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FLEXO Magazine : November 2011
main elements to minimize unacceptable color variations press-to-press, shift-to-shift and plant-to-plant: 1. Standardize the color measuring device. A spectroden- sitometer will measure the color being printed and compare it against customer-approved color specifica- tions and tolerances. 2. Standardize the target. Make sure each shift, press and print facility is using the same customer-approved color specifications and tolerances to check the color against. This ensures everyone is measuring against the same target. 3. Standardize the color control trending software. It will track the performance of a specific job and produce reports indicating to the customer or internal quality personnel how well the pressrun performed across shifts, presses and different facilities. These three elements enable you to monitor the performance of the pressrun. They will quickly indicate if there is a color prob- lem, regardless of whether the print job is being produced on multiple presses, different shifts or at multiple locations. YOUR ROI How can you build process improvement if you don’t track and compare? Even a simple ROI will tell you the huge impact your new color quality control process will have on color ac- curacy, pressroom efficiency, consumable savings and overall customer satisfaction. “Overall, the pressrooms run more efficiently with color quality performance tracking across the Smurfit-Stone network of packaging plants, with better scheduling achieved through faster makeready, and significant savings in time, labor and material costs — all key components to customer satisfaction.” Russ Lawrimore, senior director of operational excellence Smurfit-Stone Container Cor.. When building your quality assurance plan for the press- room, it does not matter whether you start with a simple hand- held spectrophotometer or more sophisticated inline device, the difference is measured only in time and efficiency. Highly accurate color measurement devices, operators skilled in the practice of using them, and clear-cut guidelines to follow, provide a sound foundation to build upon your color quality control process. When used consistently, color measurement devices will yield the highly desired results and make a substantial impact on both customer satisfaction and your company ’s bottom- line--as long as you use them! n About the Author: Bob Byrnes is technical sales/services direc- tor, TECHKON USA. He focuses on color measurement systems for corporate accounts in the package printing industry. Bob has played an integral role in implementing color measuring strategies for packaging printers large and small, and helping to configure color measurement/quality assurance systems for both printers and their brand managers. He welcomes your questions and comments at email@example.com Make sure each shift, press and print facility is using the same customer-approved color specifications and tolerances to check the color against. 30 FLEXO noveMber 2011 www.flexography.org FLX_November11.indd 30 11/8/11 3:53 PM