Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, today reported that it has partnered with Hamillroad Software to implement Bellissima DMS (digitally modulated screening) ultra-high definition flexographic screening technology with its AWP™ CleanPrint water wash flexographic plates. The partnership delivers best-in-class image reproduction, combined with one of the most sustainable approaches to flexographic platemaking on the market.
“We first engaged with Hamillroad as a result of an Asahi customer who wanted to use their screening technology with our plates but could not. That inspired us to pursue the Hamillroad plate qualification program, which validated that we could deliver even better quality by making this screening technology available with our CleanPrint plates”, said Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi’s Director of Technical Marketing. “By implementing Bellessima DMS screening with Asahi AWPTM CleanPrint plates, flexographic operations can take their production to a new level of quality and productivity. In addition, with our Solvent ZERO approach, they can also reduce their carbon footprint and take advantage of the Carbon Neutral status we have achieved in order to facilitate calculation of their Scope 3 emissions.” According to McKinsey, “Companies increasingly recognize the need to reduce emissions that occur in their upstream or downstream value chain—and these are sometimes referred to as Scope 3 emissions, as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.” Asahi’s work toward both Solvent ZERO and Carbon Neutrality will benefit companies as they strive to improve their sustainability credentials.
Niederstadt points out that this implementation also improves the ability of flexo operations to deliver high quality Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) printing, also referred to as Fixed Color Palette Printing, which uses a standardized ink set enhancing the ability to reproduce any color. This process also eliminates the need for press wash-up between print jobs, further increasing the sustainability of flexographic printing. He states, “Additionally, using ECG 7-color printing with Bellissima modulated screening eliminates the risk of creating visible rosette patterns or screen clashes due to the use of extra colors, as would be the case when using amplitude modulated screening technologies. We also believe that Bellissima screening brings the type of quality improvement that can help companies transition from gravure to a more sustainable flexo printing process by achieving the fine highlight transitions to zero as well as good solid ink densities.”
All Asahi AWPTM CleanPrint plates are water washable. The AWPTM-DEW plates are already certified Carbon Neutral in collaboration with the Carbon Trust and the AWPTM-CleanFlat plates are currently in the final stages of the Carbon Neutral approval program. Both plates are designed with sustainability in mind. They reduce waste and environmental impact by minimizing ink and solvent usage and reducing makeready time and waste. And since they are water washable, they eliminate the need for harsh chemicals in the platemaking process.