Artcraft Label installs an Esko CDI Flexo Plate Imager

Artcraft Label of Burlington, Ontario has improved the quality of its flexo printing while reducing prep time with the installation of an Esko CDI 2530 Flexo Plate Imager along with HD Flexo prepress software. Founded in 1977, Artcraft Label is a pressure-sensitive label manufacturer specializing in smaller volume premium brands in the wine, artisan cheese, beauty care consumer goods markets. Its 15 employees operate three flexo and two digital presses in its 20,000-square-foot facility. In 2008, the company became the first label printer in Canada to produce water wash digital plates. While Artcraft already had an Esko CDI digital flexo system, it was getting older and the shop was using sub-contractors to create HD Flexo plates. “While we appreciated the work our supplier did for us, I’m particular about controlling quality,” said Alain Paquette, President (pictured previously). “We felt it would be better to bring all our platemaking in-house. We had a successful track record with Esko, so it made sense to move forward with an Esko system.”

Artcraft Label President Alain Paquette with Prepress Manager Stacey Turner.
Artcraft Label President Alain Paquette and Prepress Manager Stacey Turner with their Esko CDI 2530 Flexo Plate Imager.

“Esko’s trainer conducted benchmark tests on both our presses. We move quickly and were making standard plates on the second day of training,” said Stacey Turner, Prepress Manager. “We ran full characterizations on the plates. The quality of the plate on press is now far superior to what we were using before, which was already very good. Before, flesh tones were a nightmare. Now, by using HD Flexo, we don’t have to reconstruct the file to get great flesh tones. Highlights now reproduce much better and we have definition in the tones. There is no longer a hard drop-off of the dot.”

“We’re excited to see the quality results we’re getting on all our presses, along with the ease of use in production,” adds Paquette. “The best part is that we don’t have to stress ourselves to make it work. We differentiate ourselves as the smaller guys serving smaller customers – but who offer the capabilities of the larger firms. We have agility and are able to respond quickly and consistently. A good deal of this is due to the efficiencies and great results we get from Esko HD Flexo and Esko prepress software.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.