dot structure that should lead to good image quality. Fujifilm says that there’s less plate swell and that it’s suitable for long runs.
Fujifilm claims that the plate can be processed in less than 40 minutes. This is quicker than alternatives; up to three times faster than some solvent systems and up to 1.5 times faster than some thermal and water-wash technologies. Fujifilm also claims that the processing equipment and associated consumables cost less than these alternatives.
The plate has been available in the US for the last 18 months.