Prepress software supplier Artwork Systems has won the Flexographic Prepress & Platemakers Association 2002 Technical Innovator of the Year Award for its Plate Cell Patterning technology. The FPPA presents the award each year to the company with the technology it believes will have the greatest impact on the future of flexo prepress and plate making.

Similar to cells in anilox rollers, Plate Cell Patterns are cells in flexo plates, said to improve print quality and reduce ink consumption.

FPPA awards chairman Bill Ceperich explained: “Cell Patterning is significantly different to traditional solid screening. The photomicrographs and supplied print sample comparisons clearly show the difference between Plate Cell Patterns and normal half tone screens, but most compelling was the fact that it has already gained wide acceptance in production.”

Plate Cell Patterning is available as a software option on the company’s Nexus workflow system products.

Artwork Systems has also announced a strategic relationship to develop screening technology suitable for direct laser engraving with ZED Instruments, UK manufacturer of direct laser engraving systems. The two companies say they are enhancing system compatibilities with the aim of ensuring that both flexo and dry offset customers can benefit from the advantages of both companies’ systems.

Artwork Systems FlexoCal and Hybrid Screening have, for many years, allowed users to fade dots to zero when using conventional flexo plate making techniques. Users of ZED Instruments systems have independently also been able to achieve excellent highlights areas by adjusting for effects inherent in the direct digital engraving method of plate production, and by using the below-surface dot.

The two companies will work together to prove the use of stochastic and hybrid screening methods using laser engraved flexo plates.