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FLEXO Magazine : July 2011
Plants & Processes Crunch Time the role of the Prepress Provider in the Production cycle By Bob Dauses The clock is ticking. ... Time is running out. ... The final outcome is still uncertain. ... Perhaps, we are experi- encing the dramatic finish to a sporting event? Maybe it’s the end of a suspenseful movie? Or, could it be the end of a packaging project with a press date looming? In this case, it is the latter; this is FLEXO magazine, not ESPN the magazine! The reality is that this is the world that we all operate in today. As expectations increase and timelines for concept to shelf shorten, everyone in the supply chain must work together closely to ensure that a project goes smoothly. Advancements in technology throughout the flexo industry have played a significant role in helping us meet this chal- lenge, but we also need to work on improving our processes. This article will examine the prepress provider ’s role in the production cycle and discuss some of the major specifica- tions that need to be followed. Photo: Mark trece pre-production team examines a proof for content, color and accuracy. 52 FLEXO july 2011 www.flexography.org Link & LingO • The prepress provider acts as the link between the designer’s vision, the customer’s approved design, and the converter’s capabilities and standard speci- fications. • A prepress provider must understand how to inter- pret the various specifications for each project and be able to communicate these to the designer. This can limit last second surprises and ultimately avoid “ crunch time” . • Early collaboration can help set realistic expecta- tions and deliver an end-result that exceeds them. • Prepress for flexographic applications is a very tech- nical process. It requires that all the suppliers follow the various specifications provided to avoid wasted time and costly reworks.