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FLEXO Magazine : February 2012
customer expectations, needed to expedite the commercial launch.” explains Calvert. “ We had to get the bottle shape and apply the graphics as quickly as possible. We were able to see with the 3D function in our solution what had to be adjusted. It’s great because the software gives us a quick view of how the distortion is going. Once everything was ap- proved, we ran it on flexo with our high-definition screening. Without our new application, it would have taken a lot longer.” According to Karen Insko, Valvoline marketing manager, “Multi-Color brought an innovative and quality solution to us in record time. Without the 3D technology, the launch date would have been in jeopardy due to the lengthier standard art approval process.” Although MCC has been extremely successful with its shrink sleeve applications, using the labeling technology is not a cut and dry process, admits Calvert. The company is continually looking to improve its techniques, changing the rules as it learns new and better methods of creating the sleeve. This also involves ensuring the customer has realistic expectations regarding shrink sleeves. “One of the ongoing challenges using shrink sleeves is educating clients on what they can and cannot do,” says Calvert. “ You cannot design an image to the edge of the bleed and cram in too much graph- ics on the label; the bottle shape may be a heavily distorted hourglass, so the logo and identity gets compromised. During the distortion part, we have to go into specific areas in the design and make sure graphics don’t run all over. ” To help educate its clients, Multi-Color holds “Packaging College” three times a year. Customers are invited to attend seminars, held over one or two days, to learn about and see firsthand the various print technologies used at the plants. It also gives customers the opportunity to talk to production personnel and learn better ways of creating and designing their product. For MCC, the prime motivation is always customer satisfac- tion. “If you go to a store you can see some shrink sleeve la- bels by some converters where the distortion was not applied correctly,” says Calvert. “ We want to ensure that it was done right. We want to make sure we do exactly what the customer asks us to do. Our new software has definitely helped us give a good quality label to our customers.” n About the Author: Larry Moore is director, software services/ North America for Esko. He has held numerous positions in flexo prepress over the last 30+ years. Since originally joining Barco Graphics—now Esko—in 2000, Larry has been focused on technical and sales-related positions for prepress software and workflow automation. He resides in Vandalia, OH and is based at the Esko North American Headquarters in Miamisburg, OH. www.flexography.org february 2012 FLEXO 59