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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Plants & Processes CharaCterization and aCCeptanCe testing Bill Pope and Michelle Beuscher wrote an article in a previous issue that describes how to fingerprint and conduct a press trial (see FLEXO August 2009, page 31). Fingerprint- ing a press allows you to find out and quantify how much it varies for a few key attributes including; solid ink density, dot gain, and others. This information is then used to determine prepress characteristics to allow proper color separations for process designs printed on your new press. These press trials are also a good time to define process control capabilities so that during future pressruns, an operator can decide when to take corrective action. Your press’s process control capabilities should be speci- fied in your press proposal from the equipment manufacturer, but it is a good idea to develop a separate detailed document that spells out your expectations for the equipment’s per- formance. Your press acceptance specifications document should define its ability to hold register at varying speeds and during startup acceleration, its ability to make splices at speed, print quality performance (defined in the formal fingerprinting process), films the press will need to handle, drying capabilities, and performance criteria of any ancillary equipment installed. Your press should not be considered installed until each of your specification guarantees has been successfully met. Whereas the press acceptance step covers evaluating the mechanical and electronic control performance of the machine, press fingerprinting is focused on the art of printing. It is also important to understand how the press prints. Press fingerprinting or press characterizations typically require the use of your standard four-color process ink set or an expand- ed color gamut ink system and a test form. There are two categories of targets that need to be on the test form—mechanical targets and process control targets. Mechanical targets include: impression and slur targets, plate exposure guides, registration targets, solid ink color patches, vignettes, and flat tints. Process control targets include: solid and gray balance patches, overprint trap patches, tone scales, vignettes, bar codes, and line/ type elements. It is important to conduct the press trials under normal operating conditions in order to be representative of future press runs. It should be run at target production speeds with the same materials and settings that will be subsequently used. The end is near: Once the line is installed, tested, and the operators trained, here is another opportunity to get your safety committee involved. Prior to final release to manufac- turing, the safety aspects of the press, operating procedures and material handling should be reviewed in detail. After all, now that you’ve got this brand new press, you want it to be operated safely. n ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Mike Reinhardt is product man- ager for Windmoeller & Hoelscher’s flexographic printing press division in North America. He has more than 25 years experience in the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of capital equipment for the energy, hazardous waste, and printing industries. Mike has a Bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, an MBA with a concentration in marketing and has served on the FTA board of directors for the last three years. Greg Collins holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engi- neering and has held technical and manufacturing positions during his past 28 years in the packaging and printing field with many large multinational companies. He is currently vice president of manufacturing at C-P Flexible Packaging. Collin’s passion has been focused on flexographic printing for most of his career. He has been an active member of the FTA for the past 19 years, joining the FTA Board of Directors in 2006. In 2007, Collins became Chair of the FTA’s Strategic Planning Initiative. He is the current FTA Board Chairman and is also chair of FTA’s Forum Oversight Committee. It is possible that doors may need to be widened, or that the roof may need to be opened up, to facilitate placement of the press. www.nordmeccanica.com Your profit margin can be significantly increased with lamination. If you need to extend your production to lamination: we can make it easy. If you need to upgrade your coating-lamination capacity: we can make it happen. NORDMECCANICA Spa Strada dell’Orsina, 16 29100 Piacenza - Italy phone 0039 0523 596411 telefax 0039 0523 612051 firstname.lastname@example.org NORDMECCANICA N.A., Ltd. 250H Executive Drive, Edgewood 11717 New York - Usa phone 001 631 2429898 - telefax 001 631 2429899 email@example.com Nordmeccanica N.A. Ltd is a full service company for USA, CANADA and MEXICO LINEAR COMBI - Duplex Configuration 11 technologies just 1 machine Super SIMPLEX SL “the most sold laminator in North America” Get your copy of FLEXO now Get your copy of FLEXO now Annual Subscriptions: $55/U.S., $76 International Visit www.ftastore.com or call Customer Service at 631-737-6020. 46 FLEXO august 2010 www.flexography.org August2010_mech.indd 46 8/13/10 1:23 PM
Sustainable Summer 2010