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FLEXO Magazine : May 2011
FTA TODAY he says. “Several entries from overseas were using flat-top dot technology. I noticed very little fluting in any entries. More than ever, I have seen the use of supported plates in scrap areas to help in flute reduction. The use of some form of FIRST specifications for color control attested to printers’ application of cutting-edge skills.” Catherine Whitaker, Asahi Photoproducts, a mid web level of execution expert, adds that new and improved screening technologies can enhance highlight reproduction. “ When these technologies are set up properly and paired with the right plate and press conditions, the results are bright and vivid. ” Bob Dauses, Mark Trece, level of execution judge for pre- print and combined corrugated, expresses similar thoughts. “Entries continue to get more complex. The newest presses are capable of excellent registration, while advances in plate technology are allowing printers to expand the tonal range. Many entries are also using varnish in creative ways.” Greg Horney, Rock Tenn, mid web degree of difficulty judge, points to the elements that make great color. “ T here is a higher demand for attention to details, [particularly with] spot colors. Coverage on substrates is improving and we’re seeing less overimpression,” he says. “In process, the ink strengths are allowing printers to use a smaller dot by using higher line anilox rolls to achieve smoother, cleaner results to include shadows and highlights with soft edges. ” Teamwork among printers and suppliers, particularly those who take advantage of customized educational seminars and demonstrations, has improved quality, says Bill Malm, Harper Corporation of America, who examined level of execution in wide web line and screen, “Everybody is out to learn new, specialized techniques and everybody is determined to perfect the offerings and use them to their own competitive advantage. ” Jean Engelke, Kodak, wide web process degree of difficulty team member, sees teamwork from another angle. “ T here continues to be a mix of in-house graphics techniques and repro house expertise,” she says. “ [Flexographers are] taking risks. Manipulating software and pressroom capabilities help to differentiate designs.” Don Earl, Overnight Labels, a narrow web degree of dif- ficulty judge, notes the contributions of designers. “I f the de- signer understands printing and all the substrates and effects available, then he or she can design a beautiful label. There was definitely a difference between the labels and items that use special effects and color versus those that only relied on color.” FTA’s Excellence in Flexography Awards Committee meets over lunch. 18 FLEXO mAY 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Spring 2011