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Kolor Graphs Celebrates Five Years of Success in Flexo Prepress


“Flexo is the process of the future for packaging printing,” says Jose Luis Gonzalez Rodriguez, founder of Mexican platemaking company Kolor Graphs, “and we are ready to help customers transition to flexo from gravure and offset.”

Eng. Gonzalez founded Kolor Graphs in 2015, building on 35 years of experience working in flexible packaging production to develop a fully concentrated flexo plate manufacturing business, and a 100% commitment to KODAK FLEXCEL NX technology. It began with the acquisition of FLEXCEL NX Wide equipment five years ago in Mexico City, a strategic move that positioned the company among the principal suppliers of processed plates in the Metropolitan Area and central Mexico. After four years using FLEXCEL NX technology, Kolor Graphs decided to expand into the West Zone of the country, and opened a new branch with FLEXCEL NX Wide equipment in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco. Finally, in 2019 the market penetration continued with the opening of a new site in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, to serve the market in the North Zone of the country.

Five years later, the company’s trust in FLEXCEL NX technology, which is today supplied and supported by Miraclon, has been justified. Kolor Graphs has more than 30 employees nationwide, including several of Eng. Gonzalez’s children as partners. To date, all three sites have successfully completed Miraclon’s certification program for the production of KODAK FLEXCEL NX plates, and so are members of an international network of manufacturers of FLEXCEL NX-processed plates that adhere to rigorous processing standards that guarantee the highest quality, efficiency and consistency using the flexographic printing process.

Plates for the flexible packaging market account for most of its production, but Kolor Graphs is also seeing label plate production grow and has recently established a presence in corrugated carton. Eng. Gonzalez says that there are three reasons why Kolor Graphs has an advantage over its competitors: the quality of the KODAK FLEXCEL NX plates that the company produces, the people who work in the business and the service that the company provides to its customers. “FLEXCEL NX plates are very durable, produce consistent high quality throughout the print cycle, and offer significant ink savings. Additionally, our people are highly motivated to provide an excellent prepress service to all our clients, with a focus on excellent response times. For us, there is no small client. ”

“A more visual world”

Asked what factors are driving change in the packaging market, Eng. Gonzalez replies: “The speed with which clients want plates delivered, and the level of competition in the market. The world is getting more visual every day, and what consumers see on their screens they want to see reflected in their packaging.” In these conditions, he continues, flexo is well-placed to take work away from offset and gravure because of the faster manufacturing speed. But he emphasizes that “not every flexo process can do this — only FLEXCEL NX, which has the combination of quality, control, consistency, speed and simplicity that we need.

“When I worked in the converting sector we used a variety of analog systems, but only for simple prints or direct colors. We experimented with digital technology too, but the quality was poor — low plate durability and little ink transfer. Discovering KODAK FLEXCEL NX plates changed things and has spearheaded our entry into markets that demand higher quality. They have also made our bottom line more profitable! And having achieved Miraclon’s KODAK FLEXCEL NX certification program means we can show clients concrete evidence that we can consistently manufacture plates of a consistent quality to a standard global specification.”

As a demonstration of what FLEXCEL NX is capable of, Eng. Gonzalez describes a pet food package produced for one of the company’s major clients, Plastinal SA de CV. “This is a good example of the more complex designs that we see as brands go for greater shelf-appeal. It features high-resolution images, a bright, vibrant color palette and opaque whites. With FLEXCEL NX’s advanced screening technology, there’s no need for double-pass printing to get the white right, or a different plate for gradations. With a single plate we can meet all demands.”

Looking to the future, he expects competition in the market, already intense, to increase, but it’s something Kolor Graphs welcomes. “It shows that the messages about flexo’s quality, productivity and cost benefits are getting through, and it also encourages us to keep improving.

“Undoubtedly this is a clear case of success in the printing industry. Despite the adverse conditions that we find ourselves this year, we have managed to thrive in difficult conditions by targeting markets with less negative impact in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. We are truly a national company with international standards in our processes.”