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FLEXO Magazine : June 2011
FTA TODAY FQC Research Results Shared Consistency, Standardization Key to Quality The Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC), a standing committee of Flexographic Technical Association, provided a status update of its various endeavors. Session chair Paul Lodewyck of Flint Group and co-chair Jean Engelke of Eastman Kodak Company introduced the Forum 2011presenters. Margie Dehm of Sara Lee Corp. and Steve Smiley of Vertis Inc. , spoke of the importance of standards in practical workflow for communication, their points driven home as Sam Ingram of Clemson University provided musical punctuation with his guitar. Dehm began with a case study in which label colors were inconsistent for the same product. “ T his can create confusion for shoppers,” she said. “In-store appearance and presenta- tion is more important than ever.” Smiley delivered the nitty-gritty of ISO 13655 standards for measurement, which defines how colorimetric data should be gathered. “ Valid comparisons cannot be made unless all are based on the same set of measurement and computational choices,” he said. Shawn Oetjen of Dunwoody College of Technology covered the process of defining the reference characterization data set for narrow web flexo. Using data drawn from 10 docu- mented flexographic pressruns printed following G7 specifi- cations, Oetjen provided a detailed explanation of the steps taken to determine if the resulting narrow web data set is comparable to one of the existing data sets. In presenting the results, he said, “Narrow web can use GRACoL2006 as a common communication tool. Near-neutral calibration provides a tool for common appearance without limiting gamut size.” Next, Daniel Reilly of Flint Group took the podium to discuss the reproducibility of active anilox volume measurement methods. He updated attendees on tests conducted by indus- try experts and students at Clemson University to determine reproducibility by various user skill levels. The results, which will be published in greater detail in a future issue of FLEXO, demonstrate the interplay between operator and system. “ It is the systems whose performance is most variable which show the largest difference between operators,” Reilly said. “E lectronic methods show the least amount of variability to reading regarding operator skill.” PJ Fronczkiewicz of Flint Group concluded the session with a discussion of flexo printing with ultra-thin plates. He presented a benefit comparison of plates .030 -inch thick and plates .067-inch thick, noting the differences between them in productivity, environmental impact, user-friendliness, dot gain, solid ink density and other print issues. Ultra-thin plates hold the advantage in platemaking speed because of their faster drying time, just 20 minutes compared to 120 minutes for .067-inch plates, Fronczkiewicz said. Like- wise, ultra-thin plates are kinder to the environment. “Global warming potential, including plate, packaging and transport contribution, is estimated to be 32 percent lower ” he said. Solid ink density was the only area where .067-inch plates held an advantage, but “ without surface screening, harder tapes can be used to increase .030-inch solid ink density and reduce hard lead edge without affecting dot gain,” he said. n Ingram Dehm Smiley Oetjen Reilly Fronczkiewicz 20 FLEXO June 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Spring 2011