Contact Originators leads with Esko XPS Crystal for corrugate

Contact Originators, an innovation-led packaging origination and graphics management company, has claimed a UK first in corrugate for its investment in award-winning Esko XPS Crystal technology.

As part of the project, Contact is also the worldwide partner of Esko in the testing of flexo plates and its Crystal screening technology for the corrugate industry on the XPS.

The Esko XPS Crystal digital screening solution is a digitally controlled UV LED exposure device that provides near simultaneous main and back exposure in a single operation. As part of a complete automated platemaking system linking to a CDI imaging unit, the new XPS Crystal 5080 delivers a superior flexo plate for the corrugate market, capable of imaging at the highest quality levels.

The plates are placed onto the glass surface, where accurate back and main exposures by patented LED UV light technology allow precise control with no further operator intervention. The consistent light source delivers unmatched image consistency and perfectly formed dots.

Steve Mulcahy, CEO, Contact Group, said: “The key factor influencing plate stability is fast UV exposure which holds the finest lines and text onto the plate. In the future, our plan is to link the XPS to the CDI reducing the traditional process from five manual steps to one; securing full automation. Combine this with our MIS and JDF driven digital workflow systems and our corrugate customers are literally receiving the fastest and highest quality possible plate on the market.

“The XPS Crystal 5080 delivers true consistency for our customers. Today, conventional frames hardly achieve plate relief tolerance due to fluctuations in temperature and inconsistent energy output. The XPS solution offers unparalleled plate relief consistency resulting in less plate waste and remakes, as well as consistent and predictable results driving up print quality. This consistency and quality of the XPS allows Esko to push the boundaries further on its HD screening in the form of its new Crystal screening set, now being trialled and tested at Contact and its partners.”

Earlier this year, Esko’s innovative Crystal technology was recognised with the prestigious Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) Innovation Award for PrePress Graphics and received the respected Printing Industries of America (PIA) InterTech Technology Award. Furthermore it was recognised with a Red Dot award for Product Design 2017 organised by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany and the FlexoTech Innovation Award in November in the UK.

Robert Bruce, flexo product manager at Esko, said: “Esko was happy to work together with Contact on our ‘Crystal XPS Corrugated Pre-Release Program’ as they are a technology based company, who specialise in the corrugated sector. The Contact customer base who we worked with are looking to push the boundaries for both pre and post-print corrugated, so the fit was ideal and successful. We look forward to seeing some great corrugated print produced from the Crystal XPS system in the coming months.”

“Contact Originators is leading in investment in innovation in our sector. We believe in ‘challenging the unchallengeable’ and truly delivering step-change innovation for our customers. We support the corrugate, flexible packaging and label industries with new and exciting opportunities to do things differently – driving down cost and driving up value in everything we do. We were delighted to be the first company in the UK to integrate Esko Crystal into our operations for the corrugate sector and excited about what its going to do for both our customers and our business. Investing in innovation means we grow together.” concluded Mulcahy.