Swedish packaging converter AR Packaging Flexibles, formerly Flextrus, has introduced the full Esko workflow and Crystal line of platemaking products at its plant in Lund, in Sweden’s southern province.
‘We are thrilled to have been able to supply this complete solution for AR Packaging Flexibles,’ said James Mason, Esko regional business director, EMEA North. ‘The company has been outsourcing its platemaking to a local supplier for a long time, but has now effectively “insourced” their entire plate production. Using the latest technology in terms of improved simplicity and optimized quality, they also enjoy the added benefit of full Esko support in training, maintenance and troubleshooting.’
A member of the AR Packaging Group, which has 28 factories located across 13 countries, AR Packaging Flexibles focuses on the food and healthcare markets in the flexible packaging sector. Running six flexographic presses, the company has three specialized plants – in Halmstad and Lund, Sweden, and Highbridge in England.
‘With the new Crystal technology from Esko, the platemaking process – in terms of imaging and exposure – is now much less complex and has significantly fewer steps,’ said Mason. ‘The integration of our workflow solutions and hardware technology means that the AR Packaging Flexibles team are now completely in control of the quality and performance of their plates and subsequent print consistency.’
AR Packaging Flexibles has installed the Esko XPS Crystal exposure unit. Combining UV main and back exposure, the XPS Crystal uses LEDs which do not require warm-up time and always emit even light, producing consistency of plate quality and subsequently on press.
‘As well as the latest imaging technology, the team is using Esko Automation Engine, Device Manager and the award-winning Print Control Wizard – with its Crystal Screening technology – to automate the workflow, with a Kongsberg X20 Edge for flexo plate cutting,’ explained Mason. ‘They have a full Esko Crystal ecosystem in operation, producing consistently high-quality plates.’
Olof Eriksson, pre-press manager at AR Packaging Flexibles, said that the installation, undertaken during autumn 2019, had been a key part of the company’s planned development.
‘Everything changes at a breakneck pace and packaging is no exception,’ said Eriksson. ‘We welcome every challenge this brings and the ability to produce our own high-quality plates that deliver consistent print quality improves our agility to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers day in, day out.
‘Obviously, this is particularly valuable to us in terms of meeting the demands of those urgent, short runs with shorter lead times, but also on longer runs where consistency is key. With Esko’s reputation as the leading developer of integrated solutions, we are delighted to have been able to install the entire Crystal line into our plate making facility.’