Germany-based U. Günther has scored a Gold Award in the Miraclon-sponsored Global Flexo Innovation Awards for sustainable flexo printing with Kodak Flexcel NX technology and proprietary screening process.
The joint entry submitted by U. Günther GmbH and its sister company Flexo-Service Cl. Jaehde – an insulated cooler bag printed with a Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream motif – made a convincing impression on the awards judges. It earned the Gold Award for the conversion from another print process to flexo, print production workflow efficiency and commitment to sustainable print. The job, which was printed with Kodak Flexcel NX plates, had previously been produced in gravure with seven colors plus white.
By converting the job to flexo, U. Günther was able to reduce the number of colors for the insulated cooler bag to six plus white. In doing so, the repro service provider was responding to a need specifically voiced by the customer.
‘Printing with fewer colors means we can lower the environmental impact of packaging and cut printing costs,’ said Peter Tarnowski, managing director of U. Günther. ‘We were sure we could produce the job better in flexo with Flexcel NX plates. Cl. Jaehde took care of the reprographic composition while U. Günther was responsible for central color management and platemaking. OMM Kunststofftechnik of Lindlar, the printer, likewise did a magnificent job. When we saw the result, we all agreed that the ultra-smooth gradients, the vividness and sharpness of the ice cream bars and the elaborate detail, for instance in the wood grain of the stick, would be hard to beat. It thrills me every time I see those bags at a supermarket. We’ve extended the series with more designs in the meantime, and they all look fantastic.’
It was the combination of KODAK FLEXCEL NX Technology with its advanced plate surface patterning, Impulse Screen technology and in-house color management that U. Günther regards as the crucial factors behind the firm’s success at the Global Flexo Innovation Awards.
Impulse Screen was developed by U. Günther and Flexo-Service Jaehde and has been available in the market since early 2020. This screening technology allows moiré-free multicolor printing or printing of very fine halftone patterns using existing, or comparatively coarse, anilox rollers. It lets flexo printers achieve much finer levels of screening as well as excellent detail without visible halftone dots – and without having to invest in anilox rollers with a higher screen ruling or modify their presses in any other way.