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  • 30 Sep 2021

Esko launches CDI Crystal 4260 PlateHandler and PlateFeeder-S

Esko has launched its latest plate making technology CDI Crystal 4260 XPS

Esko has launched its latest plate making technology CDI Crystal 4260 XPS, delivering automation, enhanced quality, increased simplicity and improved reliability to the plate room.

The CDI Crystal 4260 XPS requires just one hour of training, with single touch operation using an intuitive screen interface and enables unattended operation, according to Esko. The Esko XPS Crystal technology combines UV main and back exposure, using LEDs that emit consistent UV light. 
 
Pascal Thomas, director of Flexo Business at Esko, said: ‘The impact of Covid-19 has only compounded the demands on the packaging prepress and printing sector – be that increasing production complexity, shorter run lengths or a need for fast turnaround to meet their brand customers’ need for speed to market. 
 
‘Maintaining prepress quality and efficiency in the face of such complexity is challenging, when also needing to manage product and service quality and minimize costs to remain competitive. The answer lies in digitizing, automating and connecting the prepress and plate making process to drive down costs, increase quality and speed, and eliminate waste and errors in resources, time and materials. To that end, we are introducing the newest member of the Esko CDI family, the CDI Crystal 4260 XPS.’ 
 
The combination of the CDI Crystal flexo imager with the XPS Crystal exposing unit offers a consolidated flexo plate making workflow. ‘Redefined from scratch, the integration and automation of the digital imaging and LED UV exposure processes improves consistency and overall ease of use for prepress operators,’ Thomas said.  
 
The CDI Crystal 4260 XPS is claimed to reduce manual steps by 50 percent and errors by 50 percent. It reduces operator time by as much as 73 percent. 
 
Esko introduced the PlateHandler, a robotic device connecting the CDI Crystal imager with the XPS Crystal exposure unit. Integrating the Esko PlateHandler into the system reduces the number of operator touchpoints, freeing up to 50 percent of their time and enabling them to attend other more value-adding tasks such as quality control, plate storage and plate mounting.  
 
The new Esko PlateFeeder-S enables distortion-free transportation of plates from storage to the CDI. The table can be tilted to pass through doors and docked onto the CDI to ensure perfect plate positioning and digital connection to the CDI Crystal. Its cover sheet can also be removed to provide free access from all sides without static charge input. 
 
Integrating the PlateFeeder-S into the setup prevents idling between plates due to the operator attending to other tasks. Additional plate can be positioned for automated transportation into the CDI Crystal immediately when available. 
 
‘The operator only needs to attend the machine once within each imaging cycle, to load a new plate and unload the exposed plate from the XPS Crystal,’ Thomas added.   
 
‘With the PlateFeeder-S, once docked, it becomes visible on the CDI touchscreen and integrates into the automated workflow enabling the operator to position a new plate at any time during the 15-minute imaging process. Built-in sensors also secure accurate plate loading via the PlateHandler, avoiding plate waste and further errors. The PlateFeeder-S eliminates 100 percent of the plate loading idle time on the CDI Crystal XPS resulting in uninterrupted plate making, reducing system idling by up to 40 and delivering a 40 percent reduction in human touch points.’ 
 
The new technology reportedly increases plate making productivity by 15 percent.  

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