Stallion Repro is driving premium flexographic platemaking with Flint’s new-generation nyloflex FTF Digital.
OPERATING at the centre of the local reprographic market is Durban-based Stallion Repro, headed by Jeff Cutler and his wife, Sally. And, with a reputation for personal service and competitive pricing, this family concern continues to go from strength to strength.
In tandem with Stallion’s personal service philosophy is the objective to provide premium quality products and processes. The team has recently concluded trials with Flint Flexographic Products and local supplier, Kemtek Imaging Systems, testing the benefits of Flint’s advanced nyloflex FTF digital plate and establishing printing standards with some of South Africa’s leading flexible packaging converters. At a special open house in October, Jeff and the team, accompanied by Flint and Kemtek, officially launched FTF to their varied and valued customers. ‘It’s not very often in our industry that we come across a new product that completely “wows” us,’ remarks Jeff. ‘Flint’s FTF flat-top dot plate with its textured micro-cell surface is one of the first products we have tested that is challenging the traditional boundaries of gravure or offset printing.’
Efficiency and consistency
Designed for the flexible packaging sector, FTF provides flat-top dots by simply processing like any standard digital plate – no change and no additional equipment or processing step or consumable item is required. A special, textured plate surface eliminates the need for time-consuming surface screening and the texture of the plate provides an even ink laydown, increasing solid ink density with just a standard resolution of 2 400 or 2 540dpi. Tried and tested worldwide, this impressive technology is already assisting converters in achieving increased efficiency and consistency in the prepress and platemaking process.
‘We can produce FTF digital plates without having to invest in new equipment, which isn’t always the case with new products that come on to the market,’ he adds. ‘Joining the new flat-top dot technology with our existing high-definition imaging on our Esko CDI really is taking Stallion Repro to the next level. We believe it’s our job to keep our customers informed about any new technologies, and by doing this we can add that extra touch of service and keep our customers at the top of their game,’ Jeff continues.
‘As we say, the proof is in the pudding, and it doesn’t take long on press before we have converted another printer into using the FTF plate on all high-end jobs. From the first pull through on the machine, customers and brand owners are immediately noticing the brighter colours and sharper images.’
Quality colour made easy
According to Jeff, the biggest advantages that converters are realising include a larger colour range in process work – as a result of the minimal dot gain on the plates – plus a clear ink density increase (at least 10%), meaning brighter colours and the flexibility to produce many spot colours using the four process colours. ‘Printers are now able to release the pressure on the press, giving them more control and consistency throughout the print run,’ he advises.
‘The FTF plate is also more rigid than standard plates, resulting in more resistance to wear and tear that some substrates cause. This in turn offers longer print runs. What really impressed us is how efficiently the job runs with very few adjustments needing to be done to the press. This has eliminated all the guesswork and helped us in creating a standard that we will use going forward.’
With the help of Flint’s FTF plates, Stallion Repro is also able to assist in producing an accurate and colour correct digital chromalin that will match the printed sample. This also eliminates any guesswork and exceeds the customer or brand owner’s expectations. ‘Our team at Stallion Repro is proud to be using the new Flint FTF plate. And with the full support of our dedicated supplier, Kemtek Imaging Systems, we look forward to continued success in the flexo industry,’ concludes Jeff.