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 : June 2011
FTA TODAY Wow, Now and Happening Emerging Trends in Flexography The latest scoop on flat-top dots, round image carriers, genetic transfer technology and high-density bar- codes; delivered at Forum 2011, established proof that flexographic printing is constantly evolving. Malcolm Keif of California Polytechnic State University chaired the Emerging Trends session and David Bankson of Label Technology, Inc. co-chaired. Rich Emmerling of Flint Group Flexographic Products took the podium first to discuss the benefits of flat-top dots. Citing a study that stacked plates with flat-top dots against other types of plates, Emmerling noted how flat-top dots improve the effectiveness of surface screening. “ They produce finer screens, which means higher and more consistent density increases. ” Emmerling added that flat-top dots can reduce fluting in corrugated printing, increase impression latitude by helping to overcome gear marking and possibly reduce print mot- tling by providing deeper relief between dots in the mid- tone to shadow range. Yet not all of these advantages are realized with every application, he said. “Be logical in your approach of using this technology by considering market segment and applications. Not all graphics or market seg- ments will need it.” Ray Bodwell of DuPont Packaging Graphics spoke of the benefits of round image carriers, including reduced setup time, reduced waste and increased substrate savings as well as their suitability for extended gamut. “T hey are ideal for frequent repeats or long runs,” he said. Yet for all of their benefits, round image carriers are not widely accepted in North America, Bodwell noted. He ad- dressed concerns about return on investment—sleeves cost more than flat plates and often require cushion adapters—by pointing out how round image carriers eliminate the need for mounting and are capable of printing 30 percent faster than flat plates. These advantages offer flexography a “growth op- portunity vs. gravure,” he said. Aaron Lessing of Apex North America treated attendees to a brief lesson in physics during his presentation on genetic transfer technology. He explained how the properties of fluid movement apply to the flow of ink through channels on ceramic ink metering rolls. Channels create less “stress” and turbulence for ink than the cells of anilox rolls, particularly during doctoring and spreading, he said. “More ink contacts the plate results in lay down of a more uniform layer of ink due to less air and pressure, which means higher density and better definition, while requiring less pigmentation. That can mean potential cost savings,” Lessing observed. Glenn Spitz of Webscan, Inc., discussed the evolution and intricacies of high-density bar codes. He highlighted the use of 2D symbols on produce labels for tracking and tracing and noted the challenges these symbols present for flexography. “T hese symbols are truly different than bar codes. You must control print gain and bounce in two dimensions, and element sizes are often very small.” Spitz also covered GS1 DataBars and QR symbols, the small square codes that can be scanned by smart phones or other mobile devices and contain information such as Web links or display text. “ T hese codes require more stringent press control, new prepress graphics software and new veri- fication requirements,” he said. “But everything we learned from printing UPC is transferable.” n Emmerling Bodwell Lessing Spitz 16 FLEXO JunE 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Spring 2011