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FLEXO Magazine : July 2011
impact of the packaging goods and processes used to get products into the homes of the consumer. These firms recognize a benefit in the market, as consumers seek sources and products exercising responsible and sustainable stewardship. In addition to reducing solvent and ink usage, ECG printing provides additional waste reduction. Color adjustment from one run to the next is reduced or even eliminated, reducing substrate waste for additional sampling to adjust spot colors. When a printer is running several designs on a common substrate and repeat length, combining those onto a single web can eliminate one or more press makereadies. If a flexo printer who is set up for suc- cessful—even excellent—CMYK print- ing every day is asked to run—a single ECG design—in a production schedule, the full benefit of the process will not be garnered. In fact, adding and rotat- ing process inks, changing anilox rolls and performing pre-production testing will add waste and cost to production, rather than reducing it. Everyone must commit for the process to deliver at full potential. CREATE A TEAM Part of a successful strategy is to partner with a printer who either is, or is interested in becoming, an everyday ECG flexo printer. Once rare, such sources are increasingly available and capable. Partnering with an ECG printer does not mean just hiring them. To truly maximize return on benefits, the buyer should seek to understand the levers that provide additional return. Adjust- ing run sizes and ordering patterns to eliminate makeready is one clear point of cooperation. Another equally important partner is the separator. Partner with an experi- enced supplier. A few have set them- selves apart as exceptionally capable providing ECG separations and proofs yielding superior performance. Famil- iarity with your printer is a plus, but the ability to guide all of your printers in a process potentially new to them is es- sential. A single source for separations also can assure a common approach to color and help drive consolidation opportunities. Inform your design team and chal- lenge them to embrace the process, too. Select and deploy spot colors that will create excitement for your brand and establish ECG standards for those colors. Apply effects and treatments that set your packages apart from compet- ing brands with CMYK images and spot color limitations. (Figure 3). GETTING STARTED Consider a summit of the supply team to communicate your sustainability, cost reduction, and quality improve- ment objectives. Every member should understand the goals of the brand and the contribution expected from the use of ECG. This will allow alignment, cre- ate an environment of mutual effort, and naturally guide the process. www.flexography.org July 2011 FLEXO 45 second count. Make every Awarded for Technical Excellence It’s the ultimate in workflow acceleration, driving higher margins and slashing waste. Short run flexo now makes sense. It’s efficient. It’s profitable. Go to markandy.com/secondscount ww w.markandy.c om