French manufacturer Saint André Plastique has invested in nyloflex FTM digital flexo plates from XSYS to increase print quality as it focuses on paper-based flexible packaging production.
Situated in Normandy, Saint André Plastique specializes in flexible packaging products, both paper and plastic, mainly for the food industry. The manufacturing company, which was established in 1973, remains in the hands of the founding family and is today headed up by Fabienne and her brother Mathias Lebreton.
The innovation lies at the heart of the company’s ethos, with an R&D department working on new technologies to meet current requirements for sustainability, convenience and high quality. Saint André Plastique has been nurturing its sustainable development approach for the past 15 years and actively participates in local and regional initiatives where members collectively work towards more responsible options.
‘We are currently working on expanding paper-based alternatives to plastics to adapt our business to new market needs and stricter regulations, so we decided to evaluate our plate inventory to see if there was room for improvement,’ said Fabienne Lebreton, president of Saint André Plastique.
‘We have used plates from Flint Group, and now XSYS, for many years and always associate its products with high quality and innovation, which is why we turned to them when we wanted to improve image quality even further,’ added Jean-Michel Levoy, Industrial director at Saint André Plastique.
The nyloflex FTM digital flexo plate, introduced at the beginning of 2021, has been developed by XSYS to allow converters to address paper applications in flexo printing more efficiently by facilitating the switch from solvent to water-based printing. The plate is created with inherent flat-top dot technology and offers superior ink laydown and highlights. It prints equally well on a wide range of coated and uncoated papers where printers previously needed several plate types. Waste and costs can be reduced by consolidating jobs and combining solids and screens on the same plate. This also means storing a smaller plate inventory for a leaner operation.
‘We are very impressed with the performance of the new nyloflex FTM plate, which allows us to maintain color consistency and repeatability, and that is incredibly important in the flexible packaging segment,’ said Levoy. ‘The plate has an excellent transfer rate which translates to a very high printing resolution even on uncoated paper.’
The company also incorporated the nyloflex FTM digital into production to capitalize on the flexo plate’s productivity benefits. In addition, because the plate comes with built-in flat-top dot technology, it slots right into the workflow at Saint André Plastique without the need for any additional special equipment or auxiliaries, meaning the company can expose the plate in its existing system before the solvent processing takes place.
‘Being 100 percent integrated with pre-press, platemaking and printing on the same premises means that we are in complete control of the whole process. That also gives us a speed advantage to implement new solutions, such as the nyloflex FTM, and deliver great results to our customers very quickly. We have a real partnership with the XSYS team; it supports our drive for ever-increasing quality and sustainability in every way it can with products, know-how, and service. We certainly enjoy all the benefits of its innovations, and the excellent potential we now realize with the new nyloflex FTM digital plate is very typical of that great relationship,’ concluded Levoy.