The year 2024 marks the 50th-anniversary celebration of the iconic DuPont Cyrel brand, which introduced its first photopolymer plate to the flexographic printing industry in 1974. Since then, Cyrel has continued to break new ground, setting the pace of innovation in the industry.
“This is an extraordinary moment for DuPont and the entire Cyrel team. Throughout this journey, we have brought countless innovations to the market and have always prioritized developments in collaboration with our customers,” said Tucker Norton, global business director for DuPont Cyrel Flexographic Solutions.
The past 50 years have been marked by unprecedented achievements. For instance, in the 1990s DuPont transformed the flexo prepress workflow with the Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI). The introduction of the CDI revolutionized the industry – allowing prepress teams globally to migrate from an analog workflow, to a modern, digital Computer to Plate workflow. This new digital workflow not only eliminated the need for an extra consumable, but also allowed for significant advances in print quality, reproducibility, and productivity with the advent of the innovative laser ablative mask system (LAMs). This advance helped accelerate the growth of flexographic printing, making it one of the most preferred printing methods for printing on packaging.
In 2000, DuPont became the first flexographic plate manufacturer to introduce a thermal workflow, the Cyrel FAST system, which allowed flexographic plates to be processed without the use of chemical solvents. This innovation reduced plate-processing time and had significant environmental benefits including a 53% savings in greenhouse gas generation and a 63% reduction in non-renewable energy consumption compared to Solvent as noted in our LCA. DuPont has long been regarded as a leader in thermal processing workflows and has a global install base of thermal equipment, bringing this more sustainable workflow to as many trade shops and converters as possible.
The last decade has been marked by a period of intense innovation as many additional groundbreaking technology solutions have been brought to market by DuPont. For example, the Cyrel Easy Plate, introduced in 2015, was the first plate with a flat top dot directly in the plate, which simplified the prepress process and allowed customers to achieve increased productivity and consistency.
Later, DuPont introduced Cyrel Easy-R Plates, which represented an even more advanced family of plate formulations, building on the Cyrel Easy platform, further advancing performance on press and making the plates even easier to handle in the plate room.
Looking for a solution to improve ink transfer, DuPont introduced the Cyrel Easy Brite screens in 2018, asking the industry, “How bright is your white?” The screens were designed to optimize ink laydown in high-volume ink transfer applications, typically seen when printing a white undercoat, or solid areas with spot colors. These screens have led to ink savings on press, as printers were able to use this screening technology to achieve an even greater opacity while using less ink.
On the corrugated side, Cyrel DLC plates were launched in 2019. Developed specifically for printing on recycled low-top liner weight cardboard, this plate addressed a need to achieve excellent quality printing and less board crush.
More recently, DuPont launched the Cyrel Lightning Plate series for both the solvent and thermal platemaking workflow, optimized for UV-LED exposure. This technology received the prestigious 2022 Flexographic Technical Association Innovation Award and again set the bar for technical excellence in the industry.
Reflecting on this important milestone, Tucker Norton said, “For more than 50 years, our team of passionate flexo experts have worked tirelessly to bring technological advances to the packaging and printing industry. We are committed to continuous innovation and look forward to perfecting flexography together with our partners and customers in the next decade.”