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FLEXO Magazine : April 2012
FTA TODAY Standards & Their Impact FQC Standards Committee Gets to Work By Steve Smiley Flexographic Technical Association has convened a blue ribbon panel of industry experts devoted to printing in- dustry standards. The group, known as The FQC (Flexo Quality Consortium) Standards Committee, is now reviewing work in progress and voicing comments relevant to the stan- dards as they are developed and adopted. At FTA’s 54th Annual Forum, the FQC Standards Commit- tee conducted a Saturday pre-conference briefing on its role. Also touched on were customer expectations for new stan- dards and the impending impact of the documents/policies on flexo packaging, printing and converting operations. On the blotter: ISO 12647-6:2012 FlexOgraphIc prInTIng The new Flexographic Print and Proof standard has passed Final Distributed International Standard (FDIS). The last set of comments has been distributed to the core TC130 Working Group members for comments. This new standard should be out for publication after the meeting in April 2012. It requires printers to print to customer’s expectations (within agreed upon tolerances) by communicating those expectations with characterization data in PDFs. There is also new information for plates, files, inks, conformance and reporting data. ISO 12647-7 – prOOFIng This document is currently up for revision. It has been used for proofing system certification for more than six years but users have found some holes. Revisions will begin in Yo- gyakarta, Indonesia, in April 2012. A list of currently known issues has been sent out for review. As this document is updated, it is hoped that there will be requirements for users as well as systems. 17972-4 cxF x-4 SpOT cOlOrS CxF X-4 defines custom resources for “Spot” or “Brand” colors, requiring spectral data of the solid, but suggesting strongly at least nine tint patches plus solid and substrate over white and defined black ink. The ISO Working Group 2 Task Force 2 (WG2 TF2) has adapted the PDF standards to al- low this CxF X-4 data to be carried in any PDF X file, providing a tool for real blind communication. This standard seems to be nearly complete, however 17972-1 (CxF Core format) is in final review, and it must be completed before any other part of the series can be added. InTernaTIOnal cOlOr cOnSOrTIum (Icc) The ICC has a growing group of members working on solutions for packaging by developing new formats to keep spectral data in ICC profiles. Its focus is better management of spot color overprints. Already, it has developed a solution for communicating metallics. At the last meeting in Berlin, the ICC provided a tool to communicate spot color data using a “ named-color” profile that will be allowed in a PDF X-5 and can be created out of CxF X-4 data. Expect to see lots of new technology for our industry coming out of the ICC. Visit the ICC at www.color.org. ghenT pDF WOrkgrOup (gWg) Ghent PDF Workgroup is currently finishing up a version of preflight and RIP specifications for PDF X-4 . GWG has a pack- aging committee working on defining a standard way of com- municating the defined roles (i.e . designer, printer, platemaker) for viewing a PDF, as well as separating print from non-print elements; such as trim, bleed, braille, varnish from imagery— allowing a designer a view without all the technical layers. PDF X-4 is the correct format for file transfer—it seems to have most of the bug fixes required from PDF X-1a. The PDF X-4 format allows designers to use tools like transparency and blending modes that did not translate well in a post- script workflow. PDF X-4 does not require refrying the PDF in Postscript before creating a new PDF. For more information, please visit the Ghent PDF Workgroup at www.gwg.org. cOmmITTee graphIc arTS TechnIcal STanDarDS (cgaTS) CGATS takes data from the Flexographic Technical Asso- ciation (FTA), IDEAlliance, and the Specifications for News- PLAYERS & PROGRESS • The new Flexographic Print and Proof standard has passed Final Distributed International Standard (FDIS) • CxF X-4 defines custom resources for “Spot” or “Brand” colors • Expect to see lots of new technology for our industry coming out of the ICC • Recent work from CGATS includes TR015 Shared Neutral Appearance, and TR016 Conformance for Printing. TR015 is a standard defining the G7 speci- fication in an ANSI format, bringing Shared Neutral Common Appearance to a standard that can be communicated globally 8 FLEXO April 2012 www.flexography.org