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FLEXO Magazine : July 2012
EDWARDS: We have not seen an increase in the quantity of ink used. The trend is that 10 percent less ink used. FLEXO: What Delta E tolerence is used for the seven basic colors shipped to the printer for use in EG printing? EDWARDS: It varies based on brand owner, normally <2.0 DE CMC. FLEXO: Is there a best printing rotation for a surface print profile? EDWARDS: Dark to light is normal, however the color separator would produce the final sequence. FLEXO: What is/was, the most challeng- ing aspect of ECG for your operation? HILLIARD: Early on, it was choosing the correct single pigment inks that would allow us to use EG to its full potential. FLEXO: What major hurdles does a typi- cal spot-color printing converter need to overcome? HILLIARD: Honestly, there are no major hurdles to overcome. If you can print CMYK, then you can print EG as well. A fingerprint using the EG colors will need to be performed, so that your prepress supplier can develop the necessary data for the separations. Obviously you will need a press that can accommo- date the extra colors needed. FLEXO: How would you switch to full expanded gamut from where you are now? What would your next step be? HILLIARD: For any printer to consider a complete EG workflow, staff needs to fully understand their printing capabili- ties. Testing on each press would need to be conducted to determine if the very tight registration requirements could be held, for building text and other ele- ments. They would also need to have full cooperation from their customers in developing specifications for spot color match tolerences. FLEXO: How often are you forced to use a spot ink color because a) the customer will not budge on brand color; b) reg- istration is too difficult to hold; c) color cannot be achieved? HILLIARD: Since we are just in the early stages of promoting EG printing, we have not had to face that question yet. If there were stations available for a critical color match, we would certainly print the color as spot. There will always be certain customer color requirements, which may not be able to print with EG. On the other hand, a customer may accept an EG build for a critical color, in order to gain the other benefits of the process. With good color mapping, many colors can be matched with tolerence in a DE range that would be acceptable by most customers. FLEXO: How do you specify or set specs on your process inks? Do you set den- sity aims -- if so how do you select the right status filter? HILLIARD: We use the magenta filter to measure our orange, and the cyan filter to measure our green and violet inks. We typically try to print the EG colors with as much solid ink density as possible, based on the ink pigments we use, and our anilox roll volumes. Re- gardless of the density you can achieve, your color separations will be based on what your fingerprint determines. FLEXO: We all know there is color shift that can occur during any pressrun. What is an acceptable or expected DE variance that could happen during an ECG pressrun? Is it more than CMYK? HILLIARD: We measure the L*a*b*, chroma and hue of our EG colors the same way we check our standard CMYK ink set. We see no difference in holding a standard deviation with our EG colors. FLEXO: What is the best way to prepare the digital artwork for a seven-color gamut? www.flexography.org JULY 2012 FLEXO 25