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FLEXO Magazine : July 2011
60 FLEXO july 2011 www.flexography.org DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS Chuang is the first to tell you that it was not a sudden and single change that enabled this business growth. Instead a careful step-by-step process with supplier partners enabled Sunshine Plastics to identify and control the key production variables that allowed it to step up the printing capabilities, and deliver the differentiation it offers to new and existing cus- tomers. Although, many factors were involved, Chuang cites the partnership with Tristan Zafra at Trisoft Graphics, and the use of the Kodak Flexcel NX System with DigiCap NX Screen- ing as being at the core of the transformation. “ Two years ago we typically printed at 110 lpi—fairly stan- dard for the flexible packaging segment—but with enhance- ments to our plates, tapes, inks, and anilox rolls , we have moved progressively to being able to produce 133, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, and even 300 lpi print on our Windmoeller & Hoelscher 10-Color 56-in. CI press,” comments Chuang. “ We increased our print resolution and achievable print densities. That meant that everything else had to be optimized as well. The difference in the ink laydown, the improvement in color gamut, and the capabilities for better print had to be balanced with practical day-to-day printing capabilities. The results are astonishing.” Sunshine Plastics has had to prove the capabilities to customers many times. It’s a fact that brand owners simply don’t believe that what they are seeing is flexo printing. They find it impossible to think that what was normal two years ago isn’t even part of the consideration today. At first, clients often visit the facility—not to sign off on the jobs—but to prove to themselves firsthand that it really is flexo! Chuang recalls, “I remember one occasion when a frozen food customer repeatedly asked if the sample package that I was showing him was a gravure package. Even though I reassured him that it was produced flexo here in southern California, the disbelief ended only after a press check at our facility. The customer stated a preference for what we’ve printed over the previous gravure print. We’ve achieved finer line screen and stronger density to enhance the contrast of the mid value tones and the highlights, and DigiCap NX Screening has helped us to explore boundaries by pushing for extra dimensions and depth. The improved visual percep- tion is created by separation of tones and values that optimize renderings of photographic images. The bar for flexographic printing has been raised.” BRAND RECOGNITION Benefits to the brand owners are numerous. Many existing gravure designs have been converted to flexo production and existing flexo designs are benefiting from improvements in color gamut, tonal range and resolution, driving up shelf impact as a result. In addition, designers are once again excited by flexo. New capabilities are enabling reproduction much closer to the original intent, and affording greater free- dom to design. Sunshine’s outstanding print quality has also gained wider recognition and accolades. In 2010 Sunshine was honored with a wide web Silver Award in the FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards Competition, and in 2011 it captured a Gold Award and the grand prize of Best of Show in the wide web flexible packaging category, with a process color job that showcases an amazing black background, reverse print, laminated to white, and all at 250 lpi. It’s an amazing honor at the best of times, but with the intense competition in the market today, it is a truly great recognition of the hard work and effort of the whole team. Chuang comments, “What used to seem impossible is now attainable. Sunshine has enjoyed growth from clientele that want their packaging to be produced in America, but need the quality and price to be right. Thanks to the synergy of our supply chain and the unparalleled support, our customers can be confident that we have the ability to produce a world- class package that will enhance the value of their brand. “ Sunshine Plastics is driving a realization within the industry of what is possible with flexo. It’s helping brand owners, who face SKU proliferation, more targeted promotions, and as a consequence, shorter runs, realize that in flexo they have a viable alternative to gravure, without having to compromise in quality or consistency on the shelf. The converter is looking forward to new developments in screening, proofing, and color separation technologies that will enable it to develop even greater capabilities and drive even greater efficiencies in the business. It looks forward to living up to its promise to customers: “Greater shelf impact with greater production efficiencies.” n SuNShINE PlASTICS AT-A-GlANCE APPlICATIONS • Confectionary – Cookies, Candy. • Snack – Energy Bars, Tortilla Chips. • Frozen Food – Meat & Poultry, Vegetables, Fruit, Sea- food. • Produce – Salads, Fresh-Cut Vegetables, Mixed Veg- etables. • Bakery – Baguettes, Bread, Scones, Muffins. • Lidding – Fruit Salads, Microwavable Packages, Dressing. PACkAGE CONSTRuCTION • Roll Stock – Sheeting for form, fill and seal machines. • Pouches – Stand up, 2 –3 side seal, gusseted, zip loc. • Laser Microperforation – Directed beam technology. PRINTING CAPABIlITIES • Printing up to 10 colors flexographic process. • Line screen: 85-300lp. • Max. film web width up to 52-in. for laminated films. Excellence in Flexography Awards dEAdlinE: dEcEmbEr 2, 2011 Graphic design Awards dEAdlinE: dEcEmbEr 2, 2011 Technical innovation Award dEAdlinE: JAnuAry 2012 Environmental Excellence Awards dEAdlinE: dEcEmbEr 31, 2011 If you are interested in becoming a judge in these prestigious awards competitions, please send an email to Shelley Rubin at email@example.com Join the Ranks of the tRuly accomplished FTA’s 2012 AwArds compETiTions