Following a successful trial in May 2021, a UK-based converter Aztec Labels has invested in Fujifilm’s water washable Flenex plates to introduce time and cost savings on top of environmental benefits.
Established in 1993, Aztec Label manufactures a wide range of self-adhesive labels and tags for customers in the UK and abroad. The company has been growing steadily since its founding and now employs 25 people at its West Midlands facility and turns over GBP 3.6 million annually.
‘The key demands our customers place on us are quality and speed of delivery,’ commented Colin Le Gresley, managing director of Aztec Label. ‘Whatever the industry, whether it’s food and beverage, pharma and medical, household and personal care, automotive or any number of other sectors – all of our customers are looking for consistently high-quality and reliably prompt delivery. To make sure we’re meeting those expectations, we’re always on the lookout for technological solutions that will help us improve, and that’s why we decided to trial Fujifilm’s Flenex FW water-washable plates.
‘We’d been having some issues with the plate material from our previous supplier, and Fujifilm’s Flenex solution looked like a promising alternative to us. We already had a strong working relationship with Fujifilm, having used their inks for some time. The Flenex trial was an instant success, immediately remedying the problems we were facing. We achieved excellent plate washout in half the time with no sludge build-up in the processor. Platemaking is faster now, and there are far fewer plate failures, so it was an easy decision.’
Aztec has been making water wash plates for nearly a decade as part of the company’s commitment to sustainability and the environment. The company made a significant investment in solar power several years ago by installing photovoltaic panels across the factory roof as part of a GBP 250,000 refurbishment. The company was also an early adopter of the British Printing Industries Federation’s Zero Labels 2 Landfill scheme in 2017.
‘The Flenex investment is yet another step in helping us continue to be a sustainable pre-press and print supplier,’ added Le Gresley.
Andy Kent, divisional manager for Fujifilm Graphic Systems UK, said: ‘Flenex FW plates provide both exceptional print quality and productivity, while significantly lowering the cost-in-use compared to thermal, solvent or even other water-wash alternatives. We’re delighted to bring this technology to Aztec Label, both helping them to improve their service to customers and further enhance their environmental credentials.’
A Fujifilm C-Touch processor and new Fujifilm UV-LED JJ inks also form part of the investment. Le Gresley credits the processor with further time savings to the platemaking process and is impressed with the performance of the inks.