Asahi Photoproducts, which mainly develops flexo photopolymer plates, will introduce a new FlatTop plate, the AFP-BFTH, which is designed to facilitate kiss touch printing pressure.
It uses Asahi’s Clean Transfer Technology, which is designed to allow for kiss touch printing pressure. The idea is that lighter printing pressure allows for more constant repeatability of printing quality during the production run as well as longer plate life. Essentially Asahi has formulated the photopolymer chemistry to reduce the surface energy of the printing plate and enable better ink transfer to the substrate during printing. This also limits the ink from filling-in the mid-tone area during the printing run so that the plates remain clean during print production runs, giving more consistent print quality and fewer press stops for plate cleaning.
Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager at Asahi Photoproducts, explains: “This adds up to increased productivity and throughput while significantly reducing waste. Asahi’s Clean Transfer Technology has found great market reception in our line of water-washable plates, and we are now excited to be extending this capability to other plate categories in our portfolio. Not only will this help flexographic printers increase productivity, but it will also extend the range of applications they can offer to their customers, including the ability to transfer more work from offset to flexo.”
The BFTH plates should give very smooth tonal gradation in printing. The plates produce flat top dots so should be capable of holding high resolution. According to Asahi, if used with solid area micro-screening technologies, it should be possible to achieve 100% homogenous solid area coverage without any visible substrate voids.
The plate is available in Hard grade for use with film and paper substrates, and in 1.14 and 1.7 mm thicknesses. It can be used with water-based, solvent-based, and UV ink. It will work standard tube UV, high energy UV diode exposure, or FULL HD imaging systems.
The BFTH plate should be available within the next few months. You can find more details at asahi-photoproducts.com.