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FLEXO Magazine : December 2011
or three times each month to discuss ways to become more environmentally conscious. Prairie State Group owes its remarkable results from its Great Ideas for Today (GIFT) incentive program that garnered 93 new ideas from employees. Several suggestions have been implemented to reduce PSG’s environmental footprint while saving the company money. • 11th Annual FTA Environmental Excellence Award for Technical Innovation: PolyCello, Amherst, Nova Scotia. PolyCello, a 55-year-old company, a 22-year member of FTA, and the first ISO 14001 certified flexographic printer in North America, developed SmartPack technology—an innovative, environmentally conscious packaging—that gives the look of high-quality lami- nation with only one layer. The technology reduces production steps, thus saving labor costs and energy consumption. Signature eventS • Indianapolis, IN—Foundation of Flexographic Techni- cal Association’s 2011 INFO*FLEX Exhibition cemented its reputation as the #1 networking and most compre- hensive event of the year for North America’s printing, packaging and converting community. With eight aisles, more than 215 booths, more that 30 first-time exhibitors and more than 1,600 attendees, 2011’s INFO*FLEX Exhibition was a rousing success. Package buyers included, Pepsi, Diageo, Sara Lee, Kimberly Clark, Hershey ’s , Sargento, and Coca-Cola. • FTA put “Color In Focus” before an audience of nearly 300 flexographers, Oct. 10-12, 2011, as it staged its an- nual Fall Conference in St. Louis, MO. The assembly consisted largely of printers; but suppliers, prepress tech- nicians, consumer product companies, educators, and students were represented as well. The 34 conference sponsors who manned the tabletop exhibits, and 14 featured speakers, kept the conversa- tion and networking continuous. The consensus was unanimous: FTA’s Fall Conference was packed with relative information that can be used on the floor. Everything said was valuable, up-to-date, insightful and highly applicable to the flexographic process. • Labelexpo Europe 2011, which took place from Septem- ber 28 to October 1 in Brussels, Belgium, broke all previ- ous records in terms of visitors, exhibitors and equipment sales; making it the largest and most successful label event to date. In total, 28,636 visitors from 118 countries attended this year’s show – an 18.6 percent increase over 2009’s show. Labelexpo of the Americas is set for Sep- tember 11-13 in Rosemont, IL at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. aSSociation HappeningS • FTA’s regional networking groups provide a phenomenal opportunity for those involved in flexography to inexpen- sively avail themselves of the outstanding technical con- tent provided by the industry professionals who volunteer to speak at these events. Print-shop managers located near the regional groups will not find a better value for Technologies & Techniques FLEXO’S FLUBS • Dotgainflattensout and reducescontrast in the photograph,compressingthetonesandhighlights. • Image manipulation worsensquantization, is coun- terproductive toimprovingthe shot andwillnever compareto aphotographtakenspecificallyfor flexographicprinting. • Edgeswhere colordropsbelow aminimum dot will appear “fake”orunnatural asthepressgain producesasharpandunnatural edge, ruiningthe intendedeffect. • Enlargingaphoto excessivelywill softenthe image and reducecontrast. 58 FLeXO october 2011 www.flexography.org F all conference ed it ion Flexographicprintingcustomersoftenprovide prepress housesandprintersout-of-focus,softlylit photos, and theyusuallyhaveunrealisticexpectationsabout the waytheywillprint.Thisarticlewill providesomeinsightinto which conditionscause photographstoprintpoorlyin flexog- raphyandsolutionsto resolvetheissues. Afew of thefactorsthat affectthequalityofphotographyfor flexography: • Lossof Highlight DetailinPrinting • Resolution • DepthofField, orAreaofSharpFocus • Digital Blurriness Photography for Flexographic Printing How to Improve the Printability of Photos on Press By Ed Emanus ww w.flex ograp hy.org oc toB Er 2011 FLEXO 59 Technologies & Techniques REPUTABLE& SAFE • Printingcompliant foodpackagingisoftenseenasa minefieldof complexlegislativedecisions. • Ourpackagingsupplychain, from brandownerto packer filler, mustworktogethertoensuresafepack- agingforthe consumer. • Simplyprintingwith low-migrationinksandcoatings doesnot ensure compliantpackaging. • Useofgoodpackagingdesign andgoodmanufac- turingpracticesarecriticalto reducingtheriskof unwantedmigration of packagingcomponents. • Thepackagingindustry hasafirst classreputation forthe productionofhigh quality andsafefood pac kagi n g. oneexampleoflow-migrationtechnologyissunChemical’ssunBar oxygenbarriercoatings, whichcanbeappliedtomanyfilmic substratestoreplaceorenhancecurrentbarriertechnologiesina sustainable,costeffective manner. Photos:sun Chemical 32 FLe XO novemB er 2011 www.flexography.org Food Packaging Safety Reducing the Risk of Migration By Anthony Bean Today,brand owners’continuallydemand packag- ing that mustprovideshelf appeal, offersignificantly enhancedcommunication, berecyclableand sustain- able,extend theshelf life, belightweight,attimesserveas acookingvessel; and,insomecases, evenself-heat.All of theseattributesmustcomeat areasonablecostagainst alternativesin an evertoughermarket.Atthesametime, the regulatorylandscape ismaking it safer, butmorecomplex, forthepackagetocomplywithallthe stipulationsthat are beingplaceduponit. Overthe past 10years, in Europeespecially, therehas beenan increasing numberoffood packaging migration alertshighlighted byseveralproduct withdrawalsfrom supermarketshelves.Thesemigrationalertshaveresulted ingrowingscrutiny regarding the designandproduction of compliant foodpackaging. Duetotighterregulationsand restrictionsinEurope, flexible packaging printersandconvertersfaceagreater challenge thaneverto ensure thattheymeet brand owner requirements,butdo soin awaythat preventspackaging materialsfrom migratingtofood. DEFINING MIGRATION Migration fromfoodpackaging referstothetransferof unwanted substancesfromthe packaging tothe packaged foodstuff itself.These changesare notalwayspickedup by odorortaste tests,andareusuallyfound bychemicalanaly- ses.The migrating substancescancomefroma varietyof sources,including the packaging substrates, inks, coatings, adhesives, theprinting pressitself ortheenvironmentthat the raw materials,workinprogressorthefinishedprinted pack, arestoredin. Use of goodpackaging designandgood manufacturing practicesaretherefore criticaltoreducing the riskof unwant- ed migration of packaging components. InEurope,packaging thatisintendedtocomeintocontact withfood must meetthe requirementsof EU Regulation(EC) No1935/2004.Theguiding principleofthislegislationrequires that foodpackagingshould nottransfermaterialstothe pack- aged goodsinquantitiesthat bring abouta change in nature, substance orqualityof thefood, and must notbeinjurious tohealth.In addition, producers mustoperateusing “Good Manufacturing Practice”(GMP) asdefined inEURegulation (EC) No 2023/2006. More recently,SwissRegulatoryAuthoritieshave intro- duced an “Ordinance,” which specificallyoutlineslistsof raw materialsthat canbeusedinfood packaginginks.Each listedsubstancewilleventuallyhavea specificmigration limit (SML) againstwhichthedown-streamstakeholdersare expected to assurecompliance. Whiletechnicallythis“Ordinance” onlyaffectsinksand packagingwithinSwitzerland,itseffectshave beenkeenlyfelt throughoutEuropeandbeyond.In fact, manycustomersand www.flexography.org noveMBe R 2011 FLEXO 33 54 FLEXO december 2011 www.flexography.org