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FLEXO Magazine : May 2012
that were made with known processing errors. The plates were tested in the lab and on press. Results showed, with the exception of back exposure and detack, platemaking vari- ables showed little affect on properties, print, or wear. Plate compressibility predicted cracking and surface screening could minimize cracking. And, flat top dot technology showed more stable standard ink density (SID) as well as less crack- ing. Fronczkiewicz intends to expand this work and explore further variables. Ian Hole, Esko, presented “SID vs. Accurate Color Match.” Hole’s research explored the association of standard ink density and accurate color match. Density variation (pinholes) is historically common in flexo. The most common way to eliminate them is to apply more ink. However, will the higher ink density match the ISO ink standards for flexo? Research conducted by Hole looked at higher ink density, plate solu- tions, surface screening (or texturization) and extended gamut solutions. FQC: StandardS Working group SimpliFying StandardS, revieWing ruleS Standards are an essential part of our process. They are the benchmark of how we measure, and are measured by our customers. As consumer products companies continue to embrace the use of standards; critical communication has become, and will continue to be, an essential part of our industry. The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) and the Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) have been involved with standards for many years. The FQC Standards Working Group (SWG) was established to help coordinate the continued involvement of the FTA, its membership and industry experts in the review and development of relevant industry stan- dards. With the final goal of assuring that any standards developments, changes, or revisions have our full support and are communicated to the membership in a timely manner. At the start of our working group, we established our charter, which defines the intentions of the group: “To insure that the flexographic printing industry is duly represented in the development of relevant standards, to stay current with any standards additions or revisions as well as provide pertinent, up to date standards information through the FTA, to the membership, and industry at large.” The following goals were developed to help determine the workings of the group: • Develop a database of industry experts • Extraction of pertinent standards information, summarization and distribution to industry experts • If deemed necessary, direct any required standards testing to the FQC Executive Committee for determination of the appropriate course of action • Provide a timely response with comments and/or vote back to ISO and other standards organizations • Distribute appropriate standards information updates to the FTA membership through quarterly reports in FLEXO Magazine, and association forums, and conferences. I would like to acknowledge our current standards review team: Steve Smiley, Vertis Communications; Danny Rich, Sun Chemical; and Sam Ingram, Clemson University. Steve, Danny and Sam have and will be our primary liaisons between the standards organizations and SWG, which is initiating a new standards review process that will allow additional indus- try experts to review and comment on summaries of standards communications. An FQC “Sign-Up” for interested parties was distributed through an e-mail blast to the membership recently at the 2012 FTA Forum during Saturday ’s FQC Working Session and at the FTA booth at INFO*FLEX. The SWG is included within this FQC sign-up and lists the categories for standards review. We would encourage anyone who is an expert or has specific industry knowledge and would like to participate in standards review to add his or her name to the appropriate category(s). To sign up, please visit the home page of the FTA website at www.flexography.org and click on the “Join the FQC” icon. As new standards information becomes available, the FQC will provide updates in quarterly reports in FLEXO Magazine. Gary Hilliard Chair, FQC Standards Working Group About the Author: Gary Hilliard is the graphics & print technology manager for Hood Packaging Corp. in Arden Hills, MN, with over 30 years experience in the flexo industry. He is a member of the FQC Executive Council, is a past FTA/FFTA Board Member, and Past Chairman of the FFTA Board of Directors. 16 FLEXO may 2012 www.flexography.org