Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, has reported that Seikodo Corporation Co., Ltd. is the third company worldwide to install CrystalCleanConnect.
Seikodo Corporation was formed in 1959 and is expert in helping its trade customers create artwork suited for flexographic printing and preparing it for print to achieve the best possible printed quality.
‘Prior to implementing CrystalCleanConnect, we were using solvent-wash plates,’ explains Mr. Kaneko Osamu, Chief Procurement and Technology Officer. ‘We were looking for a better solution that would improve our sustainability, contribute to our goal of carbon neutrality, and improve our work environment. We were pleased to learn about CrystalCleanConnect, which met all of those requirements and more.’
Mr. Kaneko Osamu reports that in addition to its initial goals, with CrystalCleanConnect the company was able to transition from solvent-wash plates to Asahi’s AWP™ CleanPrint water-washable plates, while at the same time improving the overall quality of the plates it was producing, introducing improved production efficiency, while reducing both cost and waste.
He adds, ‘Moreover, by introducing CrystalCleanConnect we are able to find a solution to the problem of a less skilled labour market coupled with lacking young talent in our industry. CrystalCleanConnect represents – due to its level of automation – an important answer for consisent high-quality platemaking output. All of this adds up to positioning flexography very competitively with offset and gravure for packaging printing.’
As the name implies, CrystalCleanConnect is a clean and sustainable process, an industry first, with no VOC-based washout solvents due to the use of Asahi’s AWPT™ CleanPrint water-washable plates, with never-before-seen levels of automation, generating a cut plate which is ready for mounting. CleanPrint technology ensures a significant OEE improvement, up to 40% in many cases. And ink usage can be reduced by as much as 20% due to Crystal Screening technologies.
Key to the CleanPrint technology is the fact that plates are designed to release ink, resulting in few, if any, press stops for plate cleaning, keeping a consistent print quality from the beginning to the end of the run. The close nesting of digital files enables precise plate cutting by the Kongsberg table and results in additional 10% plate waste reduction. It is the only automated flexo plate production like this, that incorporates inline cutting.
The name CrystalCleanConnect is derived from the ESKO Crystal and Asahi CleanPrint product branding with the philosophy of connecting the printing formmaking value chain from design to print as one integrated workflow. This is the first-in-industry platemaking solution that includes this level of automation in balance with the environment including imaging, exposure, washout, drying and post exposure, as well as plate cutting without the use of any volatile organic compound solvents in the process.