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FLEXO Magazine : September 2014
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K MEASUREMENT TOOLS The following tools were used to create quantitative data points for understanding our results: • Polarized densitometry is very important to reading reflective effects. It’s essentially the same as when you wear sunglasses on a bright sunny day to improve your vision. This is a whole topic of its own that can be covered at a later time • The Multi Angle Gloss Meter is a good tool for getting a reflec- tive data point, but sometimes can be subjective to other surface influences of the printed piece • Still today, the most reliable and widely used tool is the human eye. Let’s face it, metallic ink is no ordinary color and is typically used as an eye catching effect on the store shelves. Why not measure the effect in the same way it is intended to attract our eyes in the store? RESULTS What we found was very interesting and consistent among both UV flexo and water based metallic ink. For many years we have focused on recommending the right BCM volume to transfer the coarse metallic pigment. Today the message gets a facelift, as we define the importance of both BCM and line count. It is clear if you want a “good” metallic ef- fect, you need to choose the right BCM. But if you want an “optimized” metallic effect, you also need to choose the right line count. Figure 2 and Figure 3 depict an example of the results on coated C1S paper. You can see in the banded anilox comparison that just printing with the suggested BCM volume does not always give the best effect. Just look at the increased gloss, print density and visual preference gained by using a wider opening, shallower cell. It’s clearly important to also consider the right line count in order to get the necessary opening of the cell for transferring the coarse metallic pigment. This finetuning allows the proper film weight to be applied and the metallic pigments to proper- ly transfer and orientate, creating increased reflectance. Just another reason to consider conducting your ow n banded anilox test under your exact print conditions! n About the Author: Scott Schultz, end use manager for flexo and gra- vure at ECKART America, has more than 25 years of experience work- ing in the printing industry in various technical, sales and market development roles. Most of his career has been focused on supporting the successes and challenges of flexo/gravure printed special effects in the industry. He studied Graphic Arts at the Auburn Technical Trade School and is a past presenter at FTA Forums. 58 FLEXO | SEPTEMBER 2014