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FLEXO Magazine : May 2013
“T he blanket is an essential part of IDF, as it also allows for flexographic printing on 3-D substrate, such as thermoformed or injected containers. In traditional flexographic print- ing—plate-to-substrate—the printing plate does not offer the necessary compressibility to properly transfer the ink in the low thickness points.” Essentially, the blanket is borrowed from dry offset, as is the process of sequentially transferring individual ink colors to a blanket and then transferring to the 3-D cup, while drying each color before printing the next. But in dry offset, due to contamination, UCR (under color removal) is needed in the separation, and CMYK is replaced by PMS colors in order to get the density in the image. Designers at Berry reported, “T hese two elements tend to make the image look posterized and not realistic. ” DECORATOR’S DREAM From their perspective, “Servocup is a new and unique printing press that allows true 4-color CMYK photographic reproduction, indirectly printed onto a container, flexographi- cally, with drying between each color.” It will allow sophisticat- ed halftone CMYK or Hexachromatic color separation with a level of decoration never achieved before and should appeal to marketing executives who are often frustrated by dry offset print quality limitations. “By using a CMYK-base artwork, the press downtime is significantly reduced compared to PMS- based dry offset.” Marketing executives, who in the past explored, and even opted for, alternative decoration techniques; such as IML, shrink sleeve, pressure sensitive label or heat transfer labels, often were deterred by high costs and extensive lead times. “ That is not the case with IDF,” Berry ’s product devel- opers explained. “T he Servocup printer contributes to the advancement of the flexographic industry because it allows us to print on a 3-D part and not just a flat sheet as in traditional flexographic printing. This technology can produce a beautiful photo- graphic reproduction and we can consistently print the same process print on a white, clarified and black substrate with minimal difference. This cannot be achieved with dry offset. ” In their assessment, “IDF has the potential to change plas- tic cup decoration as we know it. It may eventually replace other decorating technologies; rotogravure, offset, dry offset, and digital.” That said, they added this final observation, “As customers continue to push to reduce lead-times and inventories, and improve print quality, the Servocup printer can offer a more cost-effective, high-quality printed container to meet and ex- ceed the customer ’s expectations. The proof is in the print!” n When We Win, You Win Better Solutions - Together www.markandy.com +1 636 532 4433 Back to back winner FTA Technical innovation Award Performance Series and Quick Change Die Cut The Performance Series press platform and new Quick Change Die Cut (QCDC) have helped converters worldwide realize improved productivity and efficiency. With these award-winning innovations, our customers win more jobs and more profits. When we win, you win. FTA_Award_Ad_8.25x11.375.indd 1 4/9/13 6:02 PM 44 FLEXO may 2013 www.flexography.org