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The Print Control Wizard software from Esko scooped the coveted Award for Innovation at the Label Industry Global Awards, presented at Labelexpo Europe in Brussels.

Designed to improve the flexo plate making process and flexographic print quality via Crystal Screens, Esko says Print Control Wizard offers the sector a simplified, standardised approach to take process parameters like ink, printing press, substrate, and aniloxes into consideration for screen and curve creation.

Print Control Wizard outputs a set of Crystal Screens and curves used for plate exposing on a CDI Crystal XPS, resulting in what Esko says is the most optimal flexo print quality.

Esko developed Print Control Wizard in response to industry calls to simplify the implementation of screens and dot gain curves. This Label Industry Global Award is just the latest accolade for the technology, following on from previously winning the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) and European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) Technical Innovation awards.

“To win this award for Innovation at the 40th anniversary of Labelexpo is an honour,” said Robert Bruce, Esko product manager. “Print Control Wizard took more than two years to develop, and was designed to have a positive impact on the reprographics processes for flexography. We are all thrilled to receive this award, which is a testament to the efforts of everyone in the technical teams.

“For our customers, the improved accuracy of the dot gain curve created by Print Control Wizard ensures that everything on the plate is much more consistent. Vignettes are smoother with no inflection points or bridging and there is also a considerable reduction in plate cleaning frequency. Increased stability and predictable results on press are a clear enabler for flexo printers to move to fixed palette printing, leading to increased productivity and press uptime,” he said.

Robert said that as well as improving efficiency and quality, Print Control Wizard also carried considerable benefits in terms of sustainability. “Environmental and sustainability aspects of Print Control Wizard arise from the significant reduction in makeready time, including a reduction in the time and cleaning materials required during the plate-cleaning process,” he explained.

“The software generates a bespoke printing condition, tailored to the user’s production workflow. This highlights optimal curves and screens to achieve the print standard and workflow efficiency required, ultimately reducing makeready and streamlining the flexo print operation. Using Print Control Wizard therefore realizes potential for less substrate waste, ink, energy and time.

“Throughout the testing period, every one of our pre-release community reported positive feedback in terms of these reductions,” he said.

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