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Fujifilm introduces the FLENEX series, a flexographic plate system for package printing

A DLE System that Achieves Superior Environmental Performance and Productivity, and a new Water-Washable LAM and analog plates.

November 7, 2014

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is introducing in strategic markets an all-new line-up of FLENEX flexographic plates, a system that forms the core of a total solution for package printing.

With the introduction of the new FLENEX series, Fujifilm is debuting the Direct Laser Engraving (DLE) system, with the “FD” series flexographic plate, and also the water-washable Laser Ablation Mask (LAM) and analog system with the “FW” series flexographic plate.

The flexographic production process involves consideration for the environment and safety an innovative design that promotes quality and enhances sales; with a production systems that can respond to short-runs with a quick turnaround.

In recent years, water-based flexo printing has expanded rapidly in Japan to meet these market needs. In other industrialized countries, principally in Europe and North America, flexographic printing is continuing to make great strides as the principal printing method in the field of package printing. In developing countries, the demand for packaging printing and flexographic printing is also increasing rapidly as populations grow.

The DLE System achieves superior flatness across the surface of the plate compared to systems using solvent-developed LAM plates, allowing the formation of a sharp relief with defined edges that can faithfully reproduce a fine arrangement of 175 lines of halftone dots ranging from 1% to 98%. The system also allows production processes including laser engraving when the plate is still attached to the sleeve. Processing is extremely simple, with water rinse. This results in significantly improved productivity when compared with systems using existing plate material. Additionally, there is no solvent involved in the development process, resulting in no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making a significant contribution to lower the environmental impact.

The water-washable LAM and analog plate system is able to form flat-top dots without any additional equipment and can faithfully reproduce 200 lines of halftone dots from 1% to 99%. Other advantages include very good ink transfer, superior compatability with UV, water-based, and solvent flexo inks, wear resistance and the ability to consistently maintain good product quality even when printing long-run jobs. As water is used for processing, the printing environment is completely solvent-free. Compared to solvent processing, , drying time is greatly reduced, increasing productivity while also reducing the impact on the environment. Since this is not a thermal process, no wicking cloth or thermal equipment are required.

For many years, as a leading company in the field of printing plate materials, Fujifilm has been involved in the worldwide development, production and sales of a diverse range of printing-related products including CTP plates and PS plates for offset printing, printing chemicals, workflow software, platesetters and inkjet digital printers. With the market for package printing expected to expand, Fujifilm will continue to make major contributions to the development of the global printing industry by providing an innovative portfolio of solutions and products, based on the FLENEX series.