Esko Receives FTA Technical Innovation Award

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Esko recently received the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) Technical Innovation Award in the category of Prepress-Graphics for the Crystal XPS exposure unit.

Announced at the FTA’s Annual Forum gala awards banquet, on 30 April in Phoenix, Arizona the award was accepted on behalf of Esko by Pascal Thomas, Esko director Flexo business and Rory Marsoun, VP business development–Flexo, Americas.

The Crystal XPS, part of a complete automated platemaking system, is a digitally controlled LED UV exposure unit, providing nearly simultaneous main and back exposures and supports all photopolymer flexo plates.

‘Esko has always pioneered ways for flexo trade shops and printer/converters to produce plates better and more efficiently. We have innovated flexo plate imaging ever since the digital imaging device was introduced at drupa in 1995 with the CDI, and we received an FTA Technical Innovation award in 1998 as the first computer-to-plate system for photopolymer flexographic printing,’ said Thomas. ‘Likewise, Esko’s HD Flexo and Full HD Flexo technology have received a number of industry tributes. Now we are thrilled that the Crystal XPS exposure unit has been similarly honoured. We are convinced it is a revolutionary technology in the same way as the CDI was, offering extraordinary, consistent quality as well as a way to automate flexo platemaking operations.’

For more than two decades, FTA has sought to recognise and celebrate the achievements made by individuals and companies, large and small, which have contributed to the growth of flexography. The Technical Innovation Award recognises companies and/or individuals whose visions and perseverance bring new products and technologies to the flexographic marketplace.

The Crystal XPS, ultimately part of a complete automated platemaking system, is a digitally-controlled exposure unit, supporting all photopolymer flexo plates. Plates are placed onto the glass surface, where very accurate back and main exposures, by patented LED UV light technology that allows very precise control, are conducted simultaneously. Nothing else is required from the operator. The consistent light source and nearly concurrent back and main exposure deliver unmatched relief and image consistency combined with perfectly formed flat-top dots.

By linking the XPS to the CDI, automating and simplifying the flexo plate making process is coming much closer. The combined CDI Crystal XPS solution reduces five manual steps in the traditional platemaking process to just one step. The platemaking device integrates with the entire prepress workflow, including Device Manager, to optimally control the output of plates. In addition, soon the imaging and exposing units will connect to a plate processor. Thus, flexo platemaking will become an easy and controlled process with high quality, consistent output.