German packaging converter Arwed Löseke Paper Processing and Printing has upgraded its printing operation with a Bobst M6 LED hybrid flexographic printing press utilizing Asahi AWP-DEW CleanPrint water-washable printing plates and UV inks. This move is aimed to speed up the plate production process and reduce the overall CO2 footprint.
Löseke is a fifth-generation, family-owned business with a large machine park, including a 10-color rotogravure and a 10-color CI flexo printing presses. The company was founded in Hildesheim in 1883, has about 250 employees, and is currently managed by managing director and owner Ariane Löseke.
In addition to the new Bobst M6 in-line flexo press, the company acquired an Asahi AWP 4835P water-wash plate processor and an Esko CDI XPS plate imaging system to bring flexo plate making in-house. In addition to eliminating solvent-wash printing plates, the company can offer customers more flexibility and faster turnaround times without sacrificing quality, including new applications such as adhesive labels.
‘The benefit of this new configuration, and a key reason for choosing the Asahi AWP-DEW plates, is the improvement in print quality,’ added Sebastian Spitzer, responsible for technical administration at Arwed Löseke. ‘The AWP-DEW is a specially engineered plate, which also minimizes print smearing.’
‘It is important for the company and our customers to reduce the CO2 footprint,’ added Ariane Löseke. ‘By implementing the new extended gamut 7-color LED hybrid flexographic printing press with AWP CleanPrint water-washable plates and fixed color palette capability, the company not only reduces long job change over time but is also able to reduce the inventory of spot color inks for the printing press.’
In addition, Löseke invested in new flexo platemaking equipment to bring platemaking in-house. This process was outsourced in the past, and the technological transformation has enabled the company to produce plates just-in-time for the job and generate less waste in the press room due to the virtual elimination of the need for press stops for plate cleaning.
‘We were impressed with the quality and productivity we saw during our search for the best solutions, as well as the fact that Asahi has a joint development partnership with Esko, another recognized industry leader,’ said Spitzer. ‘As we gain more experience with the technology, we hope to be able to transfer some of our work from other technologies, such as rotogravure, to this more sustainable flexographic process.
‘Even if we do need to replace a plate during the print run, we can produce a new one in less than an hour, much more quickly than can be done with outsourced solvent-based platemaking. We have communicated all these value propositions to our customers, and they are very appreciative of the types of investments we are making on their behalf.’
‘We are pleased to welcome Arwed Löseke as an Asahi customer,’ commented Martin Schreil, sales representative for DACH at Asahi Photoproducts. ‘It is always a pleasure to work with forward-thinking companies looking to future-proof their businesses with sustainability as a key driver. We believe our partnership is a good step in that direction, and we look forward to continuing to work together.’