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FLEXO Magazine : February 2012
Making The Exchange Easier MIS Integration and Customer Web Portals Seamless production management with QBF ARAMIS is the core MIS solution for planning, managing, and monitoring your production. As the leading prepress MIS partner of EskoArtwork®, we take automation in your business to a whole new level. Your customers can even be included in the workflow via the QBF Internet portal. www.aramis-packaging.de | firstname.lastname@example.org The Quick Brown Fox GmbH INFO*FLEX 2012 Meet us at Booth 125 application/labeling line speeds, especially as converters migrate from manual to automated labeling systems. Even container technology has improved, allowing for better shrink sleeve construction. It's on the front end, during design and prepress, where technology has had its strongest impact. Traditionally, the designing and execution of shrink sleeves has been a cum- bersome process with long lead times. Designers create grids on the shrink sleeve material, wrap it around the container, run it through a shrink sleeve tunnel, measure the distortion, and try to size graphic elements based upon these measure- ments. The design usually requires several iterations before the distortion is accurate and several replays involving plates and press time are not unusual. BIGGEST CHALLENGE Trying to get an accurate read on the amount of distor- tion required is typically the converter's biggest challenge. For MCC, this process has been greatly improved with Esko Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves, a stand-alone application installed in the spring of 2010 that provides 3D visualization of shrink sleeve packaging and tools for artwork distortion. Users can preview the artwork on the screen---in 3D---as it is shrunk on the packaging, for easier, cheaper and faster design corrections. Pre-distortion tools compensate for the complex combination of horizontal and vertical distortions that are typical with irregular shapes. "Distortion is the biggest challenge," acknowledges Cal- vert. "Our new software gives us an accurate rendering of what the distortion will look like. We are all about quality and ensuring the customer has a finished product they are happy with. Being able to invest in new technology to accomplish those goals is a big plus for us." Its previous solution was far less accurate in terms of its ability to measure distortion. "Our old software provided a simulation of what the distortion would be based on the grids," explains Calvert. "Our new solution is more accu- rate---we have done tests side by side. The fact that we can get the structured file into a 3D format and then apply the grid, where it is taking in the entire bottle shape, is key. It's a more accurate way of distorting." MCC is so excited about the new shrink sleeve solution it bought additional licenses. "First of all, we are seeing growth in our use of shrink sleeves," says Calvert. "Also, our opera- tors really like it. Just like any good graphic operators, we need to know printing and how the process works, but our operators like the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) aspect of the software, where they can hit 'select' and see if graphics and the type are going across the container the way we want them to, or if they are overlapping." 54 FLEXO FEBRUARY 2012 www.flexography.org