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Label Partners Gains Enhanced Reputation for Label Quality with Asahi Water-Washable Plates
22 Aug 2017

Label Partners, located in Southern Australia, provides quality labels for many industries from wine, general food and beverage, fresh produce including poultry and dairy, through to the automotive, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors.

Partnerships are an important aspect of the company’s culture – with its customers, employees and suppliers. This includes acquiring the best technology and innovative materials to deliver the exceptional results its customers have come to depend on.

In addition to quality, the company is dedicated to delivering cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions.

It was in pursuit these goals that Label Partners turned to its dealer, Jet Technologies, and Asahi Photoproducts to revamp its flexographic platemaking process.

At the Forefront of Narrow Web Flexo

Label Partners had been using digital water-washable plates for a number of years and had tried various systems and plates with mixed results. After doing its own investigations, trials and working with Jet Technologies on the Asahi AWP plate, the company made a decision in mid-2016 to take its processing capabilities in plate production to a new level and in the end, had no hesitation in its decision to purchase the Asahi AWPTM 2530 Combi all-in-one water-washable plate processor and Asahi AWPTM-DEF flexo plates. This compact all-in-one unit includes high UV output exposure, washout with automatic plate cleaning, solvent saturation analyzer, 4-drawer dryer and light finishing-post exposure drawer.

David McCloud, Managing Director of Label Partners, said, “We have always been at the forefront of narrow web Flexo and have grown our business dramatically over the past six years by using quality equipment and helping to pioneer water-wash plate technology in Australia. We were the first company in Australia to embrace the Asahi AWPTM system. The resulting cost-effective but very high quality digital plates consistently achieve a print result that compares favorably against most offset labels seen in the wine label market.”

Outstanding Support Brings Peace of Mind

Shane Gillespie, Label Partners’ Production Manager, has been pleased with the results. He reported, “Since the installation of the Asahi AWPTM processor, the quality and consistency of our platemaking equipment has completely streamlined the process of plate to press. Not only are we achieving amazing print results, but we now have a processor that, in our opinion, is able to produce plates of any level with a minimum of effort. It is extremely reliable, very functional and easy to maintain. The machine is so intelligent that if there is ever anything wrong, it shows where on the machine the problem is, and it can easily be identified and corrected. This unit consistently produces perfect printing plates time after time.”

Gillespie also made a point of commenting on the outstanding support Label Partners has received from both Jet Technologies and Asahi Photoproducts since the installation. “This kind of support is critical, especially when you are purchasing relatively new technology,” he said. “The unit has online connectivity added to its already extensive range of features, and that has given Label Partners peace of mind in knowing we are always very close to a solution should there be a problem.”

Label Partners expects the new system to cut current plate processing times in half, important in an environment with ever shorter production cycles and smaller lot sizes. “

Not All Polymers Are Created Equal

Gillespie also recognized that all polymers are not created equal, saying, “The Asahi AWPTM plate has shown us just how different polymers can be; they are definitely not all the same. This plate prints cleaner, releases ink more efficiently and will continue to produce these results longer than other plates on the market. And believe me, we have trialed just about everything there is to trial. These plates are so durable, you just take them out of the job bag, mount them and away they go again just like they came out of the processor for the first time. It is no wonder Asahi continues to win awards in both label and packaging markets all over the world.”

Label Partners is also looking to add future awards to its already impressive list as a result of the increased quality its new platemaking system is delivering. “We’re also pleased with the awards our customers provide us every day in the form of their satisfaction and their continued business,” McCloud concluded.

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