Zincopar is one of the oldest Italian companies in the field of plates for flexo packaging printing. The story begun in 1938 with Mr. Ferri who at that
time realized lead characters for the “Gazzetta di Parma”, and then continued over the years, always under the guidance of the same family. 30 years ago the company transformed from a classic lithographic and offset photolithography into a flexo prepress service.
Today, Chiara Ferri, founder’s grandniece, and her husband Massimo Cipolla, lead a team of 26 employees at Parma’s headquarters and 12 associates (including the two members holding minority shareholdings) in Riflexo location in Treviso, specialized in plates for corrugated cardboard printing, which joined the group after the recent acquisition of last January, completing the offer.
Zincopar mainly serves printing companies in northern Italy that specialize in the production of packaging for the food & beverage sectors. In production departments work uninterrup-tedly for 360 days a year 5 CtP by Esko, 3 in format of 106x152 dedicated to wide-web printing and 2 for the production of zinc cliché for printing of cans in dry-offset, a niche sector where Zincopar is getting great results. “We introduced the digital production process in 1999, with Barco systems and later Esko, choosing DuPont technologies for imaging, developing and finishing the plate", says Massimo Cipolla, confirming that Du - Pont is also the first supplier for the plates.
“Technology and materials are the basis for high performance, but to make the best use of what our partners make available, it is vital to have highly specialized staff. And that is why about 7 years ago we ad -ded Francesco Costanzo to the pre-press department. With his experience in flexographic/rotogravure printing, he has enabled us to understand the difficulties and problems encountered in the press room, and at the same time to face our customers and machine operators with a proactive and positive spirit, and helped them solve their problems”, adds Cipolla.
ZPX-Extreme, a patented production process by Zincopar that provides results comprable to rotogravure
Zincopar’s engineers, in addition to being extremely prepared, have a great passion for their work, working in a stimulating en - vironment, they are always looking for a solution that can make a difference. “We, like many other operators, have introduced flat top dot plates to our range”, says Massimo Cipolla, “developing a sy - stem that we have patented and called ZPX-Extreme, using Esko Pixel+ software and hardware with UV exposure line of DuPont™ Cyrel® EASY ESE and ESX plates. Much of the work is done by the graphic office with software on image selections by expanding the color gamut of the fourcolor.
We say that with this solution, which employs high-quality technologies and ma terials, we have succeeded in getting a qualitative step that was so appreciated by our customers, to convince them to print in flexo some orders, which up to now have been printed with gravure”.
Recently, Zincopar has won an important Cyrel® EASY plate contract with a wellknown multinational brand that has launched a European-wide tender to switch a full-line of products from gravure to flexo. The customer compared proposals from Zincopar with service providers in England, Spain, and Holland. In his briefing with the agency that helped the customer, Fran ce - sco Costanzo thanks to his previous experience on press was able to explain technically the issues from his point of view and suggested some improvements to initial concerns. Above all explaining that for a good result he would use the ZPX process with Cyrel® EASY plates. The results on press were very good and appreciated by the agency, while the press tests from other service providers did not meet the required quality, so that Zincopar eventually won the entire contract.
“If we had tried to hide the faults that emerged in the color tests, we would not have had the opportunity to deal with the technical problems with the customer and we would not have achieved the satisfactory results we have achieved", concludes Francesco Costanzo, to emphasize how critical it is for Zincopar to engage, then to analyze and solve problems together with the customer.
It's all matter of balance between color density and highlights
One of the main obstacles that flexo faces to achieve the quality of gravure is the brilliance of colors and hence a greater color transfer. To cope with these difficulties, flexo then uses higher line screens, capable of delivering greater color complexity, while paying attention to details and shades.
“With this patented system coupled with the quality provided by DuPont™ Cyrel® EASY ESE plates, we guarantee a higher color transfer on highlights, solids and halftones, and on the other hand, thanks to the very stable, and therefore simpler print, we manage to maintain a balance throughout the layout that results in high-impact print results, with great satisfaction from our customers who had specifically requested us a product that would allow him to switch to flexographic printing”, says Cipolla.
With DuPont plates, Zincopar is delivering improvements in every printing condition having tested by printers who work in markets where high quality is a standard, using the latest generation printing machines with all the top-of-the-range features and thus achieving the best performance.
The same plates were also used by some customers who print with older machines, and in this case as well good results have been obtained, indicating that the Cyrel® ESE plate is a major contributor to the qualitative improvement in every condition of use. The Cyrel® ESE plate that Zincopar uses in the ZPX-Extreme production process is characterized by a high ink transfer thanks to a textured or engineered surface that does not necessarily require the use of the Esko Pixel+ system.
Alternatively, Cyrel® ESX, especially designed for flexible packaging, comes with a smooth surface and is produced with the Pixel+ system in order to get an ink transfer with optimum coverage.
“These two models are part of a new platform of plates, which is already used by many service companies in Italy, both in solvent- based (ESX-ESE) and FAST (EFX-EFE). The DuPont EASY plate platform also includes the Cyrel® EPC plates for corrugated cardboard quality printing that can significantly reduce the “washboard” effect of the cardboard, and a plate dedicated to paper media is under development. In fact, DuPont wants to introduce itself to the market with this new range of plates for all substrates, with basic standard features to ensure high quality printing. Thanks to internal studies and experiments, it has been possible to maximize the qualitative aspects of products that are already extremely valuable in the production process of plates commonly used by all the services.
DuPont has been present in the flexography industry sector for more than forty years with continued innovations, the introduction of the Cyrel® EASY plate platform once again marks a decisive evolution in the optimization and quality processes and the best feedback from the market”, said Mario Castelli, sales manager, DuPont Advanced Printing.