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FLEXO Magazine : February 2012
© tesa tape, inc. www.tesatape.com ISO 9001:2008 Certified • ISO/TS 16949:2009 Certified • ISO 14001:2004 Certified ® • Plate Mounting • Roller Wrapping • Splicing • Core Starting • Edge Sealing • End Tabbing • What Every Pit Crew Needs NEW tesa Softprint® FE Plate Mounting Tapes tesa EasySplice® FilmLine PLUS Splicing Tape NEW What Every Pit Crew Needs What Every Pit Crew Needs Introducing Speed and Efficiency for Your Print Crew n Fast mounting n Splice at high speeds n Easy de-mounting n Improved adhesion n Superior print quality n Increased throughput InquireforFREESampleemail@example.com Official Adhesive Tape Sponsor tesaFLEXO8x10.875PrintAd2012SQR.indd 1 1/20/12 11:41 AM STREAMLINED WORKFLOW A customer-supplied CAD file of the container shape is used to create the initial structural design. The CAD data is converted into a Collada file, basically an industry format used for sharing 3D info back and forth to the designers. “ We’re working with all different kinds of print technologies and processes, so it’s important that we can convert them to one format,” says Calvert. “ Each CAD file we get could have been made from a different CAD program, which could be challenging.” The file is brought into the shrink sleeve application, which lets the operator view—in Adobe® Illustrator®—how the artwork distorts on the bottle or can. “ We size it up and make sure the shrink sleeve fits correctly, that it is overlapping cor- rectly, even before we add the graphics to the sleeve,” says Calvert. “ T he good part is we get the structural file and apply the grid in a 3D format, get back to Illustrator® and, using the software’s preview window, get every object—graphics and type—distorted.” MCC’s Tech Services Group, prints out a grid and applies it to a label. “ T he team works hand in hand with our decora- tors, or people applying labels, making sure that the dimen- sions are correct on the label itself, so when they are applied we are accurate,” says Calvert. One of MCC’s skilled operators will tear apart the file to work on elements that did not work 100 percent correct on the label. “ Some of the artwork we deal with is so complex— things like transparencies and compound paths and masks— that the operator has to tear apart each element to distort it separately,” explains Calvert. WOW FACTOR Once MCC is satisfied with the label, it makes a color print for internal use as a proof, and sends out a 3D PDF file to the customer. “ The 3D PDF gives our customers a good feel of what the label will look like on the bottle shape,” says Calvert. “T hey like the 3D; it provides the WOW factor.” There is also a practical side to having the client see a 3D proof; it lets the client become more aware of the difficulties of certain designs. If the customer OKs the design, MCC creates the digital mock-up proof. “ T hen once it is approved, we run it through the automated workflow and go through the process of step and repeat to create plates,” says Calvert. A designer is set to preview artwork—in 3D—as it is shrunk on the packaging. Pre-distortion tools now compensate for the complex combination of horizontal and vertical distortions that are typical with irregular shapes. 56 FLEXO februAry 2012 www.flexography.org