Mission Labels, a flexographic printer based in West Sussex, has become the first UK company to install a Thermoflexx imagesetter. This was as part of a £100,000 investment in pre-press facilities to move the company from traditional film setting to state-of-the-art CTP production. As well as the ThermoFlexX 30, Mission also invested in front-end systems, AV Flexologic exposure equipment and a new pre-press department containing an art and design studio.
Dave Humphrey, Mission’s technical director, says he researched into the latest developments, adding: “The results have been astounding. Not only has the quality of the image on the plate taken a huge jump forward, we are able to turn work around much more quickly, while makeready and start-up waste on the presses has also been reduced significantly. From receipt of a PDF file we can get the job on the press in less than an hour, often despatching the completed order within a couple of hours of receiving the digital file.”
The Thermoflexx imagers offer five separate output resolutions and Mission Labels chose to have 2,540 dpi and 5,080 dpi on its machine. The company has already produced labels using 5,080 dpi, which is the highest resolution available on any flexo imager, allowing screen rulings of 250 lpi for fine detailed work including demanding vignettes.
The Thermoflexx brand is owned by Xeikon’s Prepress division. The imagers utilise IPG fibre lasers operating at 1,064 nm, which combine low energy consumption with high reliability. They can expose any plate with a LAM layer such as flexo, letterpress and dry offset, as well as Gallus Screeny (digital screen) and ablative film. The imagers accept 1-bit TIFF files generated by any workflow, RIP or front-end and will handle any innovative screens such as hybrid or surface screens. ThermoFlexX imagers also support all relevant technologies such as flat top dots.