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FLEXO Magazine : July 2012
meet all prerequisite skills and have already completed the Levels I & II certifi- cation courses. Here is where students are really tested on their prepress abilities and how it relates to FIRST methodology. Fol- lowing completion of Level III, a student will be able to examine FIRST job as- sembly specifications including preflight design file format and examine the job in regards to screen work; identify FIRST asset generation points through- out the workflow, including measuring optimization test form for optimal type and font selection; students will also be proficient in performing job assembly relating to image trapping and process work. Prepress Operator Level III will also teach enrollees to apply FIRST prepress output practices that apply to appropriate dot characteristics to digital files as well as inspect digital files prior to platemaking. IN SUMMATION The FIRST Prepress Certification course is for a specific—albeit small— portion of the flexo industry. Simply because many flexographic firms use outside agencies to handle their prepress work, the importance of the program cannot be understated. There are a number of firms that do control their own prepress work, therefore it would be prudent for these companies to look further into the program. There is a real need to centralize the com- munication between every part of the flexo workflow, of which the prepress is a vital part. After the completion of the Prepress certification, firms will under- stand that there is a way to harness the speed at which the industry is going for their own benefit. n www.flexography.org july 2012 FLEXO 37 FIRST supports the methodi- cal approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process im- provement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technol- ogy – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST method- ology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to main- tain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportuni- ties and preserve stable condi- tions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design. BETTER TOGETHER CyberXtendTM Makes It Easy to Combine Multiple Jobs onto the Same Press Run Vibrant Process Reproductions Inventory Reduction Reduced Ink Waste Faster Turnover