Edition 41 / March 2015

Simplifying prepress with Gallus Screeny Digital

Over the past few years, digitisation in the label printing sector has spread to a growing number of areas. From design to prepress, almost everything is now done digitally. Progress in technology has even made it possible to use digital laser ablation to image screen printing plates directly – analogue film is no longer necessary.

CTP (computer to plate) imaging systems can now be used for flexographic, offset, letterpress and screen printing plates. Gallus is the only manufacturer to offer ablative screen printing plates – the Gallus Screeny Digital range. The advantage of Gallus Screeny Digital is that the equipment used for masking (digital imaging) is already available for masking ablative flexographic printing plates.

Screeny Digital makes it easy to integrate the production of screen printing plates into the digital workflow.

Advantages of Screeny Digital

Introducing the production of screen printing plates into a digital workflow brings significant advantages. The fact that print images can be transferred to the printing plate digitally means that analogue film is no longer necessary. Furthermore, operational efficiency is boosted because the imaging process for screen printing plates is fully integrated into the digital workflow. Only one imaging unit is required, which can be used for masking both flexographic printing plates and screen printing plates. This substantially reduces the total costs of prepress processes. Optimising the workflow can also minimise error rates and the time spent on processing screen printing plates. All of this leads to a more flexible work structure, better productivity and increased process reliability.

Technology behind Screeny Digital

Gallus Screeny Digital is based on the technological advances of the Screeny S-Line generation. The key advantages of these screen printing plates include optimum ink flow, high stability and maximum resistance to interference (substrate protection). Screeny Digital screen printing plates have an ablation layer (black LAMS layer) applied to the photopolymer. This ablation layer is removed digitally using a thermal spot laser. The plate is masked digitally and is thus ready for exposure (chemical polymerisation).

Screeny Digital – Screen printing plate with ablation layer = LAMS (Laser Ablation Mask System)

Workflow for production of Screeny Digital printing cylinders

Once the screen printing plate has been digitally masked, it is exposed, washed out and fitted. The LAMS layer is compatible with conventional equipment with thermal spot lasers. This makes Screeny Digital easy to integrate into an existing digital flexographic workflow, as it makes use of previous investments in prepress equipment for flexographic printing.

Workflow for Screeny Digital

Expansion of Gallus Screeny Digital range

Gallus Screeny Digital has been available on the screen printing plate market since 2010. In response to high demand for Gallus Screeny Digital screen printing plate technology, Gallus is now offering its entire product range with Screeny Digital LAMS layer technology. This means digital versions of all Screeny products are now available – from tactile applications to S-Line and Screeny A-Line, as well as special screen printing plates for unconventional applications.  All Gallus Screeny products for analogue film exposure and direct UV laser exposure will continue to be available. 

Benefits at a glance

• Easy integration of Screeny Digital into existing digital CTP workflow (alongside flexographic printing)

• Production reliability thanks to use of the same processes

• Use of existing prepress equipment

• Full integration of screen manufacture into digital workflow

Using existing prepess equipment to produce screen printing plates without film

CDI Spark 4835 (ESKO)

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