Member news


Esko (www.esko.com) announces that its XPS Crystal flexo plate exposure unit has received the respected Printing Industries of America (PIA) InterTech™ Technology Award. Since 1978, the InterTech™ Technology Awards have honored the development of technologies predicted to have a major impact on the graphic communications and related industries. More than 80% of technologies that receive an award experience commercial success in the marketplace. The new, unique XPS Crystal, part of a complete automated platemaking system, is a digitally controlled LED UV exposure unit, providing nearly simultaneous main and back exposures and supports all photopolymer flexo plates. The XPS Crystal is the tenth PIA InterTech™ Award Esko has received since 2003.

“We are excited that the XPS Crystal exposure unit has been honored with a PIA InterTech™ Technology Award, and flexography continues to be acknowledged as a strong, viable print technology,” remarks Rory Marsoun, Esko VP Business Development, Flexo, Americas. “We are already seeing considerable interest in not only the XPS Crystal, but the complete CDI Crystal XPS solution, integrating our CDI imager and XPS plate exposure systems.”

“The judges praised Esko’s innovation that both streamlines flexographic platemaking—by automatically moving plates from the imager to the exposure unit—and improves plate consistency with UV LEDs, where the back and main exposures occur nearly concurrently,” says Jim Workman, Vice President of Printing Industries of America’s Center for Technology and Research.

A simple, consistent process with nearly simultaneous main and back exposures

The new, unique XPS Crystal, ultimately part of a complete automated platemaking system, is a digitally-controlled exposure unit, supporting all photopolymer flexo plates. Plates are placed onto the glass surface, where very accurate back and main exposures—by patented LED UV light technology that allows very precise control—are conducted simultaneously. Nothing else is required from the operator. The consistent light source and main and back exposure (termed, by Esko, as nearly concurrent ‘dwell time’) deliver unmatched relief and image consistency combined with perfectly formed flat-top dots. As a result, these plates deliver the highest level of consistency and quality on press.

Flexo Plate Making Simplified

Because the XPS Crystal system can be connected on one side to a CDI flexo plate imager and to the other by a plate processor, the flexo plate making process is automated and much simpler to use—and high quality, plate consistency is assured. The CDI XPS Crystal solution makes flexo platemaking a simple and controlled process with fewer manual steps and, thus, fewer chances for errors. Combined with Esko smart automated prepress workflows, it is now easier for flexo label printers, printers and converters to bring platemaking in-house to shorten their lead times and improve their press and finishing equipment uptimes.

“In addition to the InterTech™ Technology Award, viewing products from the entire printing industry, the XPS Crystal has been recognized with the 2017 FTA Technical Innovation Award as a significant flexo product, and the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017, one of the most respected product global design competitions,” exclaims Philippe Adam, Esko Vice President, Marketing. “The XPS Crystal is truly a revolutionary product, and we are excited that others acknowledge its significance. With this innovative platemaking technology, the next few years promise to deliver an even greater share of print work to flexo.”