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FLEXO Magazine : April 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES Wow...where do you begin when describ- ing the special characteristics of this unique flexible package? This 14-color job required converting multiple materials in-line, while printing. The brand owner wanted to utilize the tandem effects of a holographic image (sunbursts) with the support of metallic inks in the background. There are a lot of soft and subtle tones of spot colors that blend together with beau- tiful transition in the background. This was especially difficult given that each of these colors is metallic. Our Crisp Dot technol- ogy was the key that enabled us to create such a smooth transition of very fine dots, yet yielding a major "bling factor" with our metallics. Then, we had to convert a holo- graphic material with no tolerance of error onto the web and print multiple colors on top of that hologram in order to invoke a "shimmering" sunburst-all independent of the rest of the design. It was a daunting task! This is the type of work that gets you out of bed each morning...and sometimes keeps you up all night. -John McDowell an emotional connection with the consum- er, it's almost a given that they are going to scan that barcode," said John. PRESSES AND PEOPLE The pressroom at McDowell Label houses both water-based and UV presses. Most are outfitted with screen, hot stamp, and other capabilities. One of the most versatile machines in the company's arsenal is its MPS EP. "It offers total flexibility," lauded David. "I don't care what the job, how many screen colors, how many flexo colors, I can do it on that press. Every head can either be flexo or UV screen. I don't have to slide heads in and out. It also has re-insertion." This is the same press that produced one of the firm's most difficult jobs-a 27 -color run, which required three re-insertions. The job shared the cover of FLEXO's March 2006 issue. "Thanks to this press, we very seldom have to tell someone, 'We can't do that.'" But John insists that there is much more to the company's abilities than simple equipment. "Our presses playa vital role," - he said. "But if it was all about a press that could provide this type of product decora- tion, everyone in the label and packaging world would be doing it. Even with all this technology, printing is still a skill. We hire the very best, train them exhaustively, and empower them to do their job." According to Jay Luft, vice president of operations, attitude comes strongly into play, and part of that attitude has to do with hygiene. "The mentality is that if our staff keeps a clean shop and a clean press, then they are going to run good product. A clean press is a happy press; we have a lot of happy presses." The mindset isn't just about appearance; it's a quality control issue. "The equipment is as good as it was when it was first pur- chased," said Jay. "It continues to produce quality product. We do the recommended amount of maintenance. In fact, we do such a good job of keeping things cleaned and oiled that we could have the luxury of doing less maintenance. The presses are even cleaned during the runs. The operators never stand still. They are constantly wiping things down." A PR I L 2008 www.flexography.org FLEXO