Esko Receives PIA InterTech Technology Award

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The Esko XPS Crystal flexo plate exposure unit was the recent recipient of the Printing Industries of America (PIA) InterTech Technology Award.

The new, unique XPS Crystal, part of a complete automated platemaking system, is a digitally controlled LED UV exposure unit providing nearly simultaneous main and back exposures and supporting all photopolymer flexo plates. The XPS Crystal is the tenth PIA InterTech Award Esko has received since 2003.

‘We are excited that the XPS Crystal exposure unit has been honoured with a PIA InterTech Technology Award, and flexography continues to be acknowledged as a strong, viable print technology,’ remarked Rory Marsoun, Esko VP business development, Flexo, Americas. ‘We are already seeing considerable interest in not only the XPS Crystal, but the complete CDI Crystal XPS solution, integrating our CDI imager and XPS plate exposure systems.’

‘The judges praised Esko’s innovation that both streamlines flexographic platemaking by automatically moving plates from the imager to the exposure unit and improves plate consistency with UV LEDs, where the back and main exposures occur nearly concurrently,’ said Jim Workman, vice president of Printing Industries of America’s Centre for Technology and Research.

Plates are placed onto the glass surface, where accurate back and main exposures by patented LED UV light technology that allow very precise control are conducted simultaneously. Nothing else is required from the operator. The consistent light source and main and back exposure (termed, by Esko, as nearly concurrent ‘dwell time’) deliver unmatched relief and image consistency combined with perfectly formed flat-top dots. As a result, these plates deliver the highest level of consistency and quality on press.

Because the XPS Crystal system can be connected on one side to a CDI flexo plate imager and to the other by a plate processor, the flexo plate making process is automated and much simpler to use and high quality, plate consistency is assured. The CDI XPS Crystal solution makes flexo platemaking a simple and controlled process with fewer manual steps and, thus, fewer chances for errors. Combined with Esko smart automated prepress workflows, it is now easier for flexo label printers, printers and converters to bring platemaking in-house to shorten their lead times and improve their press and finishing equipment uptimes.

‘In addition to the InterTech Technology Award, viewing products from the entire printing industry, the XPS Crystal has been recognised with the 2017 FTA Technical Innovation Award as a significant flexo product, and the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017, one of the most respected product global design competitions,’ said Philippe Adam, Esko vice president, marketing. ‘The XPS Crystal is truly a revolutionary product, and we are excited that others acknowledge its significance. With this innovative platemaking technology, the next few years promise to deliver an even greater share of print work to flexo.’