Contact Originators first in UK to achieve Esko XPS Crystal certification with plates made for use with corrugated substrates; certification recognizes companies that consistently produce superior flexo plates for superior flexo printing

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May 20, 2022 (press release) –

Contact Originators has become the first UK company to be awarded ‘best in class’ XPS Crystal certification from Esko with plates specifically manufactured for use with corrugated substrates.

The packaging origination and flexographic plates manufacturer has used integrated Esko software and hardware solutions for many years, with the industry leading Esko CDI Crystal and XPS plate imager and exposure units at the heart of flexo production at the company’s super site in Manchester. Boosted by the award-winning Print Control Wizard software, Contact Originators has now secured the XPS Crystal certification that recognizes businesses that consistently produce superior flexo plates and therefore leads to superior flexographic print quality.

“We have a longstanding and successful relationship with the team at Contact Originators, and they were among the very first to use the latest version of Print Control Wizard technology developed specifically for corrugated as members of our pre-release testing community,” said James Mason, Esko Regional Business Director. “It’s only fitting that they are now also the first in the UK to secure this certification based purely on plates for corrugated use, which underlines the flexographic excellence of the whole team, recognizing their dedication, professionalism and commitment to producing the highest quality plates for their customers.”

Nick Mitchell, Operations Director at Contact Originators, said he was thrilled the company had secured another first for its use of innovative technology. “Corrugated is a highly competitive and technically challenging print sector,” he said. “With lower grammage and recycled materials coming onto the market today to drive down costs, we are constantly seeking new ways to boost our customers’ print consistency and performance.

“With the Esko CDI XPS Crystal set-up and the additional quality, consistency and efficiency that Print Control Wizard delivers, we are confident we have the cutting-edge equipment we need to manufacture plates that meet the printing needs of our corrugated customers,” he said. “Achieving this gold standard Crystal XPS Certification is proof of that. It is testament to the work we are doing here, to the incredibly dedicated team and to our commitment to helping our customers deliver the very best print quality products to their own customers.”

The XPS Crystal Certification Program is open to all users of the innovative Esko XPS Crystal exposure unit, the award-winning technology which optimally combines UV main and back exposure, using LEDs that always emit consistent UV light.

As a certified Esko partner, Contact Originators benefits from benchmarking and identification of best practice around quality control processes and production efficiency. Certification also enables the business to promote an extra level of quality assurance to customers, as well as providing reassurance of best practice in production processes and communicating the consistent quality of final print.

“As the XPS system uses LED technology to expose plates it replaces the need for fluorescent lamps, which contain mercury and are dangerous for the environment, so also contributes to a cleaner plate making process,” added James Mason.

“The XPS Crystal Certification Program was developed to ensure the entire supply chain can meet the exacting needs and requirements of brands and converters in terms of predictable and accurate plate quality and the highest platemaking consistency available, for any given photopolymer,” he said. “Nick and the entire Contact Originators team are the first to demonstrate that they are delivering to these highest of standards for corrugated convertors, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize that through this certification program.”

Certification is offered as part of the XPS Crystal Hardware Care Plan, ensuring sustained quality improvement as opposed to a one-off effort to secure certification. The process can be started either on installation, during a preventative maintenance visit, or upon request.

For more information about the scheme, please visit

For more on Contact Originators, visit

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