In 1978, when we began to make rubber plates, we opened up a second cramped room that once was a part of a warehouse for new equipment. We purchased etching equipment that could handle the largest magnesium plates available. Today, we still use the same equipment, a TASOPE and a MASTERS etching machine. We continue to use Magnesium Elektron products and can process any size and thickness in their line. Etching is a very old technology used for Hot Metal Stamping, Metal signage, Metal Embossing plates, and Masters’ for use in creating molds in MATRIX boards. As a Flexo prepress house, etching was a mandatory first step in making rubber plates. The process for making a plate is simple.

Magnesium etchings;
Thickness of 0.040, 0.064, 0.079, 0.100, 0.118, 0.157 and 0.250
Sizes of up to 36×42 inches 

We first make a film image of what we want to etch. We can hold 85 DPI screen with film. The process is to place the film on sensitized magnesium sheet and exposing with UV light. The light hardens the coating on magnesium sheet. We wash off the unexposed sensitized material then place the magnesium in the etching machine. We like our plates to be crisp and exact with 30% tapered shoulders.

Rubber plates can be vulcanized by placing uncured rubber into a matrix mold and adding heat and pressure for a certain time. The rubber hardness (Durameter) is controlled by the uncured rubber specifications. Because of the limited demand only a few hardness are available. Natural red rubber has a durameter of 55 Shore D. Black synthetic has a durameter of shore D 65. Natural rubber is ideal for water based inks. Synhetic is best for UV and solvent inks. The plates are thicker than photopolymer plates and are normally 0.110 thick. Backings can be applied to the plates in the form of metal or magback, a magnetic backing for steel cylinders with a heat sensitive glue. Plate relief is traditionally 0.040 inches. Plates are ground to within + – 0.005 inch. We promise ultra detailed workmanship with our plates, a quick turnaround and very courteous customer service. We like to say we are southern courteous. We have standard policies and simple plate pricing.

Natural rubber:
0.067, 0.107, 0.110, 0.112 with sizes of up to 25 x 15 inches
sticky back and magback can also be added

Synthetic rubber:
0.110, .112 with sizes of up to 25 x 15 inches
magback can be molded of the black rubber.

Need help? Your plate needs are just a call away.

Before you place an order, we’ll review your digital files to let you know how press-ready your design is. If you need help on that, we’ll work with you, offering trouble-shooting and printing advice that is required to get the job right.

Personal and Attentive Pre-press Help

Before we make your magnesium, we‘ll carefully examine you files to check for any pre-press problems. If your files need minor corrections, we may go ahead and make the changes to keep the job on schedule – then, we’ll let you know what we did and send you a PDF so that you can prevent that error in the future. If your files have larger problems, we’ll contact you pronto via e-mail and let you know just what they are. You can call and talk to our artist or have us fix them at a quoted price.

Plate Proofs

With every order, you’ll receive a email PDF of your plate; these proofs will allow you to check the plate impression on paper.

Shipping Schedules

Shipping times after an order are normally 3 days.

Shipping in the USA

The plates are packed in rigid boxes and shipped UPS because of their normal size and weight. We will ship any carrier and service you request

International Shipping

We offer UPS and FED EX shipping for our plate making service. Our international shipping rates do not include tariffs, import taxes, or customs and brokerage fee. Generally the shipping company collects these fees directly from you when your package is delivered. Brokerage fees are usually a percentage of your total dollar amount and paid to UPS. Brokerage and customs fees are NOT the same as tariffs and import taxes. Canadian customers only: UPS Canada Standard is a ground service and will include charges for brokerage fees charged to and paid by you to UPS.