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FLEXO Magazine : July 2012
certainly not least, is fully automated step & repeat driven by a workflow automation server. Sophisticated step & repeat programs will offer a number of features. First, they will create the backside of the job at the same time they create the front. They will automatically create print production controls such as color bars, sheet corner marks, and trim marks, etc. Some can take job parameters from MIS or order- entry systems to automatically prepare a job. And, don’t forget that whatever is prepared for print must also be pre- pared for diecutting. Give the file a screen test! One of the last responsibilities is to look at the separations and determine what screen- ing makes sense for the job. Highlights and shadows dictate dot shape. It comes down to desired results in screening. Do I want an image to have a particular appearance? Transitional screening? Stochastic for another? We know certain screening that does not lend well with flexo (an example would be eccentric screening or square dots that increase dot gain). A good rule is to stay away from screens that have chaining effects as they will produce high amounts of dot gain. Then again, there are dot shapes that do not work well with offset, digital or gravure. Screening has become so sophis- ticated that it is possible to change screening technology for certain breaks in highlights or shadows. There are lots of options to choose from. Proof the job—Finally, we want to see a color-accurate hard copy proof to make sure that our work reflects the designer’s intent. Brand packaging makes extensive use of spot colors and is produced using a wide range of print processes including digital print, offset, gravure and flexog- raphy with multi-color process printing. Having an accurate proof before we go to print sets the correct expectations and optimizes print production, avoiding costly errors and waste. There are a number of applications that can assure that the final color is accurately represented on the proof, whatever the print process. Looking back, it ’s clear that our workflow does a lot more than we ever thought. We are just spoiled that, once we plan the steps in a workflow solu- tion, much of it can be done automati- cally. Getting a package engineered from electronic file to print is a complex process — arguably requiring more attention than any other print job. The stakes are high. Exceptional packag- ing can profoundly affect sales. Errors discovered after print can affect prod- uct costs. Be proud of the science involved in the work we do. n About the Author: Larry Moore, director, software services, Esko North America, has held numerous positions in flexo prepress over the last 30+ years. Of late, he has been focused on technical and sales related positions for prepress software and workflow automation. Larry resides in Vandalia, OH and is based at Esko’s North American Hqs. in Miamisburg, OH. www.flexography.org july 2012 FLEXO 55 Your Location Our Location Online Maximize the effectiveness of your personnel, equipment, software and materials. A&V offers training programs and support designed for every level of flexo experience. Training is offered on-site at your location, at our locations or online (check out Flexo TV on our website where you can instantly watch and learn). • Process/Quality Control • Digital PlateMaking Best Practices • Color Management • Workflow Assistance • Proofing Applications • Press Fingerprinting & Characterization • FlexSys Simulator Training • G7 Certified Expert Training Flexo Training & Technologies theDiffe rence! Experience 866.282.7697 | fx 800.223.6869 www.AndVre.com | info@AndVre.com flexodaily.com fb.com/ andvre twitter.com/ andvre linkd.in/ AndVre youtube.com/ andersonvreeland gplus.to/ andvre Connect With Us See us at Labelexpo Stand 929