Wikoff Blog

Asahi AFP-R Bridges the Gap to Affordable, Sustainable Platemaking

by Wikoff|01.04.24


At Wikoff Graphics, we envision a world where every phase of the printing industry is as sustainable as possible. We work hard not only to become more sustainable ourselves, but to be a guiding light for partners, vendors and customers who share this common goal.

In this post, we will illuminate a simple path for making a significant VOC reduction in your platemaking process, and lay the groundwork for taking the next step forward to Solvent ZERO.

Introducing AFP-R

In any industry where the cost of new equipment and training is high, inertia has the potential to hold companies back. Carbon neutral water washable flexographic plate technology is awesome, but it requires a larger investment and longer-term commitment than many print shops are ready for.

But what if we told you there is a plate solution that takes you halfway there, with all the equipment you have already got and zero risk?

Asahi’s AFP-R does exactly that.

R stands for “Reducing the Environmental Impact” and if you are already familiar with Asahi’s popular AFP product, you will love the productivity benefits of upgrading to R that are the icing on the cake to slashing VOCs in half!

Your bridge to enhanced sustainability is loaded with benefits

A far more sustainable option compared to traditional solvent plates, AFP-R plates use just 50% of the solvents, are fully compatible with the same platemaking equipment, and ideal for high quality flexible packaging, label and paper applications.

AFP-R hard Flexo plates improve pre-press and press productivity in several ways when compared to a standard solvent wash plate:

  • Faster plate washout speed.
  • Drastic reduction in plate drying time.
  • Reduction in the usage of washout chemistry based on unique structure of the plate chemistry.
  • Premium quality printing challenges the status quo of today’s standard solvent technology plates.

Drastically reduce total job time

Dramatically faster drying allows more jobs to be produced per day.


How does the technology work?

The polymer of a conventional plate chemistry needs to completely dissolve inside the solvent which takes time. For the AFP-R polymer, only the polymer part of the plate is dissolved, the other component parts will be washed away as small particles, speeding up the washout process.

As the AFP-R plate uses less polymer to be processed by the solvent washer, the plate washout speed is also increased. Faster plate processing speed also means much faster plate drying as the plate is in contact with the solvent for a shorter time, resulting in less plate swelling.

Improved drape and registration

The images below showcase the higher quality polymer chemistry in action.

The benefits here are clear:

  • Low-solvent processing leads to less stiffness and plate swelling.
  • Reduction of plate thickness changes, resulting in easy press impression settings.
  • Less swelling and faster drying provides more accurate plate to plate register, improving make ready times.

Ready to make your move to AFP-R? We are here to help

Change can be challenging – but also incredibly rewarding. Reach out to the Wikoff Graphics team here on our contacts page and an Asahi flexographic plate specialist will be in touch soon.

Or…hold on tight for a flexo plate option that takes sustainability to the next level. All the way to Solvent ZERO and carbon neutral certification from the Carbon Trust.

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