Flint Group’s Catena+, a modular concept of individual units that can build a flexo plate making system, has received the 2020 Cl Flexo Tech Technology Award in China.
The CI Flexo Tech Technology Innovation Award was established in 2019. It’s the first such award to encompass the entire flexo industry in China. It aims to ‘discover, promote, encourage and commend innovative technologies in the flexo printing industry.’ This year a judging panel comprised of 46 flexo experts from leading printers, brand owners, universities, trade magazines and technology suppliers.
‘We’re very proud to win this award courtesy of so many peers in our field,’ said Christophe Lievens, sales and marketing director at Xeikon Prepress. ‘We’re fully aware of the demand for the highest quality of flexo print in China. This is a very exciting time for us as Catena systems are our first project combining our equipment design knowledge with Flint Flexographic plate making and flexo print expertise. Development has been a total partnership, and we believe the result is a product portfolio of ThermoFlexX and Catena equipment with flexo plates that exactly fits the market-place.’
Catena is a modular concept of individual units that can build up to a fully in-line solvent-chemistry flexo plate making system. A ThermoFlexX imager, Catena-E (LED exposure), and Catena-WDLS (washer, dryer, and light finisher) join together with robotic transport units forming Catena+ for full automation.
With Catena+, an operator is only required to place the plate on the imager loading tray and remove the cover sheet. The full plate making process after that is completed without further human intervention.
According to the company, productivity and consistency are increased while damage through operator handling is eliminated. Up to 10 flexo plates initiated during a working shift can be fully finished without supervision, for example, after a change is finished and the factory is closed.
Catena units can currently process plates of up to 50 x 80in (1270 x 2032mm) plates and links with ThermoFlexX 80 or 60 imagers. Nevertheless, the foot-print of Catena+ is only 13 meters (43 ft), including the ThermoFlexX imager. A smaller Catena range 48 x 35in (1200 x 900mm) is planned for the first half of 2021.
Along with the hardware, Catena systems also offer software utilities combined in a Catena Cockpit, which provides a visible status report via airport-style screens, showing all plates, their progress, and expected time of completion.