Asahi Photoproducts Announce Next-Generation Flexographic Plate Processor


The AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor is the first water-wash processor of its kind with an automated process from plate wash-out to the UV finished plate, including plate processing, rinsing, drying and UV post exposure within one system.

‘The market of larger volume users for AWPTM flexo plates and particularly for flexible packaging applications, is growing,’ said Dieter Niederstadt, Technical Marketing Manager. ‘For that reason, it was time for us to introduce a new member to our largest format processor family. Exclusively focusing on using the new AWPTM-DEW plate with this processor allows us to reduce the environmental footprint of the platemaking process by reducing the content of additives in the washout solution. It also allows us to dramatically speed-up the time for each plate coming out of the line.’

The system is designed to be able to use two standard formats at approximately 3-5 plates per hour, either 1200 x 900mm (48 x 36 inch) or 1067 x 1524mm (42 x 60 inch), which gives incredible flexibility in machine utilisation. The processor is an automated combination of washer-dryer-light finishing, providing the opportunity for reduction of operator hands-on requirements and potential associated errors. For customers who already have a separate light finisher, the processor is available in a version without the light finisher function. This processor combination is the first incremental system of its kind and also features an improved UVA/UVC inline post exposure uniformity vs. offline systems with light finishing drawer.

With the introduction of the new processor, Asahi has also realised the need to improve its AWPTM machine maintenance concept for its customers. As just-in-time production today is very important, the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor has a modem communication link on all machines to the processor’s human machine interface (HMI). This allows its technical support team to connect with the customer machine from any location for first level maintenance support.

The company’s experience shows that 60% of the causes of all machine-related service issues can be traced with this support. In addition to tracing the cause of any problems, Asahi has also introduced a remote smart glass support concept as a future option on all systems.

According to Alex Downes, Asahi Service Engineer, ‘The difference this functionality makes is unbelievable; pictures can explain so much more than words. A typical support interaction with a customer which took me hours of travel time in the past can now pin point the detailed problem in no time, allowing us to either fix the problem immediately or at least send the exact needed spare part to the customer.’

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