Kodak Flexcel NX

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Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby mattg1 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:38 pm

This is actually a follow up from an earlier topic that has had no replies since last May. Does anyone have any more experience with the Kodak NX plates? We've been using them in a 'testing' mode for about 8 months now and the quality is outstanding compared to Cyrel. I'd like to know what issues, if any, that anyone has had.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby vandium » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:58 am

What are suppose to be the benefits? Are these capped plates?
Why did you decide to try these out? Cost efficient, or quality design?

I have tried MacDermid (solvent) capped plates (although now they have a Digital NXT plate now), and these worked quite well as well. With deep colors, as well as the ability to work with a lower line anilox on screens, and minimal dot gain.

I have also worked with the DFH plates, which are harder than the DFM, and am able to get some nice dot work out of the harder plates. Although, you cannot go below a certain cylinder size, or you will get really bad plate lifting. I think it was around 100+ tooth @ 1/8 gear pitch. You do not get the depth of color as you do with the capped plates, but was abel to get the 3-5% dots to lay nicer than with the softer DFM plates.

Although, I don't think these tended to last real long, especially on long runs. And also on runs with some artwork that might be spread apart so far that the repeats kind of hit hard, which caused leading edge dots to smash quickly, even with bearer bars.

Please update.
Good Luck
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby mattg1 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:48 pm

The benefits were supposed to be better hilites, less dot gain and more stable print. We've experienced all of these to varying degrees on different substrates. The quality improvements have been outstanding but that has not been the issue for us it has been runability.

I'm wondering if anyone using these plates has had issues with them. I believe that our issues have as much to do with finding the proper anilox, tape, ink combination as anything, but I want to see if there's anyone out there that has experience with these plates.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Rok » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:15 pm

Hi

We are using Flexcel NX plates on regular jobs for about five months. The results we achieve are fantastic. As you write the highlights are better, with use of compensation curve you can print like in offset standard, at start you get good print very quickly. One print house for witch we produce plates has a lot of long runs. Till now the longest run was about 440000 meters - about three days with three shifts. So right now everything is OK.

But on the beginning we have quite a lot of problems to resolve. You can’t just came and say I can produce a plate with 175 lpi and you will print it :-) . So in all this time we learn a lot and we are still learning. Every part of process matters and there is no rule for everybody. You must test tape, anilox, different inks. We get better results with Lohmann softer tape. The story about anilox rolls is again something special. You really must make test with all anilox rolls, for every color (Process and Pantone) and material to get optimum results. On short printing with Flexcel NX plates is easier, faster and printout is perfect. But to achieve this, you must go trough every step of the process and consider what you wish. If print house wish to print faster (270 m/min) then the resolution of plates will be lower or we chose the maxtone value for minimum dot to 30 microns….
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby mattg1 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:20 pm

Thanks Rok. If there is anyone else out there with experience with these plates I'd appreciate your input good or bad.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Robert S » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:06 pm

If you're already fingerprinting your process and familiar with printing process work at 133 or 150 line the transition to the Kodak plate is not too bad. The quality is exceptional and the technical assistance from their headquarter is very good. We have tested a number of the plate sets from Kodak but have not yet installed a system of our own. We did submit and win an award in the FTA using the NX plates.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby david » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:09 am

hi all
we are a printers and have been running the nx kodak plate for the last month or so, getting great results on small runs but keeping it clean and consistent on the longer runs are an issue has anyone had these problems or have any ideas
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Mr.Black » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:27 pm

Hello,

We have been working with these plates for a year now and we have got great results depending on the market. We have found that it has worked great in the narrow web and folding carton market. Wide web flexible packaging has been more challenging when doing long run lengths but we are working on this and are confident that it will be resolved. As some of you have said, you have to find the right stickyback, anilox, and, ink (especially with the solvent inks). You really need to do your homework and get everyone in the process involved in order to achieve the litho gravure results we all are looking for.

That being said, there has been confirmation that these plates are used in the U.K with great results in the wide web flexible market - Reverse print lamination.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby david » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:15 am

hi all
Thank you mr black for making me aware of the problems that need resolving with the kodak nx plates ,
Especially that we are a solvent based and wide web printers.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Mr.Black » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:22 am

HI David,

Let me know how you make out and if you resolved your issues.

Regards,
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Frank Burgos » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:40 am

Hi Guys,

Sorry for the late response. I also read the earlier thread mattg1 referred to, and I though it was a great thread.

I only have a tiny bit of input related to these Kodak plates. I have not participated in long runs with them, and can't speak to their overall performance in live production environments.

However, I participated in a special trial where we were using other plate materials testing a totally unrelated concept. During the trial, we decided to print with the new Kodak material. we were all very amazed and impressed with the quality.

Later, at an unrelated event, I saw a set of samples produced with these plates. I don't recall for certain what the line count was, but it was very high. I believe it was in the neighborhood of 200, or more. it was some of the best flexo print I have ever seen.

Finally, while participating in a fingerprinting using plates from another manufacturer, we spent four days trying to do what should have taken one, never satisfied with the quality. On the fifth day, we decided to try the Kodak plate (We had not, until that point, because it wasn't the client's usual plate and we were behind.). We were all amazed at the improvement. The print was beautiful. We immediately went back to the old material, and the print looked bad again.

That's the extent of my experience with the plates, and I have nothing to do with Kodak. However, if I were evaluating plates, I would definitely include the Kodak plates in my trial. They impressed me as "different", in a positive way.

Regards,
Frank
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Painter » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:49 pm

Hello,

I acknowledge that this is a very late post, but I have been trying to find out more about the Kodak plate. From what is the imaging film made? It appears that to produce this plate, I need three additional pieces of equipment and I must install a solvent wash unit (right now I'm using strictly thermal). How much more energy is required to produce this plate and how much larger is my carbon footprint going to be if I add these three pieces of equipment and start using a hydrocarbon solvent?

The preceding are the questions for which I am seeking answers and, obviously, they must be considered when weighing them against any print advantages I may find.

We have tried the Kodak plate (wide web - 10-colour Bobst - 60" - polyamide ink on polyethylene) and found that, although the highlights printed well (1% - 12%) the remainder of the tone scale was average and the solids did not transfer well at all. Shortly after the run, we noticed that the plates began to lose their elasticity and began to curl and cup. An attempt to re-mount them was unsuccessful. We regularly run process at 150 to 175 line screen using one set of plates for 3,000,000 plus impressions.

Overall, we found that the print results may not warrant the increased impact on the environment, but the jury is still out. I would appreciate any comments from fellow Flexographers working in the wide-web sector.

Cheers,

Painter
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Frank Burgos » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:25 pm

The two links below should take you to artciles in FLEXO magazine related to the Kodak plate.

http://digital.realviewtechnologies.com ... &iid=24717
go to page 26



http://digital.realviewtechnologies.com ... l&iid=5825
go to page 28
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby exflexo » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:24 am

Painter- You mentioned plates began to curl and cup after a press run on your Bobst. That is clearly a symptom of plates that are not compatible with your ink and is something I battled with DuPont plates as well. My experience has been that unless you are using water-based inks, there is going to be some level of incompatibility with nearly any photopolymer. There may be an exception here and there, but they are few and far between. I believe the Kodak plate is lower durometer than that of Duponts DFH or DFQ so it seems you are seeing the incompatibility first hand.

Personally, I'm intrigued by Flexcel for many reasons. But the fact that you have: 1) The Imager 2) The laminator 3) Exposure/Detack 4) Washout 5) Dryer vs. 1) Imager 2) Exposure/Detack 3) Fast Processor is definitely the point where I had to pause. Being in the midst of gathering info to purchases a device myself, I just don't have the room for 5 pieces of equipment... not to mention all the power, ventilation, training and maintenance that is added.
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Re: Kodak Flexcel NX

Postby Dr John » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:46 pm

Exflexo - you are concerned about the footprint of 5 pieces of equipment, you need to remember that if you are using plates up to 24.0"x30.0" plate size then you would probably use the Mekrom 201C, which has Exposure/Detack, Washout and Dryer in 1, so you are back to 3 pieces, and for the 31.0"x42.5" plate size you will probably have the Mekrom 300 series where the in-line processor is separate, but the exposure, detack, and drying are combined.

With Kodak being able to bundle and price the system as a complete supplier you will find very attractive system capabilities, including 20 micron FM screening, and up to 300 lpi. I am happy to talk with you and answer any questions you have, get you the equipment layout information, test plates, etc., please feel free to contact me at john.anderson3@kodak.com

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