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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
FTA TODAY Indelible mark. XFlex Series Multi Process Label Presses for All-in-one-Pass High Quality Printing. MONEY SAVER FULL OPTIONAL ULTRA FLEXIBLE ERGONOMIC LOWEST WASTE OMET Americas, Inc. 4245, 44th Street Grand Rapids, MI 49152 (USA) firstname.lastname@example.org Phone +1 (616) 588 8444 A company of OMET Group ometamericas.com Unified Achievable Targets FQC: G7 Controls Process, Simplifies Workflows, Enhances Appearance By Shawn Oetjen When I embarked on the Flexo Quality Consortium’s Narrow Web Near Neutral Calibration Project, I was not sure what to expect. G7 seemed to be a buzz- word that people throw around like dice at a casino. The fact is, G7 significantly increases odds of “ winning” when printing with flexography. G7, aka near neutral calibration (American National Standards Institute TR015), is simply a way to control the process and give printers a unified achievable target. The overarching purpose of near neutral calibration is to simplify workflows and increase the visual appearance of print samples from flexo to other print types. Flexographers print on a variety of different substrates and utilize different ink vendors, not to mention countless other variables that exist from plant-to-plant and at times, job-to-job. The objective of the narrow web near neutral project, as stated in the charter was to: 1. Create a data set from 10 documented flexographic pressruns printed following G7 specifications 2. Compare the resulting narrow web data set to existing data sets 3. Determine if the narrow web data set is comparable to one of the existing data sets, or if multiple data sets are needed 4. If a new data set is needed, determine if it is consistent and repeatable within itself Some examples of existing data sets are General Require- ments for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography (GRACoL) and Specifications for Web Offset Publications (SWOP). They were created in a process similar to this FQC project, where many pressruns, performed under standard conditions, were analyzed to determine the average ability of that printing process with those conditions. GRAY BALANCE & DENSITY CURVES G7®, as defined by IDEAlliance, is both a definition of gray- scale appearance, and a calibration method for adjusting any CMYK imaging device to simulate the G7 grayscale definition. G7 yields a visual match between different imaging systems using simple one-dimensional curves. It enables shared ap- pearance between different printing devices or specifications when additional color management is not available. METRICS, METHODOLOGIES & MEANING • The objective of the narrow web near neutral project was to create a data set from 10 documented flexographic pressruns printed following G7 specifications • Print conditions were meticulously recorded using Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances (FIRST) 4.0 • The hypothesis was that narrow web presses under multiple conditions and substrates could print to CGATS TR006 (GRACoL20006 V2) aims • Narrow web flexographic printers that print using ISO2846-5 ink and adhere to ISO12647- 2 printing aim points, can achieve color that is undistinguishable from offset samples • Near neutral calibration provides a tool for common appearance without limiting gamut size Figure 1 Figure 2 14 FLEXO OCtOBEr 2012 www.flexography.org