ACM revamps pre-press with Asahi Photoproducts

Italian converter first in Europe to adopt Asahi's AWP CleanPrint water-wash plates and AWP-Loop water recycling unit.

Italian converter ACM Flexible Packaging, based in Cremosano near Milan, has opted for Asahi Photoproducts’ AWP CleanPrint water-wash plates that are certified Carbon Neutral and Asahi’s AWP-Loop water recycling unit to create a sustainable, solvent-free, pre-press operation. 

Asahi’s AWP-Loop water recycling unit that enables reuse of 80 percent of the water used in plate processing, ACM was the first company in Europe to install this technology. The company also employs an Esko Crystal CDI exposure unit and XPS imaging system. Plates are processed with an Asahi AWP-4260 PLF plate processor.  

Founded in 2005 by Massimo Raffaele and Antonio La Franceschina, the company was an early adopter of UV-LED curing and proved the technology’s viability at a time when brands were skeptical due to ink migration concerns. 

Specializing in the food and pharma sectors, ACM’s printing is now 100 percent solvent-free and takes place on a fleet of Omet Varyflex flexo machines, all equipped with UV-LED curing, as well as an 8-color Uteco water-based flexo press. 

ACM’s pre-press operation not only produces plates for ACM but also for other wide-web printing sites owned by its parent company, SIT Group. 

‘Our strategy in working with suppliers such as Asahi Photoproducts is to build a partnership, rather than just a vendor relationship,’ said Andrea Belloli, the company’s branch manager, Italy and Middle East. ‘We also build those types of relationships with our customers, listening to their needs and requirements and adjusting accordingly. As an example, later this year we will install the first 50 by 80 large platemaking machine in the world here at ACM. This differentiates our company, and also offers our customers new services.’ 

Antonio La Franceschina, co-owner and CEO, added: ‘We are probably one of the only groups in Europe that have all the technology for flexographic printing systems. We start with digital, enabling us to offer mockups and very short-run production. And with flexo, we use UV LED cured water wash flexo plates from Asahi that are Carbon Neutral. And we use the AWP-Loop system to recycle 80 percent of the water. That ticks all the boxes – sustainability, quality, efficiency, and a more cost-effective solution for customers, especially those that need short run, fast turn work.’