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Published on January 10, 2024

The Vital Role of Prepress Services and Plate Mounting Innovations

In today’s era, where technology reigns supreme, digital and print media collaboration is essential for businesses to connect with their audience effectively. Print media, encompassing a variety of materials, is a vital tool for brand communication. The impact of these materials on the audience is profound, and their quality is of utmost importance. Here, the role of prepress services, like those offered by Heaford, becomes crucial.

Understanding Prepress Services

Prepress services are a series of vital steps conducted before the actual printing process begins. These steps are pivotal in ensuring that the final printed product mirrors the original design concept and vision accurately. Prepress involves various stages, including copyediting, typesetting, proofreading, digital enhancements, pre-flighting, and creating high-quality print files, all tailored to fulfil specific needs.

The Critical Role of Plate Mounting

At the heart of prepress is the process of plate mounting. The accuracy of plate mounting is critical; getting it right the first time is non-negotiable. Errors in plate mounting can result in quality degradation, increased downtime, and additional waste in materials such as substrates and inks. This step’s precision directly influences the final print’s quality, making it a cornerstone in prepress services.

Innovations from Heaford

Heaford, a leader in the field since 1983, provides an array of plate mounting machines catering to a spectrum of needs from manual, semi-automatic, to fully automatic systems. These machines are designed to enhance prepress efficiency, especially in the flexographic and gravure industries.

FTS Range: Precision in Narrow Web Video Plate Mounting

The FTS range stands out in the narrow web label market as a user-friendly mounter known for its reliability and success. It is designed for narrow web video plate mounting; the FTS mounter features tool-free adjustments and an innovative design emphasising ease of use. It is renowned for its high power and intensity, coupled with high contrast, which ensures precise and efficient plate mounting. This range has set a standard in the industry for its operational excellence.

ELS Range: Quality and Ease in Table Top Mounting

The ELS range caters to web widths up to 880mm. These mounters are distinguished by their superior build quality, reliability, accuracy, and user-friendliness. The ELS series offers a practical solution for various web widths, making it a versatile choice in the market, especially at entry level.

Automounter Range: Streamlined Automatic Plate Mounting

The Automounter range, including the notable Label AutoMounter, is engineered for streamlined and repeatable operations. This range revolutionises plate mounting by automating the process, eliminating the need for skilled operators. It combines a series of failsafe automatic procedures with a unique ergonomic design, ensuring automatic plate mounting within a five-micron tolerance in less than a minute per plate. The Automounter range is a testament to efficiency and precision in the prepress process.

2CM, 2CM+, and 2CS Ranges: Advanced Accuracy and Speed

The 2CM, 2CM+, and 2CS models, represents a significant advancement in Heaford’s product line. The 2CM/CM+ series exemplifies the integration of advanced technology with precision in plate mounting, with varying degrees of automation. The 2CS, meanwhile, is designed to meet several key objectives: high-level repeatable accuracy, reliability, ease of use, and speed. These machines feature twin moving cameras powered by servo linear motors, an ultra-precise measuring system with a repeatable +/- 1-micron accuracy, and fixed focus units with fully automatic camera beam positioning. 

The Extensive Benefits of Prepress Services

The advantages of incorporating prepress services are manifold. They guarantee print-ready outputs, optimal quality control, enhanced colour accuracy, and improved print quality. These services also maintain brand consistency, offer specialised expertise for various printing materials, streamline the entire printing process, provide error detection, and result in cost and time savings. The guidance provided at every stage by experts in prepress services is invaluable.

Should you have any questions regarding the products and services offered by Heaford, don’t hesitate to contact our team directly at 0161 928 5679.

David Muncaster

About The Author

David Muncaster - Managing Director

David leads and supports the Heaford team, developing and empowering our people to ensure we maintain our position as experts in prepress efficiency. He’s been in the print industry for over 35 years and with Heaford since 2016.