Miraclon, the new home of Kodak Flexcel solutions, has introduced its next generation Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution at Labelexpo.
Originally launched for the US market in 2018, the Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution is an addition to its Flexcel NX product family and has the advantages of the imaging and print performance capabilities of the core Flexcel NX technology.
It is a solvent-free, VOC-free, water-based processing solution that allows printers to create a press-ready plate in what Miraclon says is less than an hour.
Enabled by patented Kodak Ultra Clean technology and developed by the Miraclon team, the Flexcel NX Ultra Solution is, according to the company, the first aqueous solution that provides consistent, high-performing flexo plates in a high volume, low maintenance environment.
The solution also includes the Flexcel NX System for imaging, paired with the new Flexcel NX Ultra Processing System and new Flexcel NX Ultra Plate, delivering a complete end-to-end plate making solution.
The all-in-one processing system combines exposure, washout, drying and finishing in a robust system with automated cleaning cycles.
Flexcel NX Ultra Plates utilise a flat top dot structure, Kodak NX Advantage technology and patented Advanced Edge Definition, enabling ink transfer control during printing that delivers quality and production efficiency.
The plates will be available in thicknesses of 1.14 mm and 1.70 mm and are ideal for label, paperboard and flexible packaging applications.
Miraclon CEO Chris Payne said, “Over the past decade, the Kodak Flexcel NX System has revolutionised the flexo industry, bringing an unmatched level of quality and performance to flexo printing for the benefit of everyone involved in the packaging value chain.
“Our rich heritage in flexo has established a track record of technical innovation in the flexo space that drives growth and business success for our customers. We’re focused on solving complex technical challenges, and our Kodak Ultra Clean technology has solved the fundamental challenge of ‘inconsistency’ traditionally associated with aqueous processed flexo plates.
“This enables printers to take advantage of our plate technology without the hassle of solvent processing. Our early adopters in the US and beta customers in Europe are already proving that this technology is enabling them to drive the transformation of flexo and better meet brands’ needs.”
Miraclon worldwide product manager Bill Schweinfurth said the solution was created as its customers were demanding choice between solvent-based and aqueous-based systems.
“We listened to our customers and delivered to the market an aqueous-based Flexcel NX solution using all of the technology that the Flexcel NX can drive while at the same time, preserving the quality, consistency and productivity that printers are looking for,” he said.
“We’re just starting our journey in aqueous but what we use isn’t Sulphur based which results in tiny pieces of debris. Kodak Ultra Clean technology is plant-based. The polymer is suspended in the water and doesn’t clump together so no debris gets onto the plate.”
The product is just finishing up on beta and is expected to be commercially available in the first half of next year.