(L-R) Steve Mulcahy, CEO; Gary Walker, finance director; Les Jones, print innovation and product development manager; and Nick Mitchell, general manager – all from Contact Originators


Packaging origination and graphics management company, Contact Originators, has claimed a UK first in corrugated for its investment in Esko XPS Crystal technology.

The new digital screening solution is a digitally controlled UV LED exposure device that provides near simultaneous main and back exposure in a single operation. As part of a complete automated platemaking system linking to a CDI imaging unit, the XPS Crystal 5080 delivers a superior flexo plate for the corrugated market, capable of imaging at the highest quality levels.

Steve Mulcahy, CEO, said, ‘The key factor influencing plate stability is fast UV exposure which holds the finest lines and text onto the plate. In the future, our plan is to link the XPS to the CDI reducing the traditional process from five manual steps to one, securing full automation. Combine this with our MIS and JDF driven digital workflow systems and our corrugate customers are literally receiving the fastest and highest quality possible plate on the market.

‘Today, conventional frames hardly achieve plate relief tolerance due to fluctuations in temperature and inconsistent energy output. The XPS solution offers unparalleled plate relief consistency resulting in less plate waste and remakes, as well as consistent and predictable results driving up print quality.’

Esko’s Crystal technology has received a number of awards including the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) Innovation Award for Pre-press Graphics and the Printing Industries of America (PIA) InterTech Technology Award. Furthermore it was recognised with a Red Dot award for Product Design 2017, and the FlexoTech Innovation Award in November in the UK.

As part of the project, Contact is also the worldwide partner of Esko in the testing of flexo plates and its Crystal screening technology for the corrugated industry on the XPS.

‘We were delighted to be the first company in the UK to integrate Esko Crystal into our operations for the corrugate sector and excited about what its going to do for both our customers and our business. Investing in innovation means we grow togethe,’ added Mr Mulcahy.