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FLEXO Magazine : June2010
FTA TODAY 10 FLEXO june 2010 www.flexography.org Marsoun. Begin with the Basics Flexo 101 Session Talks Variables, CPC Perspectives FFTAkicked off Forum 2010 with a primer on the basics of flexography in the Flexo 101 Session on Sunday, May 2. Jay Sperry of Clemson University chaired, along with co-chair Malcolm Keif of Cal Poly. Rory Marsoun of Clemson University described a simple enough request: “Print this color on this substrate.” The prob- lem: flexo has a ton of variables. Marsoun described one of the most elementary factors that can make this a challenge— the surface of a substrate is rarely even. The answer: don’t increase impression, increase the film thickness. From there he discussed the relationship between anilox volume and cell counts, and how this all affects color. Marsoun also cautioned against the use of extenders to change color strength, insist- ing “this can backfire.” Following Marsoun, Al Marquardt of Kimberly-Clark offered a CPC’s (consumer product company ’s) perspective on the ba- sics of flexography. His take: “I have no desire to increase your waste.” In his mind, and the mind of his peers, flexo printers must have “a consistent and repeatable, robust internal pro- cess.” Marquardt cited FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduc- tion Specifications and Tolerances) as the ideal example. He declared before the audience, “You should know more about printing than we do.” A spectrophotometer is a must-have device for all print shops, he insisted. The only way to manage global brand colors is to print by the numbers, he added. In their usual style, Mark Mazur (DuPont Packaging Graph- ics) and Mark Samworth (EskoArtwork) took the stage and tickled the audience with a humorous video. After relaying the Chinese government’s decision to declare flexography the preferred printing method for packaging, the pair aired footage of U.S. President Barack Obama that had been edited and dubbed to appear as though he were making a similar declaration. They then revealed the results of an investigation into three different companies with no vested interest in a given print process—two printers and one CPC—to discover when each chooses to use flexography versus other technologies. The first subject of this case study, MPS (Multi Packaging Solutions), according to Mazur, stated that it matched the printing process to the design requirements. In other words, vignettes that fade to zero are typically offset, but variable repeat sizes and in-line finishing means flexo. Smythe Companies was the second subject, which reported that its flexo business is growing, but that offset is holding steady. At Smythe, Mazur and Samworth recalled, both processes are treated the same, and that process control, regardless of print technology, is paramount. The deciding factor, it turns out, has more to do with label construction and the capabilities of the individual presses, not graphics. Procter & Gamble represented the CPC in this study. Ac- cording to Mazur and Samworth, P&G believes that diversity of packaging is better suited to flexo than any other print process. They claimed that 90 percent of P&G’s flexible pack- aging is run flexo, with the remaining 10 percent gravure. In cartons, flexo represents a mere 20 percent, with offset and gravure sharing the difference evenly. Labels, however, are produced using combination processes with either a flexo or offset base 70 percent of the time. Another 20 percent are done purely flexo, and the remaining 10 percent are done dig- itally. How does P&G make the call? Once again, the Marks insisted, it is boiled down to graphic requirements. One im- portant note: print buyers don’t generally care which process is used, as long as it can accomplish the brand goals. n Marquardt. Mazur. Samworth. Value WINDMOELLER & hOELSCHER corporation FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT THAT MEETS THE DEMANDS OF AMERICA’S TOUGHEST CUSTOMERS 23 NEW ENGLAND WAY | LINCOLN, RHODE ISLAND 02865-4252 | Phone: 800-854-8702 | www.whcorp.com PASSION FOR INNOVATION Every printing, extrusion, and packaging machine we make is designed to deliver a fast return on your investment. We back your new equipment with the industry’s most advanced training center as well as the best service and support, so you get something extra that our competition often overlooks: real value. Because from W&H, you not only get the best performance, you get people who care for your products. VISTAFLEX® Flexo Press Visit us at booths 408 & 410 • The only way to manage global brand colors is to print by the numbers. — Al Marquardt, Kimberly-Clark • Adjust color strength by adjusting anilox cell vol- umes. — Rory Marsoun, Clemson University. • Print processes are often chosen based on the graph- ic requirements and packaging construction. — Mark Mazur, DuPont; Mark Samworth, EskoArtwork. FLX_June2010_mech.indd 10 6/10/10 9:37 AM