AFRICA STEREOS ENSURES CONSISTENT PLATE QUALITY WITH PLATERITE FX1524 PLATESETTER

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Africa Stereos has boosted its equipment line-up with the introduction of a new Screen PlateRite FX1524 platesetter, installed and commissioned by Kemtek Print Solutions’ specialised team.

Since 1996, Africa Stereos, based in Montague Gardens, Cape Town, has provided a polymer plate production service to a host of South African and sub-Saharan African printing companies.

Its customers benefit from a fully-comprehensive flexographic service, primarily to the corrugated industry, but also to roll-label, shrink label and flexible packaging convertors, with a focus on consistent quality plates and unparalleled customer service.

‘We supply polymer plates to some of South Africa’s leading packaging and label converters and the new Screen PlateRite system gives us more leverage in the market, providing us with new opportunities for growth,’ comments Sean. ‘It’s specifically designed for label production, flexible packaging, cartons, and corrugated packaging, which suits our business model perfectly. Our customers are already realising the benefits of its superior plate-setting features.’

In its standard configuration, the Screen PlateRite FX1524 supports a high-output resolution of
4 800 dpi and plate sizes up to 1 067 × 1 524mm, which can be loaded onto the drum with ease.

It eliminates many problems associated with platemaking using film, including image unevenness, dust particles, and UV scattering, as well as problems inherent in going from film to plate, such as film misalignment during platemaking and registration errors from film stretching. In short, it helps ensure consistent plate quality and reduces repeat plate waste. Its light source is a multi-channel laser diode, a long-life, reliable, high-powered laser that images the black mask layer of resin plates.

Sharp relief patterns can be created on this ultra-modern system, which ensures superior reproduction of fine lines and white knockout text. It also includes both highlight relief patterns and shadow cut-outs, for accurate minimum and maximum halftone dot sizes. This increases quality from the highlights to the shadows across a wide range of image densities. It also delivers smooth gradations, and almost completely eliminates unevenness, even in the highlight areas.

There’s a time-saving button-operated efficient loading mechanism, with leading and trailing edge clamps and a manual plate loading option as well, so the operator can choose the optimal plate loading procedure depending on the size of plate being used. Other features include high-end Spekta 2 AM/FM screening and Flexo Dot, specifically designed for flexographic printing.

Flexo Dot increases the minimum dot size and applies a reinforcing pattern to the base halftone dot shape. This results in more consistent relief patterns in the highlight areas. The minimum halftone dot shape can be selected from a line-up of shapes for each screen ruling, depending on the plate thickness and printing environments, for optimal highlight printing.

Spekta 2 is a new-generation form of hybrid AM/FM screening that is designed to make printing easier. Not only does it solve the problems of moiré and broken lines that sometimes occur when AM screening is used it also increases colour vibrancy.

Africa Stereos’ model also comes with multi-screening, which makes it possible to use the optimal type of screening for each object being printed, even if that means mixing different types of screening on a single page. It’s particularly useful for printing pages with such disparate elements as images, text, key lines, patterned backgrounds, tints, decorative lines, outlined text, and gradations.

‘The Screen PlateRite FX1524 produces the highest quality, precision-made plates and customers have noticed an immediate improvement in their print quality as a result of its capabilities,’ states Sean. ‘Investing in advanced technologies is paramount to our growth and the entire team is motivated and excited about the potential that it can offer. Put simply, it has added a new string to our bow,’ he adds. ‘We’ve also received exceptional training and service from Kemtek throughout the entire process. They have a solid understanding of our business and continue to provide us with invaluable advice and quality equipment and printing consumables.’

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