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Rivendell secures Esko certification for “perfect” flexo plate quality

Award-winning brand implementation specialist Rivendell has achieved ‘best in class’ certification under the XPS Crystal Program from Esko, in recognition of the consistently high quality of its flexo plates and subsequent print quality.

The Leeds-based company offers the complete range of print and graphic support services, manufacturing its own plates at its in-house facility equipped with Esko 5080 CDI Crystal flexo plate imagers and XPS Crystal exposure units.

“Using the large Esko CDI 5080 and XPS machines, we can easily make the highest quality plates for both our narrow web and wide web customers,” said Lee Jones, Head of Graphic Systems at Rivendell. “This certification from Esko enables us to promote an extra level of quality assurance to our customers, reassuring them that we always adhere to best practice in production processes and reinforcing their confidence in the consistent quality of the final print.”

With a global customer base, Rivendell delivers plates and graphic services to some of the world’s leading brands. “We make flexo plates for any and all sectors, and we use a full ecosystem of Esko prepress software and hardware in our reprographics and platemaking,” said Lee. “The combination of the Crystal screening in Print Control Wizard together with the superior quality of the Esko XPS Crystal not only simplifies the overall platemaking process but also ultimately gives a better quality plate. The resultant ‘perfect plate’ delivers improved ink laydown, better highlights and quite simply a better quality print.”

Lee said that Rivendell prides itself on being at the forefront of technological developments in the industry, and so the team was quick to see the benefits of Esko Crystal screening and XPS Certification. The program is open to all users of the innovative Esko XPS Crystal exposure unit, the award-winning technology which optimally combines UV main and back exposure, using LEDs that always emit consistent UV light. As a certified Esko partner, Rivendell now benefits from benchmarking and identification of best practice around quality control processes and production efficiency.

The XPS Crystal recently achieved both Certified Energy Savings and Dematerialization certifications from GreenCircle - an internationally recognized third-party certification entity that independently verifies the validity of sustainability claims. The LED technology replaces the need for fluorescent UV lamps, which contain mercury and are dangerous for the environment, so also contributes to a cleaner plate making process. The combination of Esko Print Control Wizard software, the CDI Crystal 5080 and the XPS Crystal 5080 means that not only is Rivendell producing superior quality plates, but the company also benefits from significant energy and waste reduction.

“Sustainability is hugely important to us,” said Lee. “We’re equipped for thermal and solvent processing and have our own in-house distillation to maximize solvent use and recovery, and we also have a CATOX (Catalytic Oxidizer) that controls VOCs.

“The Crystal line not only enables us to produce the perfect plate, which consequently gives our customers the perfect result when printing, but the process improvements also mean we’re saving on energy efficiency throughout,” he said. “We benefit from fewer errors meaning less waste, solvent use reduction thanks to Solvent Saver in Flexo Engine, and the front and back LED exposure in the XPS Crystal means that we are using significantly less energy.”

The XPS Crystal Program was developed by Esko to recognize those businesses that consistently produce premium flexo plates, which lead to superior flexographic print quality. Mike Ball, Esko Sales Account Manager, said that Rivendell’s certification underlines the superb performance of the in-house flexo team, and is recognition of their commitment to producing excellence in flexographic plates.

“The XPS Crystal Certification Program was developed to ensure the entire supply chain can meet the exacting needs and requirements of brands and converters in terms of predictable and accurate plate quality and the highest plate making consistency available, for any given photopolymer,” he said. “Rivendell continues delivering to these highest of standards, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize that through this certification program.”