Contact Originators invests in third Esko Crystal line

The investment powers UK-based flexo plates manufacturer to expand its offering into new markets.

L-R: Contact Originators CEO Steve Mulcahy and finance director Gary Walker with Esko flexo sales manager Mike Ball

L-R: Contact Originators CEO Steve Mulcahy and finance director Gary Walker with Esko flexo sales manager Mike Ball

Manchester, UK-based flexo plates manufacturer Contact Originators has installed third CDI Crystal XPS imager and exposing unit, making it the first in Europe to boast a fleet of three Esko lines and enabling it to increase its share in the flexible packaging and labels markets.

Contact, already a well-established and award-winning company in the corrugated packaging sector aims to increase its share of the flexible packaging and labels markets.

‘The combination of the CDI Crystal flexo imager with the XPS Crystal exposing unit offers a perfect, consolidated flexo platemaking workflow, something the team at Contact are very familiar with as longstanding customers and early adopters of the technology,’ said Mike Ball, Esko sales account manager. ‘The system excels in efficiency and delivers immediate tangible benefits, from reducing manual steps by half and minimizing errors to reduce plate waste, through to freeing up valuable operator time by more than 70 percent.

‘The award-winning Esko Print Control Wizard software ensures a simplified, standardized approach to take process parameters like ink, printing press, substrate and aniloxes into consideration for screen and curve creation. Outputting a set of Crystal Screens and curves used for plate exposing on this third CDI Crystal XPS, Contact has the setup in place to boost capacity and throughput while delivering the most optimal flexo print quality to its customers across the corrugated, wide web and labels sectors.’

Complementing an impressive setup at Contact’s 32,500 square feet site, the latest CDI Crystal XPS has enabled the company to diversify its offering.

Nick Mitchell, operations director of Contact Originators Group, commented: ‘Following several months spent rebuilding and installing the best industry-leading and unique equipment, we are deep into the second phase of our strategic plan for growth. As we continue to gain market share in the flexibles and label markets while consolidating our already established corrugated business, we see it as vital to invest in our future.’

As one of the established names in corrugated packaging pre-press, Contact’s equipment and reputation makes the company ideally suited to the needs of today’s flexible packaging and label printers.

‘Throughout 2023 we enjoyed an influx of new customers across all flexo print disciplines, including wide web flexibles,’ said Mitchell. ‘The installation of a new CDI Crystal XPS represents the start of an exciting new era here at Contact. We always have one eye on the future, and we are thrilled to be bringing the same level of expertise and best-in-class technologies on which we built our reputation in corrugated packaging to our customers in flexibles and labels.’

The latest CDI Crystal XPS is part of a new dedicated HD production hall for flexible packaging and label plates at the facility, and integrates into the company’s existing workflows.

‘As a long-standing partner of Esko, Contact Originators is a business renowned for pushing the boundaries and investing in the latest technology to deliver the very best service to its customers,’ added Ball. ‘We are delighted to continue that relationship and to be a part of their journey.’

The Esko XPS Crystal recently achieved Certified Energy Savings and Dematerialization certifications from GreenCircle, the internationally recognized third-party certification entity that independently verifies the validity of sustainability claims.