Berkshire Labels, one of the largest privately-owned label companies in the UK, has invested in next generation HD Flexo from Esko to improve flexographic print quality for all customers and increase throughput. It has also enhanced the company’s ability to expand into shrink sleeves, a relatively new market. In addition to shrink sleeves, Berkshire Labels serves a wide range of markets with self-adhesive labels and reel-fed filmic labels. Markets served include food, beverages, toiletries horticulture, nutraceuticals, security and promotional items.
The latest investment in Esko solutions includes a CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imaging system with Full HD Flexo and Studio Toolkit for Sleeves to enable Berkshire to provide 3D proofs to shrink sleeve customers as well as to fully pre-distort sleeve artwork in-house. This latest investment is part of a company-wide investment programme in digital production. A long-term Esko customer, Berkshire Labels also uses Esko Automation Engine and DeskPack to support its full-service offering. Automation Engine is Esko’s workflow server. It automates prepress tasks, which speeds up the process, but also reduces the error rate and the need for operator intervention. Deskpack is a collection of packaging prepress plugins for Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe Photoshop®. With these plugins, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop become full-fledged packaging prepress applications.
Managing Director Paul Roscoe explains: “Our objective was to fully upgrade our flexo technologies to bring them in line with the digital investments we have made over the last six years. Our goal, as always is to ensure perfect color consistency across all our printed products, regardless of the technology used to produce them. Esko solutions are a critical element of our Closed Loop Full Colour Management System that enables us to achieve those objectives.”
In addition to the Esko investments, Berkshire Labels updated its proofing system; installed new GTT anilox rollers across all presses; is now using new ISO Puretone Inks; and has implemented X-Rite InkFormulation Software, Color iQC and eXact spectrophotometers.
Roscoe says: “Stepping up to provide Full HD Quality to all of our customers is something we have clearly been focused on. It’s great that we can now provide this level of quality for our full range of products, be it labels, sleeves or film, with the same quality on both digital and flexo runs.
“Upgrading to Full HD Flexo has enabled us to ‘think digitally’ when outputting flexo plates. The higher optics and increased speeds have improved our productivity significantly. The Full HD Flexo screening has allowed us to improve our quality to the highest level of print for all customers, regardless of the product type we are providing. Especially in shrink sleeves, a relatively new market for us, we are achieving fantastic results and able to do everything in-house.”
Studio Manager James Taylor adds: “Due to the new Full HD Flexo CDI being able to hold very small dots (<1%), our output has increased dramatically, by as much as 80% in some cases! Adopting this new technology has delivered some great results for both ourselves and our customers.”
For more details please visit www.esko.com.