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FLEXO Magazine : May 2011
FTA TODAY Samworth’s visual and tactile affinities come through in his success with flexography, and his love of sound rings clear in his music, but his sense of taste is evident in his choice of beer. “Mark is a beer enthusiast, as a result of his many trips to Germany and Belgium, both for business and pleasure,” says Schwartje. “He’ll gladly tell you, ‘There’s nothing like a hoppy IPA or a nice German Pilsner!’” FOUNDATION IN FLEXO Schwartje remembers Samworth as a scholar in charge of his own education. “At RIT, Mark was a printer first, majoring in printing management and technology, but started taking computer science classes, which were not really part of the printing curriculum. He just blazed a trail of his own, and we weren’t really sure where he was going with it,” he says. However, one thing was obvious: Flexography was a major part of Samworth’s plan. “He was a laboratory assistant in the flexography lab, working for Charles Weigand. This is where we learned that ‘the way to go is flexo’ and [we] looked past many of the other paths of printing being taught at RIT— lithography, gravure, screen printing.” He recalls Samworth’s early involvement in FTA. “ While at RIT, the 1982 FTA Forum was held in Toronto, only about a three- hour drive from Rochester. Four students hit the road, including Mark. They had a chance to experience the industry in a whole different way by attending informative and exciting presentations about the advancements of flexo by day, and hobnobbing with the executives by night in the hospitality suites,” he says. “ Those executives seemed, surprisingly, very welcoming of a few young students interested in a career in flexo.” From that day forward, Forum has been a part of Sam- worth’s professional life. He took to the podium for the first time in 1995 in Orlando, where he challenged the industry to rethink the way it views and defines color to meet the present and future needs for standardization of color space. “If direct- to-plate is to be successful, an essential ingredient is the capability to equate computer color to proofing color to press color,” he warned. Samworth remains a fixture on stage, hav- ing given 17 presentations on flexography. (See sidebar, “At the Podium.”) Samworth spent the early years of his career, from 1985 to 1997, with DuPont, where he held numerous positions in the areas of flexographic plates and electronic imaging. From there, he moved on to PCC Professional Computing Corp. That firm evolved into Artwork Systems and eventually merged with Esko to form present-day EskoArtwork. PASSIONS & PURSUITS Screening, calibration, color management and digital imaging technology have been Samworth’s passions, Flexo- Cal, Hybrid Screening, Plate Cell Patterning, Concentric Screening, PressSync and Equinox 7color process color, his creations. He has devised patented methods for assigning prepress curves, user-adjustable gamut-mapping techniques, edge mask technology and improving solid retention in flexo- graphic printing plates. (See sidebar, “Patents & Processes.”) Many say his work speaks to his advocacy for changing rules whenever and wherever necessary to make things print more smoothly and consistently. For example, he once said, “For the same reasons that anilox rolls contain cells, solid areas of flexographic printing plates should also contain cells. These plate cells promise to play a crucial role in the future of flexography. Cells in the plates significantly reduce the need for excessive ink and printing impression, and hence provide for a system more conducive to optimum print quality. It was the quest to determine the best dot shapes, angles and rulings for screen- ing solids that ultimately led to the development of plate cell patterns.” Credited with being imaginative, Samworth’s own words define him as a realist at heart. For example, in May 2001, he stated, “We engaged in Project FOG knowing that a perfectly valid comparison is not possible. A print test is not an acid test—where the paper either turns purple or not. It is subjective. PATENTS & PROcESSES 1 Patent 5,260,806 Process for Controlling Tone Reproduction Nov. 9, 1993 2 Patent 5,297,058 Method for Creating Multicolored Halftone Reproductions from Continuous Tone Monochrome Originals March 22, 1994 3 Patent 5,892,588 Digital Halftoning Combining Dot Size Modulation Screen with Dot Frequency Modulation Screen within a Single Image April 6, 1999 4 Patent 5,953,498 Nonliner Calibration of Output Devices Sept. 14 , 1999 5 Patent 6,118,935 Digital Halftoning Combining Multiple Screens within a Single Image Sept. 12, 2000 6 Patent 6,213,018 Flexographic Printing Plate Having Improved Solids Rendition April 10, 2001 7 Patent 6,310,698 Process for Calibrating Electronic Imaging Devices Oct. 30, 2001 8 Patent 6,445,465 Digital Halftoning Combining Dot Size Modulation Screen with Dot Frequency Modulation Screen Within a Single Image Sept. 3, 2002 9 Patent 6,492,095 Screened Film Intermediate for Use with Flexographic Printing Plate Having Improved Solids Rendition Dec. 10, 2002 10 Patent 6,731,405 Printing Plates Containing Ink Cells in Both Solid And Halftone Areas May 4, 2004 138 FLEXO mAY 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Spring 2011