ThermoFlexX offers the perfect imager for all segments in the flexo, letterpress, dry-offset and other associated markets.
The recent introduction of the ThermoFlexX 20 and 30 incorporates many of the unique features the bigger models, ThermoFlexX 48, 60 and 80, have been equipped with which differentiates them from any other Flexo imager available on the market. Furthermore, their built in dust and fume extraction and single phase electrical supply make these compact units very easy to fit into any working environment such as a small, quiet studio or convenient corner of a print shop-floor.
“ThermoFlexX is an innovator in the field of digital flexo plate imagers and the host of groundbreaking features offered on our larger models have been incorporated into the smaller ThermoFlexX 20 and 30 versions,” says Christophe Lievens, director sales and marketing for ThermoFlexX. “Their introduction brings to the labels, folding carton and dry-offset sectors an array of flexibility, productivity and quality that is unrivalled amongst digital flexo imagers.”
Features offered by the complete range of ThermoFlexX imagers include a choice of resolutions; 2400, 2540, 4000, 4800 all the way up to 5080 dpi. The latter is the highest on the market and allows the production of halftone screens of 275 lpi, and higher, suitable for intricate, high quality work. The ability to change resolution on-the-fly enables jobs with different resolutions to be produced on one and the same plate.
The state-of-the-art imaging head consists of three independent modules – the motor, laser and optics. The flexible design means that replacing any of these modules is straightforward, which simplifies service and hardware upgrades and provides the possibility for remote optical fine-tuning. The newly designed optical system has improved imaging quality even further.
Hybrid (vacuum/magnetic) drums are offered as an option on models up to the ThermoFlexX 48 making steel-back letter-press and pad printing plates very easy to handle.
Lievens continues “The ThermoFlexX vacuum slider is almost famous in the field of digital flexo plate imagers. The vacuum slider, on our larger imagers, automatically allocates vacuum to the area of the drum where the plate is mounted, on our smaller imagers the vacuum slider is moved manually to the edge of the plate. This bypasses the need of taping the plate, in case of imaging partial plates. It’s a simple innovation but simply can’t be over-stated in the ease it brings to making small or partial plates”.
ThermoFlexX imagers excel in plate handling functionality contributing to outstanding ease-of-use. The larger ThermoFlexX imagers, TFxX 48, 60 and 80, have been equipped with a FlexTray, which facilitates the plate loading and unloading. Once a plate is positioned on the FlexTray, a simple switch operation loads or unloads the plate, without any additional human intervention. With the ‘Hands-Free’ option an operator can leave the plate to image unsupervised and safely, simply operating the load switch and returning to an unloaded imaged plate. As for the new ThermoFlexX 20 and 30 models, an easy-to-use, foot operated clamping system with auto-drum locking, allows convenient and easy manual plate loading of these smaller plates.
The dual head ThermoFlexX imagers, 60-D and 80-D, have recently been equipped with a new pixel-stitching functionality that allows both imaging heads to be utilized to expose one job or single image covering a complete plate.
“This represents a significant leap forward in productivity,” comments Christophe Lievens. “Previously productivity depended on the layout of the jobs on the plate template – the more equally jobs could be divided over the plate, the higher the productivity. However, a full flat TIFF file could only be exposed by one imaging head. Operators will now be able to image that same full flat TIFF (or LEN) file using both heads at maximum productivity.
“By positioning the first head at the beginning of the drum, and the second head half-way along, each will expose 50% of the plate and a seamless pixel stitch will be made where one laser has stopped and the other started. The new pixel stitching functionality is available as an option on ThermoFlexX 80-D and 60-D models.”
All ThermoFlexX imagers utilise IPG fibre lasers operating at 1,064 nm, which combine low energy consumption with high reliability. The imagers will expose any plate with a LAM layer such as flexo, letterpress and dry offset, as well as Gallus Digital Screeny (digital screen) and ablative film. New DLE plates for Pad printing are also compatible with ThermoFlexX systems. The ThermoFlexX 20 and 30 can handle plate thicknesses thickness from a 0.18 mm ablative film up to a 3.98 mm flexo plate, while the larger ThermoFlexX imagers can handle plates up to a thickness of 7 mm.
ThermoFlexX imagers accept 1-bit TIFF files generated by any workflow, RIP or front-end and will handle any innovative screens such as hybrid or surface screens. The screened 1-bit TIFF file could be a single job file, which can be assembled on a template, or it could be an already assembled 1-bit TIFF plate. Working with LEN files is also possible. A philosophy of ‘openness’ means that ThermoFlexX imagers can be integrated seamlessly into existing workflows such as those from Esko Graphics, Hybrid Software, Kodak and Agfa along with classic and lower cost RIPs from, for example, Harlequin and StudioRIP.
“We are delighted to have joined the Flint Group’s global organisation, not least because the opportunities to accelerate business growth are extremely exciting,” says Christophe Lievens. “Xeikon has shown that its dedication to the newspaper, offset and flexo sectors has paid off in terms of market share, customer satisfaction and financial contribution. This next chapter in our more than 20-year existence opens many new doors for Xeikon, as well as for our customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.
“The Flint Group has developed strong working relationships with many leading global organisations within the graphic arts and packaging industries. Xeikon’s aim of delivering exceptional value, unparalleled service, consistent quality and continuous innovation is enhanced even further by the Flint Group’s reputation, knowledge, infrastructure and support.”