UK-based Aztec Label has invested in Toyobo water wash plate technology to further boost its sustainability strategy, increase performance, quality and minimize downtime.
‘Our latest investment in Toyobo water washable plate technology has had a significant impact on the business. It’s a major improvement on the material we were using previously, with better all-round performance and plate quality,’ commented Colin Le Gresley, managing director of Aztec Label. ‘The plates are easy to process and use delivering a huge reduction in downtime for us due to the much cleaner wastewater effluent. This has resulted in a substantial time saving in processor cleaning, which in turn has lowered our costs. It’s great when a solution meets the needs of our business, customers and the environment.’
Toyobo, a Japanese platemaking specialist, commercialized Cosmolight technology, to produce water washable plates that are resistant to solvent, UV and water-based inks. With an integrated flat top dot, Cosmolight keeps stable small dots on the plate with near 1:1 reproduction, low dot-gain and prints fine screens and smooth vignettes. Efficient ink transfer enabled Aztec Label to achieve great solid area densities, as well as deliver an improvement to the operators’ working environment with no solvent emissions from the washout process. Additionally, the water washable flexo plate can be made press ready in 45 minutes.
Shaun Stevens, director of Evolve Solutions, the reseller for Toyobo plate technology in the UK, added: ‘We were delighted to work with Colin and the team at Aztec to deliver this solution. With many regions in the UK looking to Net Zero as a target for carbon emissions in the not too distant future, it’s key that printers are seeking alternatives to solvents wherever possible. Of course, with the current Covid-19 situation also creating price hikes for ethanol, having water wash plates is also extremely cost effective.’
‘It’s clear, despite the current focus on the unfortunate coronavirus situation that we all find ourselves in, that the environmental agenda is still front of mind for many brands and their consumers. By eliminating solvents from our plate production process seven years ago, we were ahead of the curve in minimizing our environmental impact,’ concluded LeGresley.