Leading Swedish packaging converter AR Packaging Flexibles, formerly Flextrus, is taking advantage of the latest developments in flexographic hardware and software technology from Esko to bring its entire plate making operation back in house. The flexible packaging specialist has introduced the full Esko workflow and Crystal line of plate making solutions at its plant in Lund, in Sweden’s southern province.
“We are thrilled to have been able to supply this complete solution for AR Packaging Flexibles,” said James Mason, Esko Regional Business Director, EMEA North. “The company has been outsourcing its plate making to a local supplier for a long time, but has now effectively ‘insourced’ their entire plate production. Using the latest technology in terms of improved simplicity and optimized quality, they also enjoy the added benefit of full Esko support in training, maintenance and troubleshooting.”
A member of the AR Packaging Group - one of Europe’s leading companies in the sector with 28 factories located across 13 countries – AR Packaging Flexibles is at the forefront of the flexible packaging sector, with a focus on the food and healthcare markets. Running six flexographic presses, the company has three specialized plants - in Halmstad and Lund, Sweden, and Highbridge in England.
“With the new Crystal technology from Esko, the plate making process - in terms of imaging and exposure - is now much less complex and has significantly fewer steps,” said James. “The integration of our workflow solutions and hardware technology means that the AR Packaging Flexibles team are now completely in control of the quality and performance of their plates and subsequent print consistency.”
At the heart of its system, AR Packaging Flexibles has installed the award-winning Esko XPS Crystal exposure unit. Combining UV main and back exposure, the XPS Crystal uses LEDs which do not require warm-up time and always emit even light, producing excellent consistency of plate quality and subsequently on press.
“As well as the latest imaging technology, the team is using Esko Automation Engine, Device Manager and the award-winning Print Control Wizard – with its Crystal Screening technology - to automate the workflow, with a Kongsberg X20 Edge for flexo plate cutting,” explained James. “They have a full Esko Crystal ecosystem in operation, producing consistently high quality plates.”
Olof Eriksson, Prepress Manager with AR Packaging Flexibles, said that the installation, undertaken during autumn 2019, had been a key part of the company’s planned development. “Everything changes at a breakneck pace and packaging is no exception,” said Mr Eriksson. “We welcome every challenge this brings and the ability to produce our own high-quality plates that deliver consistent print quality improves our agility to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers day in, day out.
“Obviously, this is particularly valuable to us in terms of meeting the demands of those urgent, short runs with shorter lead times, but also on longer runs where consistency is key. With Esko’s reputation as the leading developer of integrated solutions, we are delighted to have been able to install the entire Crystal line into our plate making facility.”