Denver-based Impression Label has upgraded its entire pre-press set-up by installing Kodak Flexcel NX Central, the new automated plate layout software from Miraclon. 

The company, which was formed earlier this year as a result of the merger between label manufacturers Blair Labeling and Buckley Graphics, said the investment came after extensive beta-testing of the technology, during which Impression achieved significant time, material and cost savings, including eliminating up to an hour per day on time spent manually preparing plate layouts, and significantly boosting plate utilisation.

The new company now boasts more than 350 years of combined experience and, according to chief financial officer Marco De La Vega, is ‘committed to providing Colorado manufacturers with truly innovative solutions in product design, printing and packaging.’

Blair Labelling was early adopter of the Kodak Flexcel NX System, installing the technology in 2008. Christian De La Vega, brother of Marco and Impression’s chief operating officer, explained, ‘We checked out other HD flexo plates on the market, but Flexcel NX Technology was clearly superior from both a productivity and quality perspective. Print consistency and quality were there from the start and have been enhanced over time with Digicap NX Patterning and NX Advantage. The Flexcel NX Plates are far more durable than competitors’, which matters to us — especially when we’re regularly running huge-footage jobs. The technology is also very user-friendly and forgiving, something Marco and I can vouch for as relative newcomers to press operation.’

Impression Label is now a 100% Flexcel NX Plates business, added Marco De La Vega. ‘The technology is crucial to our high-quality proposition,’ he said, ‘which is important given the growing trend for customers to want high impact labels featuring foil and metallic finishes. We run reverses, flood coats and a lot of white, with up to seven colors registered over it. The whites we lay down look like they’ve been rotary-screened. All without any issues.’

There are also sustainability benefits to the move, with the software’s automated layout optimisation meaning there is less waste created and less energy and solvent used. Marco De La Vega concluded, ‘Previously, our art department spent a lot of time getting the best fit of jobs on the plate. Now, with Flexcel NX Central Software, it’s all automated; it takes out the guesswork and optimises plate layouts. It allows us to get the most out of our spend on plates and free up our prepress managers’ time to focus their expertise elsewhere.’