Neuefeind GmbH of Ochtendung, Germany, provides flexographic technology services encompassing all aspects of the packaging process, not just prepress and platemaking. The family-run firm employs 20 specialists, with its business roughly breaking down to 60% for direct printing on corrugated board, 20% for preprint corrugated and 20% for flexible packaging.
Neuefeind operates a Flexcel NX Wide 5080 System from Miraclon, which allows flexo platemaking in formats of up to 1270 x 2032mm. Customers in various sectors of the packaging printing industry profit not only from the higher print quality that comes from production with Flexcel NX Plates but also from improved efficiency, productivity and stability on press.
Depending on the job and the printing application, Neuefeind can supply both press-ready Flexcel NXC Plates for printing on corrugated and Flexcel NXH Plates in different thicknesses for other uses. According to Sven Neuefeind, Technical Director and Quality Management Officer, “customer feedback regarding the Flexcel NX Plates is invariably positive, and indeed many clients are reluctant to accept anything else. Digicap NX Patterning, which enables maximum control and stable ink transfer in combination with Advanced Edge Definition (AED), is a decisive criterion when it comes to getting the most out of the Flexcel NX Plates.” Neuefeind confirms that “choosing the optimum Digicap NX Patterning really can make all the difference.” The company has its own selection strategy here, which was developed especially for this purpose and takes account of the press parameters.
Flexcel NX Solutions – much more than simply better quality
When asked where the advantages of the Flexcel NX Solutions lie for printing on corrugated, Peter Schreier, Customer Service Director, mentions the example of a longstanding customer who does most of their business in the premium segment with coated top liners: “Our Flexcel NXC Plates were the catalyst for the client’s tremendous leap in press productivity because they permitted significantly longer cleaning intervals, even with fine line screens of 150 to 175lpi. The client is similarly impressed about the plates’ printing results, notably in the highlights.”
Numerous customers in the corrugated sector have testified to the Flexcel NX Plate technology’s other positive effects – the higher ink densities and better opacity on coated top liners, the improved ink laydown during overprinting (e.g. text on background graphics, particularly with metallic inks). Digicap NX Patterning also enables control of the ink volume transferred on press with only one set of anilox rollers but producing corrugated print jobs with varying types of top liner.
Schreier, cites an example from a flexible packaging customer: “By switching to Flexcel NX Plates, our customer realized a double-digit increase in productivity on an older press. Plate cleaning intervals have been all but eliminated, even during temporary print stoppages. We also found on-press behavior to be very stable in the highlights, which is good for print quality.”
The Flexcel NX System’s capabilities have repeatedly helped Neuefeind win orders for flexo from other printing processes, for instance from digital as illustrated by a recent example at a paper napkin production plant. “The customer wanted a subject to be printed in digital-like quality. The challenge was that the image to be printed consisted simply of multi-colored rings with smooth gradients approaching a tonal value of 0%. The whole project was rendered even more difficult by the fact that, owing to the press configuration, it was not possible to exchange the anilox rollers in order to adjust the pick-up volume,” Schreier explains. “However, by applying our unique Flexcel NX Plate imaging strategy, we managed to print the application using Maxtone hybrid screening on Flexcel NX Plates, and no tonal breaks or ink build-up were visible.”
The Kodak Flexcel NX Solution from Miraclon has become an indispensable production tool for Neuefeind.