Magnegraf and Prepack reap rewards of 100% consistent plate exposures after LED upgrade with Shine LED Lamp Kits, innovated by Miraclon

“Simple, smart, cost-effective and 100% reliable” is the verdict of Spanish flexo tradeshops Magnegraf, Barcelona, and sister company, Prepack, Murcia, on the Shine LED Lamp Kit, innovated by Miraclon as a straightforward retrofit upgrade to existing fluorescent exposure frames.

Juan Mesa, Manager of Magnegraf and Prepack, says Shine LED has provided the companies with a low-cost, easy-to-install path from fluorescent exposure to the multiple benefits of LED exposure. “Exposure times are shorter and energy consumption is lower — which are both very welcome gains. However, for me the most important benefit of switching has been the consistent, repeatable exposures that come with the Shine LED Lamp Kit. We have built our business on guaranteeing customers high-quality FLEXCEL NX Plates, and Shine LED makes this even easier. Installation was also very fast — we were up and running within three hours!”

Consistent plate-to-plate exposure is possible because Shine LED lamps do not degrade but instead maintain a constant intensity over time, both lamp-to-lamp and throughout each individual lamp. Says Juan Mesa: “Fluorescent tubes fluctuate, so we regularly had to check plate exposure against the target plate. On a 10-hour shift we might have to adjust exposure and reprofile the unit three or four times, and chasing the correct exposure makes maintaining consistent plates more difficult and takes time. With Shine LED, the quality control almost takes care of itself. We have total confidence in the plates we’re producing, and so do our customers.”

No warm-up speeds exposures
Exposure times with Shine LED lamps are between 10% and 20% faster, in part because LED lamps do not need to warm up before or cool down after platemaking. “This instant warm-up and cool-down have made us more productive,” says Juan. He adds that Shine LED lamps also makes production more sustainable by cutting wastage in the form of defective plates, reducing power consumption and increasing the life of lamps significantly — LED lamps last up to six times longer than fluorescent tubes.

Long-time user
Magnegraf, Barcelona, is a long-time user of the FLEXCEL NX System from Miraclon, having been the first company in Spain to install FLEXCEL NX Technology in 2010, and the same technology at Prepack, Murcia, when it opened in 2018. Today both companies have identical FLEXCEL NX Wide 4260 Systems, and both upgraded their exposure units with a Shine LED Lamp Kit. “These give us a lot of production flexibility,” says Juan, “because if we have to switch jobs between Barcelona and Murcia we know that exposures will be consistent across both.” Both companies are 100% FLEXCEL NX plate producers, providing what Juan Mesa describes as “broadband flexo plate services”. At Magnegraf the focus is on high-quality narrow-web label applications, while Prepack serves wide-web packaging customers.

“A succession of smart innovations”
Juan Mesa describes the Shine LED Lamp Kit as “another innovation in the Miraclon tradition of steadily improving what’s possible with flexo.” He adds that “all these advances share similar characteristics — they’re smart, and simple. We looked at other routes to move to LED exposure, but they called for very significant investment and fundamental changes to how we work. In contrast, Shine LED is lower cost and means we can keep our existing units.”