by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : December 2010
Tom Cassano, technical services manager, MacDermid Printing Solutions, walked attendees through the process of analyzing and identifying what went wrong on press, without employing tactics that he saw as akin to flat-out guessing, flip- ping a coin or winning a lottery. His message was delivered, "It is not possible to control or improve a process without understanding it. " Mike Reinhardt, product manager, Windmoeller & Hoel- scher Corp., offered a behind the headlines look at installing a new wide-web press. Working with Greg Collins of C-P Flexible Packaging on the example, he focused on everything from permit acquisition, to the staging of logistical require- ments, press characterization and testing, right down to acceptance training---all required to get the employees and the facility ready Paul Freiberg, plant manager, The Robinette Co., presented an overview of the business and said its philosophy stresses more science and less art. Robinette scheduled training time for each employee to enhance participation in continuous process improvement endeavors. Through utilization of a three- level FIRST Press Operator Certification Program, employees develop an understanding of the hows and whys of flexogra- phy, according to Freiberg. The result is greater productivity. At Robinette, FIRST Level I skills enhancement training ful- fills new employee orientation requirements; Level II is reserved for press operators, their assistants, and shop floor support personnel Level III is a must for press operators. Freiberg main- tained, "The Robinette Co. will have the best trained workforce to deliver bottom line value to our customers." STEPS TO STANDARDIZATION Bridging the gap between human vision and measured data was the subject addressed by Brian Ashe, business development manager, X-Rite. He pointed to the faster pace of change in today 's environment, then credited it with being responsible for the development of new white point cali- bration in display technologies, as well as new brightness adaption tools. Profiling engine improvements that deliver better accuracy in shadows are now available, as is a new black generator and new noise reduction features. "Dynam- ics target generation of fewer printing perils," Ashe said. "Optimization leads to greater color accuracy, preservation of neutral grays and natural skin tones and ambient light profiles. Embedded measurement technology is coming---for everything from a laptop to a proofer. Calibrate and profile all devices to the same colors." Dan Doherty, vice president/operations, Prairie State Group, reported that the firm's initial steps to standardization have payed large dividends. Initiatives deployed extended from safety to quality, color management and Lean manufac- turing; to FIRST, sustainability, and ISO standards. "Prairie State organized and documented workflows, instructions, training matrices, auditing procedures and, controls; all de- signed to aim for predictability, repeatability and consistency. "We embrace FIRST in the plate room and pressroom," Doherty continued. "Benefits accrue in the areas of color accu- rate proofs for multiple substrates. We reduced setup, lowered waste, created happier customers and associates with a better understanding of the printing process." Today, Doherty ex- plained, "We're coming up to color on first pull 80 to 90 percent of the time. We document all pertinent variables and run to the numbers. We've bettered communication and customization to fit the organization. And, we've cut our waste hauling bill by 50 percent. Sustainability initiatives are saving $35,000 to $45,000 per year. We've decreased cost of sales by 4 percent in the la- bel division. Run hours are up by 6 percent. That's a 16 percent increase in throughput and three to four weeks of production time added in the first 10 months of this year!" Bill Malm, technical graphics advisor, Harper Corporation of America advised listeners to, "Standardize to reduce the number of variables that contribute to the many headaches of today 's press operators. The strategy: "Predict success before going to press. Document. Measure. Document. Repeat... Standardization is the method to retire the chemistry set ap- proach to printing!" Malm declared, "Press operators are no longer magicians for ink, plate and press woes... The ultimate goal is to predict results, so we can meet customer expecta- tions and repeat them with optimized effort in the future." FIRST, ISO ALIGNMENT Lon Robinson, director of technology, Tension Envelope Corp., moderated the Fall Conference's clean-up discussion on color consistency in packaging. "Evangelize standards and FIRST!" he decreed. "Standards are not a scary thing." He noted, "FIRST provides the detail on how to print, instead of telling you how to finish." Smiley presented a glimpse at the draft flexographic print- ing standard---ISO 12647-6---set for adoption and release in May 2011, with FTA Education Director Joe Tuccitto and Mazur operating in tag team fashion to tie it to FIRST. The lively back and forth had the trio referring to themselves as "The Rever- ends Strawberry," a reference to their black garb, as well as a tie-in to FIRST. ISO 12647-6 specifies the primary process parameters, measurement methods, and reporting procedures for four- color process printing plus spot color definitions, according to Smiley. "It correlates back to FIRST 4.0., for example, empha- sizing the fact that a proofing control bar should be on every proof you receive." Smiley referred to the standards document as containing, "Shall bes," but also said, "FIRST is the instruction manual for how to make the standard work correctly. As standards get updated, we'll continue to update FIRST." Mazur took on process color calibration---ISO 10128--- characterize and calibrate. He outlined the difference between dot gain compensation near neutral density, and profile to profile conversion. FIRST endorses the near neutral density approach. "Measure. Document. Communicate," Mazur reminded the audience. "ISO is putting together a certification standard." Hinting at what may be to come, he said, "We're participating in the ongoing drive to continue to customize standards to one set of values." • JPEG is becoming the standard of the future. • PDF is the way industry is going. • Plate delivery, Section 17: you need printer control targets on plates. "Don't 'tweak and freak!' Go back and optimize," Tuccito implored. "Optimize the new press... new equipment... new plate material. Perform press run and record conditions. FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control. Section 19.1 says it clearly in its title: Best Optimization of Print Variables to Achieve Design Requirements." His final word and offering, "When it comes to process control in the pressroom, always reference back to what you did when you fingerprinted the press." 24 FLEXO DECEMBER 2010 www.flexography.org