by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : March 2013
FTA TODAY Standard CMYK Process Inks — Help Needed! Opportunity and Issue in the ISO Printing Ink and Color Certification Chain By Paul Lodewyck The goal of easily transportable, universal printing work is based on a chain of standardized, certified processes and physical components. This well-defined workflow minimizes confusion and enables a clear, shared expectation, resulting in a very cost-effective printed product that meets the brand owner’s business need. A more standardized process and continuing cost reduc- tions would enable flexo to continue gaining market share vs. litho; but, right now, we have an issue with one of the links in the chain—establishment of a standard set of process inks. In litho, the International Standards Organization (ISO) process starts with a set of process inks, whose color and transparency characteristics are set on a standard substrate. Press characterizations and actual printing are done with these standard inks to final printed color targets that are shift- ed, depending on the substrate to be printed. This has been a very successful approach in litho, and a high percentage of print work is process. In many cases, there are no curve adjustments made, and the process of transferring graphics and jobs among presses and printers is less complicated than in flexo. In flexo, the ISO printing process is intended to run the same way: starting from a standard set of inks with the target and tolerances set on a standard substrate—the same sub- strate that is used for litho. Printing in conformance with these standards requires inks certified to match ISO 2846-5. The ac- tual flexo targets were set based on a mathematical average of a broad sample of flexo inks, mainly from the U.S. The flexo targets were slightly different than the litho targets. The G7/Near Neutral Density characterization process is based on a similar approach, and requires certified standard inks for a characterization. In practice, certification vs. ISO 2846-5 is required, with the actual values reported; not just a statement of certification. Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Toler- ances (FIRST) does not establish standard inks on a standard substrate, though it recommends establishing them. It goes directly to suggested targets and tolerances in the final prints. There are different targets for different ink chemistry plat- forms (solvent, water, UV). According to Flexo Quality Consor- tium’s (FQC’s) unofficial historian, Steve Smiley, the key focus on the original ISO2846 was on transparency; and transpar- ency is not addressed at all in FIRST. So – ISO and G7 call for certified ink and FIRST does not. All call for a specific printed result on the final substrate. Note: The STANDARDIZING CROSS PLATFORM PRINTING • Well-defined workflow minimizes confusion and enables a clear shared expectation resulting in a very cost effective printed product that meets the brand owner’s business need • ISO 2846 suggests color targets be consolidated to the litho targets to make designs more portable for cross platform printing and to yield a more uniform ultimate color result • FQC was concerned with this approach because no work had been done on the original ISO2846-5 specs to demonstrate that whatever was specified for standard inks actually meet printed color target specifications (ISO 12647) • An FQC project team was chartered to validate the approach, but the standards did not align, due primarily to the fact that the substrate specified in ISO 2846 was too yellow compared to the actual production substrates used in flexo • Progress in establishing a revision to ISO 2846-5 has been continually delayed www.flexography.org mArCh 2013 FLEXO 21