Flint Group Introduces New Thermal Plate Processing Technology

“Thermal Like You’ve Never Seen Before”


With a focus on innovation, Flint Group Flexographic Products introduces the new nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processing System for flexographic printing plates – incorporating the speed of thermal plate making with incredible plate and print quality. The nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor incorporates a smart design with an enhanced user interface. The distinctive characteristics of the processor provide unprecedented control and allow for more consistent and stable plate production encompassing “Thermal like you’ve never seen before.”


At the heart of the processing system lies the nyloflex® Thermal Printing Plates specifically formulated to perform exceptionally well in the nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor. The first of these plates – nyloflex® XPH and nyloflex® XPM Digital Printing Plates – offer extraordinary detail with highlights that rival the quality of solvent plates. Specially developed to print on paper at high line screens of 200+ lpi, nyloflex® thermal plates are capable of printing the finest highlight dots up to 50% smaller in size than the minimum printed dot of the market leading thermal plate. The nyloflex® XFH flat top plate, soon-to-be-released, will be the perfect choice for printing brilliant solids on film substrates. The thermal plates are suitable for use with virtually any ink system – solvent based, water based, or UV.


Intelligent configuration of the nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor allows for fewer components, so there is less maintenance, less downtime and lower operating costs associated with its operation. The processor’s zoned heating system is built around a highly efficient IR assembly, which provides precise monitoring of the heat distribution across the drum width and into the plate. The perfectly controlled heat imparts better dimensional stability to the plate backing, affording increased stability and consistency to plate processing. The accurate regulation of the heat eliminates the need for a chiller.


The nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor is packed with clever, user-friendly features for an enhanced user experience. The machine interface, or HMI, employs a fully integrated touch screen panel and runs Window CE. Additionally, the HMI contains operator training videos and is wi-fi enabled for remote diagnostics. The nyloflex®Thermal Processor is also equipped with a visual indicator and an audible alarm that sounds when plates are ready to eject, allowing operators the freedom to perform other tasks while the plates are being processed.

Rich Emmerling, Technical Director of Flint Group Flexographic Products, expresses “The key to this advancement in thermal plate processing is with the unique heating system which precisely monitors the heat at the surface of the plate.” Emmerling affirms, “The tight control of the surface heat delivers outstanding dimensional stability of the plate’s backing without the assistance of a drum chiller. The resulting processed plate’s image quality provides a significant reduction in the size of the first printed dot as compared to current thermal plates on the market.” Emmerling continues, “The heat regulation demonstrated by this technology raises the bar on thermal platemaking, and Flint Group is proud to now engage in this area of technology.”


Further benefits can be realized in the engineered fabric of the nyloflex® Developer Rolls, designed to be highly efficient and environmentally friendly. A unique fiber shape provides optimal surface area to retain molten polymer, resulting in a material that is 30% less dense than standard developer roll. nyloflex® developer rolls are offered in two widths to maximize the efficiency of use with various plate sizes. The special fabric design and variable width options result in a material that is noticeably lighter and easier for operators to handle.


To complete the system, Flint Group offers a comprehensive waste recovery program with the nyloflex® Xpress Waste Recovery Program. All consumables used in the system, including plates, can be picked up and routed to a waste-to-energy facility or recycled where available. The process is simple: the customer collects the items, palletizes them and when ready, calls a toll-free hotline to request pick-up.

By combining the best in equipment design, plate development and engineered fabric, Flint Group is prepared to raise thermal plate making to a new level. Flint Group will debut the equipment at LabelExpo Americas 2016. The nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processing System is presently available in North America, and will be offered in other regions in the second half of 2017.

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