Contact Originators, prepress service provider for the corrugated, flexible packaging and label sectors, is to upgrade its trio of Esko CDI plate imagers with ‘cutting-edge’ optics, providing it with enhanced output, efficiency and quality.

The investment will see the latest generation optics head, Optics v3+, installed across the array of CDIs, which includes a recently installed Esko CDI Crystal XPS plate imaging and exposure unit. The latest machine installation made the platemaking specialist the first in Europe to house three of the ‘state-of-the-art’ Crystal flexo platemaking lines. This latest upgrade furthers this record and sees Contact Originators become the first company in the UK to be working with Optics v3+.

The new v3+ optics head includes the ability to process plates at up to 8sqm/h – a 30% increase in productivity for both Crystal screens and Pixel+, where each dot is made of individual pixels, equates to the production of up to two more plates per hour. The upgrade also achieves better dot size equality, meaning improved plate quality, and prints that have more consistent ink laydown, fewer pin holes, no stripes and a more solid ink density.

Dukinfield-based Contact Originators installed its third Esko state-of-the-art platemaking line as part of an effort to expand into markets outside of corrugated. With demand from the flexible packaging and label markets growing strongly month-on-month at the company, the upgrade to Optics v3+ will help to support this expansion.

Nick Mitchell, operations director of Contact Originators Group, outlined the value of this new investment as the company looks to cement itself at the cutting edge of the flexographic prepress sector. The previous investment this year into the trio of CDI Crystal XPS and recent Optics v3+ investment will help the company grow faster and stronger, commented Mr Mitchell.

Being the only company in the UK to have installed Optic v3+, he said, Contact will have direct support with its work in the corrugated, flexible packaging and label sectors.

Contact Originators has also agreed to purchase two licenses for ArtPro+, a native PDF editor offered by Esko for packaging prepress that prepares artwork for print production. The user interface of ArtPro+ provides increased operator efficiency, according to Esko, with users able to work directly on PDF files with enhanced editing features.

‘Our move into flexibles and labels is going great guns and these investments are a catalyst for further growth,’ Mr Mitchell added.