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FLEXO Magazine : October 2010
Technologies & Techniques that don’t track well to each other could result in substantial spoilage, should the difference be found to be unacceptable to the brand owner. A SuStAinAble SyStem There are several ways a centralized color server can con- tribute to a corporate sustainability program. Some are not overtly obvious, like the reduction in shipping of physical color standards worldwide. This, however, results in a reduced carbon footprint as well as a reduction of the materials used to produce the physical standards. There will, of course, still be the initial physical standard pro- duced on the correct substrate with the correct ink. After that, however, the numerical spectral reflectance curve in the data- base becomes the reference for all supply chain members. There is also a reduced possibility for errors related to use of the incorrect color on a job. This is because all the supply chain partners are working with the same color information— not duplications of the standard, but the actual standard retrieved from the color server via an API function call. In theory (and practice), fewer colors need to be main- tained. This is because of the advanced color server search capabilities. By searching the database for colormetric matches, it is possible to eliminate duplicate colors and reuse existing colors in the future. Prior to the availability of color servers it was almost impossible to know if a color already existed in the manufacturing system that might be within an acceptable delta E variation. Because there are fewer colors, it becomes more likely jobs can be run in succession that utilize the same color. This results in less unused ink at the end of a job. Even when there is unused ink, there are fewer total colors in the system. This results in the storage of fewer colors. Also, less ink becomes obsolete or has to be disposed of due to obsolesence. Finally, there is less chance of the wrong color making it to press with the entire supply chain looking at the same information throughout the job workflow. SimplificAtion of color control Ideally, a color server contains multiple ink formula/sub- strate matches for each brand or master color. While initially this may seem like the wrong approach, upon further exami- nation it makes perfect sense. Many consumer products are delivered in multiple packag- ing configurations. Some of these packaging configurations involve multiple substrates in a single in-store packaging experience. There is plenty of potential for problems with brand color management across multiple substrates used in POP displays. Imagine an in-store pop-up corrugated display printed with the brand color. Stacked in the corrugated dis- play are folding carton boxes. Finally, the folding carton box is die-cut, so a flexible package can be seen. At some point, ink was formulated and a drawdown was done on each of the appropriate substrates. These draw- downs were then approved by the brand owner. By measur- ing each of these samples accurate and achievable (and approved) targets are available for each substrate and printing process combination listed above. A centralized color database can relate each of these ink formula matches back to the original brand color. In this way, each component piece is assessed against an accurate and achievable goal. It is not uncommon to utilize a combination of color man- agement, color verification and color process control to man- age a large library of brand colors for clients. The solution be- gins with a color management strategy to profile production equipment in the shop. Once ICC profiles have been created for the production equipment color fidelity is maintained by utilizing a color process control system. Press fingerprints and live production product from printers also needs to be moni- tored and evaluated with process control tools. A complete end-to-end color solution allows the supply chain to achieve brand color delta E values of three and less when required. This is all done while reducing consumable waste because of the strong color process controls put in place. A centralized database facilitates accurate communication throughout the supply chain. By utilizing Internet technol- ogy the exact same color information is made available to brand owners, prepress vendors, printers and ink suppliers. 30 FLeXO october 2010 www.flexography.org Less Bulk theDi fference! Experience We’ve assembled the finest plate processing equipment for tag and label printers looking to create or update a prepress department, like the ESKO 1712 flexo plate and film imager. The ESKO 1712 is a small footprint, cost-effective imager that is feature rich. The 1712 images up to A3 size (16.5" x 11.8") and .12" thick in 9 minutes and 30 seconds (customers report a 20% cost reduction in plate processing). The AVflex 8000 is also designed for limited space and offers everything you need to process eco-friendly, solvent-wash plates up to 12"x 18". This multi-function system includes a 2-brush rotary washout unit, exposure section, oven and plate finisher. A&V complements these systems with printing plate materials from industry leaders that include Flint Group and Toyobo, and provides support and a level of service second-to-none. Put our 50 years of flexo experience to work for you. A narrow web prepress department with... MORE BRAWN Toll-free: 866.282.7697 Fax: 800.223.6869 www.AndVre.com | info@AndVre.com AV_9588_Esko_AVflex.indd 1 9/8/10 7:28:31 AM FLX_Oct10_mech.indd 30 10/15/10 12:31 AM
Sustainable Fall 2010