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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
Plants & Processes The Measure Of Success ... From less spots By Paul lancelle Getting a balance between cost and quality in production is a critical business challenge. In order to meet the ever-in- creasing demands for shelf impact, the trend in flexographic printing is toward designs that demand an ever-increasing number of colors to be used in print production. This is a trend that does nothing to maximize cost effectiveness. In the flexo print environment, it is traditionally accepted that the “safe” path forward for the incorporation of a Pantone or brand color into a design is to use a spot color ink for print- ing. Often this has been necessary because the achievable color gamut for process printing with flexo has been smaller than that achievable with competing print processes. Historically, flexo has also experienced issues with consis- tency and color shifting when using process builds. For those reasons, special inks are employed to achieve the required quality—but with the obvious associated costs. A special ink not only means another plate to make and another print station to manage, it means increased inventories, greater waste, longer changeover times and reduced flexibility. The combined advancements over recent years in innovative plate, press, anilox roll and ink technology mean, that with the SUCCESSFUL SOFTWARE • A special ink not only means another plate to make and another print station to manage, it means increased inventories, greater waste, longer changeover times and reduced flexibility • It is now possible to overcome the traditional limitations of process color inconsistencies, insufficient ink transfer, poor registration and restricted color gamut • New software has been designed to characterize a specific flexographic print condition, including unique highlight characteristics of flexo printing • The system employs unique color targets and algorithms to capture the color gamut and predict the accuracy with which a spot color can be rendered as a process build • This workflow can help reduce overall packaging costs, improving sustainability without compromising quality 26 FLEXO octoBer 2012 www.flexography.org Fall Conference Preview