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FLEXO Magazine : July 2013
Manager of RockTenn, Amadeo Gaspar contributed invaluable expertise and guidance during the initial steps of plan- ning for plate production. RockTenn Press Operator Dean Morgan operated the Merigraph Systems 5280 platemak- ing machine during production of the test plate. We actually underwent two trials to create the final test plate. On our initial attempt, we lifted the backing sheet before exposure and placed RFID tags within the unexposed liquid floor. The high viscosity of the photopolymer was unfavorable to this process and created bubbles in the plate after exposure. On our second attempt, we first fixed the RFID tags on to the backing sheet, which was then rolled on top of the plate floor. This second plate was used in order to test image quality. This test form was designed to measure differences in dot gain on the output, between corresponding areas on the plate where there were RFID tags embedded and areas without a RFID tag embedded. The test form consists of a grid of 50 percent halftone squares. The grid system allowed us to quickly identify which areas are affected by the RFID tags. A Comco Cadet 7-in. was used for the pressrun. Cyan ink and a glossy substrate were chosen. Machinery and consumables for the pressrun were provided by Ryerson’s Graphics Communications Manage- ment program. Hannah Plavnick, a student from Ryerson’s Graphics Com- munications Management program, operated the Comco Cadet. Hannah has over five years of experience operating flexographic presses in an academic and professional setting. We ran the press for 30 minutes at different pres- sures and speeds in order to coerce the best results from the run. Results will be discussed in a following section. RESULTS & RECOMMENDATIONS One of the main concerns was whether the RFID tags would inhibit proper exposure to UV light in the Meri- graph 5280. We used different shaped RFID tags in order to see if there would be any difference in plate hardening Figure 2: Flexographic printing plate components and construction. www.flexography.org July 2013 FLEXO 27 BETTER TOGETHER CyberXtendTM Makes It Easy to Combine Multiple Jobs onto the Same Press Run Vibrant Process Reproductions Inventory Reduction Reduced Ink Waste Faster Turnover A - Floor The non-printable area B - Image Area The printable surface C - Caliper Total height of printing plate D - Shoulder Support for the printable area E - Plate Backing Material on the back of the plate to provide stability F - Relief Distance from the floor to the top of image area A B C D E F