Asahi releases new water-wash plate processor

Dieter Niederstadt.

Asahi Photoproducts (Tokyo, Japan and Brussels, Belgium), a specialist in flexographic photopolymer plate development, has announced availability of it’s next-generation of large-format, water-wash flexographic plate processor – the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF. This is the first water-wash processor of its kind with an automated process – from plate wash-out to the UV finished plate ­– including plate processing, rinsing, drying and UV post-exposure within one system, said the company. “The market of larger-volume users for AWPTM flexo plates and particularly for flexible packaging applications is growing,” said Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi Photoproducts Technical Marketing Manager. “For that reason, it was time for us to introduce a new member to our largest-format processor family. Exclusively focusing on using the new AWPTM-DEW plate with this processor, allows us to reduce the environmental footprint of the platemaking process by reducing the content of additives in the washout solution. It also allows us to dramatically speed-up the time for each plate coming out of the line.”

The Asahi AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF Flexo Plate Processor.

The system is designed to use two standard formats at approximately 3 to 5 plates per hour, either 1,200 mm x 900 mm (48” x 36”) or 1,067 mm x 1,524 mm (42” x 60”) “which gives both Asahi and its customers incredible flexibility in machine utilization.” Plus, the AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF is an automated combination of washer-dryer light finishing, providing the opportunity for reduction of operator hands-on requirements and potential associated errors. For users that already have a separate light finisher, the new processor is available in a version without the light finisher function. Asahi added that this processor combination is the first incremental system of its kind and also features improved UVA/UVC inline post-exposure uniformity versus offline systems with light-finishing drawer.

The AWPTM-DEW 4260 PLF processor is the successor to Asahi’s 1116PD processor which has been utilized by many high-volume end users in the market. New features compared to the previous model include:

  • Integrated plate-punching system for pin bar
  • Integrated air knife after plate rinsing unit to dry the plate
  • Higher post-exposure uniformity with inline UVA and UVC light finishing
  • Filter unit is located inside the machine with easy roll-out operator access
  • New machine maintenance concept includes low maintenance pumps and easy pipe layout
  • Water safety tray is located on the side frame without the need to clean leaked solution
  • Asahi remote Human Machine Interface (HMI) access and optional future smart-glass support system
  • Optimized machine footprint at 6,112 mm x 2,070 mm x 1,295 mm (smaller versus separate units)

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