Waldo installs UK’s first ThermoFlexX 80-D imager
Eede, The Netherlands, 10th December, 2015 – The UK’s first ThermoFlexX 80-D digital flexo plate imager is now in full production at Lincolnshire pre-press house Waldo, a leading supplier of specialist digital artwork and plate services for the corrugated and flexible packaging sectors. The recent installation, which follows a string of orders from around the world for ThermoFlexX imagers, enables Waldo to provide unrivalled output speed and plate image quality, as managing director and owner Phil Walmsley explains.
“We have a lot of experience of operating CTP equipment for the flexo market and when we decided to invest in additional output capacity the Belgian made ThermoFlexX models quickly stood out in offering the best package of quality, speed and price,” says Mr Walmsley. “For example, our existing CTP systems allow a maximum exposure of 4 sq metres an hour, while the ThermoFlexX D-80, with its dual-head facility, has a top speed of 12 sq metres an hour.
“In addition, the ability to output at resolutions of 5,080 dpi is very appealing. It’s still early days for us as the imager has only been in operation for a short while, but we’re about to start trials for two clients, outputting at 5,080 dpi using LUX ITP flexo plates from MacDermid and Flint’s FTF. We’ll also be using this trial to test the ThermoFlexX flat-top-dot and surface screening technologies.”
The open architecture offered by ThermoFlexX imagers means that the model at Waldo could be integrated with the company’s existing pre-press software and Esko FlexoRIP. The new imager can also handle all of the flexo plates normally used at the Louth sit.
“The ThermoFlexX imager is packed with attractive features, from the easy use of partial plates and the ability to load plates from either side of the machine, to being able to mix different resolutions on the same plate,” says Mr Walmsley. “It’s a very operator-friendly imager. The ThermoFlexX application specialist trained our plate room manager during the week of its installation and he is now teaching other operators how to use it. Whenever we’ve had a query the ThermoFlexX service team has been very quick in responding to our requests and that level of dedicated after-sales support is invaluable.”
Phil Walmsley began his career as a hand engraver at the age of 16 and in 1984 he was a co-partner in setting up Waldo, supplying the corrugated case industry with hand engraved rubber stereos. He became sole owner in 2010 and has been overseeing some significant investment at the company during the last year. This has included extending production facilities, the installation of additional solvent recycling equipment and the creation of a new design studio, due for completion by the end of 2015.
“We’ve taken on four more people over the last few months giving us a total of 37, although the plan is to increase this further during 2016. The corrugated and flexible packaging markets continue to be buoyant and we’re confident that the new ThermoFlexX 80-D imager will play a major role in helping us win extra work from existing clients as well as in gaining new clients. It’s a very exciting time for us.”