What’s so special about Asahi photopolymer plates? We caught up with our Wikoff Graphics market manager to find out.

Wikoff Graphics is expanding on Wikoff Color’s vision of providing best-in-class products and unrivaled local support since 1956—adding a new product line of high performance photopolymer plates, processing equipment and imaging software. After careful consideration and research, Wikoff Graphics has assembled a team of partners to enhance our product and service offering.

Asahi Photoproducts’ plate materials are the top in the industry. What makes them the best? Why did Wikoff and Ashai partner in North America? We sat down with David Bell, our Wikoff Graphics Market Manager, to learn more.

Can you tell us what made you a believer in Asahi Photopolymer Products? What led to the Preferred Partnership with Wikoff Graphics?

I believe in Asahi products for the same reason that I believe in most things: performance, consistency and quality. I found I was able to help customers be very successful using Asahi plates, and I haven’t yet found a print situation that they can’t perform extremely well in. Each time I go to press with Asahi plates they consistently outperform the competition, even after 6 years of working with them, it’s still true.

How do their plates stack up against others in the market place?

Asahi has always had a reputation in the industry for high quality and durability. Now with the launch of CleanPrint plate technology and flat top dot in the box solutions for both solvent and water platemaking processes, we can really accommodate any printing situation we encounter. Our plate offering and the service that comes with it really set us apart in the market.

We’ve heard a lot about Asahi’s CleanPrint technology, can you tell us what it is and how it translates to real benefits for our customers?

CleanPrint is a technology Asahi first introduced several years ago, however, in the past two years it has really begun to make an impact in North America. It is a technology that continues to prove on average a press efficiency increase of around 33%, due to less press stops for plate cleaning and improved printing speeds.

What have been some of the most surprising/impressive results from press trials with Asahi plates?

Recently we conducted a trial with a folding carton printer who was suffering from poor press efficiency due to low running speeds. They were running the press at 500fpm in order to achieve solid ink laydown without a mottled appearance. The first job we ran using Asahi CleanPrint plates we were able to improve the appearance of the ink film smoothness at a press speed of 1,500fpm. Really a massive increase!

What is the typical customer reaction?

The typical comments we hear from press operators are: “The press came up to color quicker,” or “It’s easier to set register.” The big one is, “we had much less press stops to clean the plates during the run.”

Overall, why do you recommend Asahi photopolymer plates over others?

I recommend Asahi photopolymer plate materials to people because we truly can make an impact in production. If you’re having an issue with plates, we can address it from a technical perspective and help you see real, positive results. The simple explanation is because I believe in them! If I was managing a print facility it’s the product I would choose.

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