Solvent-Free Plate Technology’s Changing Role in Flexo
Solvent-free prepress will be one of the technologies causing real industry waves in 2022, says Creation Reprographics, origination partner to the label and packaging print sector. The business has commented on where solvent-free flexo plate technology sits currently, as well as where it might move in the future.
Creation Reprographics is predicting that removing solvents from pre-press will be the next significant step-change in printed packaging sustainability, which will spike demand for water-washable plate technology in the coming months.
Matt Francklow, Managing Director at Creation Reprographics, said: “In a year marked by instability and uncertainty, we’re all looking to regain normalcy in the industry. It’s clear that a major part of this is a strong re-focus on supply chain sustainability, which remains critical to the consumer. The coming year is set to mark real change for printers, not least when it comes to meeting environmental commitments.
“We’re anticipating that solvent-free plate technology will play a significant role in flexo in 2022. From our unique perspective as a prepress partner, we are seeing printers explore new ways to bring ‘green’ technology earlier into their supply chain, which is where water-washable flexo plates drive real value. The volatile cost of solvent through the global pandemic has only strengthened the case for solvent-free printing.”
Creation Reprographics prides itself on its full service offering for printers, a key component of which is making sustainable technology accessible and effective. The business offers solvent-free flexo plates including Asahi AWP™ and DuPont™ Cyrel® FAST, as well as digital workflow technology designed to boost efficiency and minimise waste in all its forms.
Matt continued: “In the label and packaging sector, we’re always looking for signs of what that next major step-change for the industry will be, and how we can move the sustainability conversation forward. There's clear environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments from brands and retailers and the packaging prepress sector has the opportunity to make harmful prepress VOC washout a thing of the past. As such, water washable plate solutions have to part of that trend and ultimately, we believe that solvent-free plates will be the standard, not the exception.