Autumn Graphics reaps value and process efficiency gains with Shine LED Lamp Kit, by Miraclon

Thursday 04. July 2024 - Packaging graphics solutions provider Autumn Graphics is among the latest flexo trade shops to invest in the Shine LED Lamp Kit, innovated by Miraclon as a simple, low-cost route from inconsistent fluorescent exposure to the multiple advantages of LED technology.

A Shine LED kit has been retrofitted to a plate exposure frame at the company’s location in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where operations manager Wess Gano says his plate room staff “are enjoying faster exposure times and more consistent plate production, and are spending much less time calibrating and recalibrating.” He adds that additional Shine LED Lamp Kits will be installed at other Autumn sites in the future.
By utilizing customers’ existing fluorescent exposure frames, the Shine LED Lamp Kit can be retrofitted in the field in a few hours. For a fraction of the cost of a new LED exposure unit, users benefit from consistent, predictable and much longer operating life (up to 5,000 hours compared to 800 hours for fluorescent tubes), faster exposures (by 20% or more), and enhanced sustainability performance by improving plate consistency, and reducing waste and energy consumption. These features won the Shine LED Lamp Kit a unique double at this year’s FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards, winning top awards for both Sustainability and Technical Innovation.
Adding value and efficiency
Headquartered in London, Ontario, Autumn Graphics provides converters, printers, agencies and consumer product clients with pre-media production, plate production, brand management, 3D packaging development and print production technical services. Founded in 1982, the company has been a FLEXCEL NX System user since 2008, having been a beta site for the technology and, in Wess’s words, “producing plates with FLEXCEL NX Technology since before it had a name! Our printer customers come to us expecting that we’ll add value and efficiency to their print processes, and FLEXCEL NX Plates are a major component supporting that expectation.” The company has multiple FLEXCEL NX imagers and processing lines in London and Fayetteville, and on-site at customers, and last year completed the Miraclon Certification Program for FLEXCEL NX Plates.
Early adopters and regular beta-testers
Autumn has regularly beta tested Miraclon innovations, so evaluating the Shine LED Lamp Kit was a logical decision. Wess says this illustrates the trust our two companies have in each other: “When Miraclon approached us and explained the thinking behind the product we saw it as another opportunity for improving our processes. We looked at what was involved closely, as we do whenever we consider process changes — we thoroughly examine everything to ensure we’re not introducing any risks — and decided that taking this path to LED offered significant efficiency gains.”
He concludes: “And that’s the way it’s turned out. Exposures are faster, because there’s no time wasted warming up and cooling down the lamps, and more consistent. Operators spend much less time adjusting exposure times to compensate for lamp variations. We hired an electrician and handled the installation ourselves, working with clear documentation from Miraclon. All in all, the whole changeover was straightforward and met our expectations.”
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