Flexo screen launch enables new quality standards

Eede, The Netherlands, September 11th, 2014 – Recent development work between ThermoFlexX and Global Graphics has resulted in new hybrid screens for the flexo market that allow greatly improved highlights to be achieved in the final printed product. The screens are aimed in particular at the label sector and will have their worldwide launch at Labelexpo Americas 2014 on the Xeikon stand (6135).

“Great strides have been made over recent years in the quality that can be achieved in the flexo process, with major advances taking place in the areas of pre-press, platemaking and printing,” says Christophe Lievens, director sales and marketing for basysPrint and ThermoFlexX. “But there are still quality hurdles that have to be jumped.

“ThermoFlexX has been working to create a complete high-quality packaging workflow and this has involved the formation of strategic partnerships with several other leading players. Our recent collaboration with Global Graphics, combining their extensive knowledge of commercial print with our many years of experience in packaging, is already proving extremely fruitful.

“Global Graphics has set the industry standard for years with its PDF native Harlequin RIP and its leading position in RIP technology, screening and color management, made it the obvious partner for ThermoFlexX, which is now pioneering digital imaging for the flexo market. The new hybrid screens are based on Harlequin cross modulated screens, and utilise a combination of FM screening to handle highlights and AM screening to handle shadow and mid-tones in a unique way and we look forward to showing these astounding results to visitors at Labelexpo Americas.”

The ‘no-nonsense’ approach taken to the design of the screens means they are very easy to set up. They can be used with the new Harlequin MultiRIP (v10) and are able to take full advantage of the 5,080 dpi resolution available on ThermoFlexX imagers, which is the highest resolution on the market. This enables the creation of the most effectively shaped minimum dots and these remain stable throughout platemaking and printing. The ability to produce such small, consistent dots reduces significantly the risk of a ‘grainy effect’ on the final printed product. This latest development enables the best print quality comparable to offset, but with the lower production costs associated with flexo.

The hybrid screens allow the formation of excellent vignettes that can fade to zero, while also providing a larger color space plus greater contrast and more uniform dot-bridging. They enable higher screen rulings to be used, giving smooth, noise-free flat tints while retaining fine details in highlights. Breakouts in images are also less visible, resulting in the reduction or even elimination of subsequent image retouching.

These hybrid screens, which are the first of what are expected to be several product launches following this new joint development, are available from ThermoFlexX as well as two Global Graphics OEM partners – Hybrid Software and Xitron.

“The Harlequin RIP is well known for its excellent PDF interpretation, the quality of its rendering, color management and screening engine as well as its speed,” says Martin Bailey, CTO, Global Graphics Software. “The RIPs have been continually fine-tuned over 25 years in production and this includes separating for rich and custom process ink sets, with and without multiple spot colors.

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with ThermoFlexX to deliver these new hybrid screens, building on our existing screening engine and their hands-on expertise and understanding of the detailed requirements of flexo printers. We’re looking forward to further co-operation with ThermoFlexX in the future.”

Editors notes


Xeikon Prepress, a division of Xeikon International, has a long lasting reputation of manufacturing high quality Computer to Plate equipment. For the flexographic market, Xeikon Prepress offers digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name. ThermoFlexX imagers provide high-resolution plate exposure combined with flexibility and productivity. The basysPrint CtCP systems offer flexibility combined with outstanding quality using conventional offset plates resulting in a very attractive ROI for commercial printers. The newspapers CtP products, manufactured and designed under an exclusive OEM agreement for Agfa Graphics, and commercialized under the names Polaris and Advantage, are considered as the reference in the newspaper industry.

Xeikon is also an innovator in digital printing technology. The company designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital color presses for label and packaging applications, document printing, as well as commercial printing. These presses utilize LED-array-based dry toner electrophotography, open workflow software and application specific-toners. All the Xeikon solutions are designed with the overarching principles of profitability, quality, flexibility and sustainability in mind. With these guiding principles and a deep, intimate knowledge of its customers, Xeikon continues to be one of the industry’s leading innovators of products and solutions. For more information, visit www.ThermoFlexX.com.

Global Graphics (http://www.globalgraphics.com) is a leading developer of software platforms on which our partners create solutions for digital printing, digital document and PDF applications. Customers include HP, Corel, Quark, Kodak and Agfa. The roots of the company go back to 1986 and to Cambridge University, and, today the majority of the R&D team is still based near this iconic university town. There are also offices near Boston, Massachusetts, Tokyo and Taipei


Brenda Rypens
Marketing Coordinator ThermoFlexX
Xeikon International BV
Brieversstraat 70 – 4529 GZ Eede, The Netherlands
T. +31 (0)117 37 50 20 – M: +32 (0)499 989 123
Brenda.Rypens@xeikon.com – www.xeikon.com

Global Graphics
Jill Taylor
Corporate Communications Director
Global Graphics Software Ltd
Cambourne Business Park, Cambridge CB23 6DW, UK
T.+44 (0)1223 926389 – M: +44 (0)7714 410598
Jill.taylor@globalgraphics.com – www.globalgraphics.com

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