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FLEXO Magazine : July 2010
ers are chosen and engaged in the process. As a result, there may be significant delays that result from an inability to execute effectively what has been designed and approved leading to unanticipated costs and delays that are a source of great frustration to the client. The easiest way to avoid these issues is collaboration as early as possible in the process so that the final design is reflective of what the printer can deliver on press. The best results of our process are realized when a project runs from design creation, through line extension, to prepress production with minimal handoffs. When the first SKU is prepress approved before it is extended to as many as 50 or more items, the time and cost savings are substantial. Greg Platt, President, GMF Flexo Prepress Inc., Missis- sauga, ON, Canada: To better the flexo process we all need to embrace new technology. Taking the process to a higher level is not easy but the rewards are certainly there. Many printers are stuck in the dark ages using old gear presses with high volume low line screen anilox rolls. Gone are the days of print- ing “This Side Up” for flexo, it’s a process capable of so much more. As an example, using the 5:1 guideline a printer that only has 400-line anilox rolls, mathematically will begin to experi- ence dirty print if they go over an 80-line screen job. We work with many printers to conduct what are called banded anilox trials to help them outfit their presses with an opti- mal configuration to print high line screens. This involves trialing different cushion backings to reduce highlight gains and trialing different cell pattern technology in the plates to reduce or elimi- nate poor lay down in the solids. This only gets the gear in place, training sessions on proper measurement for press, plates and prepress to adhere to standards will keep the process on track providing for very accurate tuning and monitoring. As an example, we work very close with one of our larg- est end users and frequently meet with them along with the printer. We openly share our technology and enhancements that we are adding on a regular basis. We have developed a spec chart that is posted at all locations where we document the color recipe to inform prepress and print on the numbers to manufacture their work to. Design knows when the contract proof has met the standard and will with confidence sign off. At this client, TIFF files are manufactured and remotely sent to an in-plant platemaking facility we built for the printer. We trained them on plate making and quality control to measure the plates in spec. We remotely added the same GMG proof- ing capability at the printer ’s two locations to digitally transfer plate files and proofs. Off press, the job is measured to the spec chart. If the client attends the run, they ask if it’s in spec then perform the sign off. All of these specifications have also been added to our on-line press sign off tool developed by GMF, called VPA (Virtual Press Approvals. See FLEXO, Dec. 2009, page 10) where at the customer’s desk using a web browser they can compare the contract proof to the printed sheet and using spectral data with visual comparison tools ensure the match is accurate to an established delta E toler- ance, they will then perform a remote press signoff. n Technologies & Techniques Attention Printers Your Customers Can Save Money! GMF_ad.indd 1 06/07/10 11:26 AM www.flexography.org july 2010 FLeXO 35 FLXO_July10_v2.indd 35 7/16/10 9:36 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010