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FLEXO Magazine : October 2010
Technologies & Techniques Innovative Color Matching on Press new Developments Can save you Money By Klaus Kleemann For years, printers/converters have been trying to simplify and reduce job changeover times. Press manufactur- ers have responded with features and improvements to boost pressroom efficiency, despite a reduction in average job size. Recent innovations such as automated registration and automatic impression are good examples. But what about color matching? New developments in color matching systems for flexo presses are appearing in the market. Comprehensive research, much development, and multiple lab trials and tests at leading packaging printers have contributed to the introduction of this system. The new system reduces the time for the color matching process on press drastically. Major advantages includes supplying the press with exact ink quantities needed for the job, the reduction of residual ink, as well as quick and precise color matching with reproducible ink formulations. UPgrades Research shows that as much as 50 percent of total job changeover time is dedicated to color matching. Spending more than an hour doing this is common. The new technology is a collaborative effort of multiple vendors in the flexographic printing industry and is made up of three modules, which can be supplied separately. The system can be used for water-based and solvent- based inks on all substrates. resIdUal Ink redUCtIon The residual ink reduction module forms the basis for this technology. It consists of integrated ink weighing units incorporated into the auto- mated ink supply and wash-up system. Using this module, op- erators immediately know what ink quantities are required for a particular print job or for a specific production run, as well as whether the mixed ink quantities will be sufficient or if additional ink is required. It also shows what residual ink quantities will be left when the job is complete. The required ink quantity can be determined precisely at the beginning of the print job. The exact volume of ink can be mixed in to achieve the target color without having to interrupt production. Residual inks are very significantly reduced and the cost of storage of residual ink and remixing are minimized. It is re- alistic to say that cost savings of several hundred thousand dollars annually are quite possible, with less than one year for a full payback. Color ForMUlatIon A special color formulation module is used for accurate on-press color matching. Precise color matching directly on the printing press is essential because the printed product is always influenced by color transfer variations caused by anilox rolls, printing plates and by the substrate. New technologies measure the initial production impres- sions with a spectrophotometer and variations from the color target are automatically determined. In conjunction with ink Calculations from an automatic color matching system. Photo courtesy Windmoeller & Hoelscher. 32 FLeXO oCtoBer 2010 www.flexography.org • As much as 50 percent of total job changeover time is dedicated to color matching. • Typical color matching takes from 30 minutes to one hour—in some cases even longer. • Annual savings of up to six-figures are achievable. 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 FLX_Oct10_mech.indd 32 10/15/10 9:30 AM
Sustainable Fall 2010