Canadian manufacturer of photopolymer plates?

Hi there,

I’m kind of sick of paying UPS a million dollars to ship in boxcar plates. Does anyone know of a canadian supplier/developer of photopolymer plates that work just as well as boxcars plates?

Canadians out there, who are you using to get your plates made. I’m desperate to not be tied to an american supplier but I need to know the plates are just as good as the boxcar ones.

Thanks :)

Elle Brown

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Just to quantify my griping about UPS - i ordered $116 dollars worth of plates the other day from boxcar and was charged $55 worth of brokerage and ‘extras’ as they like to call them. Obviously this is unacceptable.

KDS

When I order from Boxcar I ask for items to be shipped via United States Postal Service. It is cheap, fast, and there is usually no import tax.

I would like to ask again if anyone knows of a Canadian provider of polymer plates (in my case for the Boxcar Deep Relief Base). I would like to find a Canadian Source, which I am hoping will be cheaper all around than working through the US. I had a shock when my min $33.50 order + $15 UPS (with extra costs for $CDN conversion) got slapped with $42 extras from UPS!!!!
The ground postal is free from hidden costs, but still $30.
Thanks.

I have no experience in the area of photopolymer, but I came across these guys:

https://www.sterling.ca

They seem to be focused on the Flexographic market, but it looks like they might be willing to try new things.

Thank You Keelan. I will investigate. I have a couple other leads, and promise to post my findings once I have an answer.

Williamson Printing Materials is the company which distributes the raw photopolymer sheets to the platemakers in Canada. Their head office is in Grimsby, Ontario. If you call them and tell them that you are looking for a supplier of photopolymer letterpress plates, they may let you know which of their customers can supply them for you. I would recommend that you know what thickness and type of plate (metal backed, plastic backed, etc) you are looking for before you call them. (If you say you want it for the Boxcar deep relief base, that probably won’t mean anything to them). They sell a lot of other things other than letterpress photopolymer, and have a nice website. You can Google their name.

Thank You Geoffery, Keelan and Elle,
I have found a few sources. Hopefully they will be of use to others:

1.Aries Flexographics (contact: Michael)
1-888-431-4444, (905) 272-3312
prepress@ariesflexo.com or michael@ariesflexo.com
Mississagua, ON
I was looking specifically for the KF152 plates that go with the Boxcar deep relief base, but they stock regular plates and the metal backed plates as well.

2.KDS Graphics (contacts: Cindy, David)
(416) 752-0450
Scarborough, ON
They also have a variety of plates. AND they are located across from Don Black’s which means you could be a kid in a candy shop for the day.

3.Sterling (contact: Nancy Wood)
1-800-265-5957 x363
London, ON
www.sterling.ca
They did not have KF152, but have something similar and are sending me a sample, but she said they develop plates that work for letterpress. They were open to stocking it, if there was sufficient demand.

4. That Sky Blue
1-866-670-4927 www.thatskyblue.com
Montreal?, Que
There website says they develop KF95 plates (Regular Relief). I left a message but they have not returned it yet, so don’t know about KF152

As Geoffery said:
Williamson Printing Materials
1-800-263-0236 www.williamson.ca
Grimsby ON
They do not develop plates, but they do sell them….

jen jen,

I want to congratulate you for a very thorough and useful bit of work in finding these sources, and contacts for each source. I’m sure they will be of use to many people, as well as me.

All the best to you, Geoff

Thank you Geoff,
Lately I have been coming to briar press to find information, and I am very appreciative of the knowledge here. I am somewhat isolated out here in the country, with lots to learn, so it is great if I can be of a little help for a change!

Yes, Thank you jen jen for this great research. I really appreciate! : )

An update: I was just told by Aries Flexographic that they are no longer making polymer plates for letterpress.

Hi Jen Jen! I’m here in Montreal and wondering what company you decided to use for those k152 plates. I’m in the same situation you were - ordering for my deep relief from boxcar and freaking out over the UPS fees and exchange rate.

I see your list above but notice the one that seemed great doesn’t do t anymore as per your update.

The folks at Sterling are nice and will do wood-mounted magnesium, but their photopolymer is of the flexo type — which they will tell you works on letterpress — I’m a bit new to sourcing plates and so I ordered some not realizing they are not the photopolymer I was looking for to achieve the “nouveau-letterpress deboss”. I’m assuming the letterpress individual they have sold it to was printing on a plastic or fabric? Maybe any others who can enlighten on the subject of letterpress application of flexo plates can post!

Elum in San Diego produces photopolymer and sells bases just like Boxcar (I’m on the west coast) but the shipping (UPS) results in the same issue with tariffs and taxes that earlier poster described, and the plates took 2 weeks to reach Vancouver.

I also had The Sky Blue recommended to me by a friend in Montreal. I haven’t ordered from them yet because I have a deep-relief base (came with the press) but am looking at a standard base because of the Canadian plate options.

Looking forward to connecting with KDS tomorrow — thanks all for the recommendations. If anyone hears of other Canadian plate producers (western ones??) please post!

This is a few years old but I was wondering what you ended up going with for a supplier?

That Sky Blue press in Montreal — their website as of this posting seems to be undergoing some redesign/maintenance, so perhaps contact them directly (or message via Instagram) to see about their photopolymer plate services. I also use Boxcar. Both are terrific.