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FLEXO Magazine : July 2013
“ Today ’s clients want to see a prototype that’s very close to the manufactured package,” said Heller. “And the faster, the better.” With outsourcing, prototypes often took three to five days to arrive. Now, says Heller, “We can turn around a realistic prototype the same day.” “Our equipment lets us print directly onto 200-pound test F-Flute, CCNB, SBS, you name it,” noted Heller. It’s a tremen- dous advantage to be able to show the client a prototype on its chosen media.” For corrugated fiberboard packaging, Heller explained, “ We can print prototypes on any single-wall corrugated material.” Though Peek typically prints on F-Flute corrugated fiberboard, it also has used B- or C-Flute. DESIGN & APPROVAL Peek Packaging’s clients submit projects in one of three ways: either by providing a package dieline, by providing the dimensions for the packaging they would like produced, or by sending Peek the actual item for which they would like packaging designed. When customers send in a package dieline, Peek’s graph- ics department first lays graphics on the dieline using a 3D software program. The software allows Peek’s customers to see a 3D image of the packaging. In addition, they can “spin” the package to see all sides. When the customer approves the design, Peek prints a prototype on the UV printer. Peek’s turnaround time on a prototype project from a dieline can be quite rapid, providing it is able to obtain client approval in a timely manner. Heller said, “If the client ap- proves the project quickly, we can do the whole job in a day. Printing a prototype can take as little as 20 minutes.” If the cli- ent sends in dimensions or the actual object for custom pack- age design, the design approval process can mean that the project takes additional time to reach the prototyping stage. Heller observed that running a prototype on the UV printer/cutter is a relatively simple step that has a large im- pact on the decision making process. “Having an accurate prototype lets my clients see what they will be getting and speeds the entire process.” Heller pointed out that the printer/cutter’s ability to produce spot UV color is key in creating accurate mock-ups. Though Heller typically doesn’t run special finishes on corrugated packaging, he uses them in other types of custom packaging, including folding cartons and chip board. “ To actually see the varnishing and embossing effects created by clear ink on the prototype is huge – it makes the deal happen,” he said. Heller believes prototyping also has had a large effect on sales for flexo print production. “ Most of our clients are used to seeing only a proof or a dieline with graphics printed on paper and laid over it. Prototyping is an invaluable sales tool. We can print picture quality graphics directly onto a box,” he stressed. Heller noted that with fiberboard production, the prototypes printed on a UV printer may look more vibrant than the final production can, due to the UV inks. “ The only drawback, if you can call it that, is that our prototype actually looks much better than the flexo-printed final product because the line scan is so much better,” he said. “ Even though you can’t get that great tight resolution on the flexo press, like you can on the UV printer, the printed prototype is a great tool for sales and placement purposes and for showing an ideal package.” “ We love being able to show someone a realistic package prototype printed on actual press stock in one day. We’ve never had a way to do that before. We show them the pro- totype, which is gorgeous. Then we let them know that be- cause of the UV inks, the actual corrugated run on flexo will have less dpi, so will likely not look quite as spectacular as our prototype does,” said Heller. “ The process really works for my clients. I just ran 53,000 flexo boxes after running the prototypes in corrugated.” “T he colors from the UV printer are unbelievable. Because of its wide color range, we can show our clients what their custom colors will look like by running a prototype on cor- rugated through our printer,” Heller maintained. CHARACTERIZE & REPLICATE Roland Product Manager Steven Tu pointed out that Roland partners CGS ORIS and GMG offer software that allows digital printers to characterize and replicate the output of any device. “T he color management software allows our print- ers to match the output of any device including flexographic presses, and is a great way to ensure that the proof looks ex- actly like the finished product,” he continued. Heller indicated that Peek is currently looking at incorporating this software. The UV printer/cutter’s unique functionality, speed and outstanding image quality have given Peek Packaging the performance edge needed to win the business of electron- ics leader Monster and other high-profile clients. “Monster is a manufacturer of world-class products, including Monster Cable and DNA headphones, so it demands packaging that showcases the brand,” said Heller. Having a UV printer lets us show them prototypes that meet Monster’s standards of excellence.” According to Heller, thanks in part to prototyping capabili- ties, the future looks bright for Peek. “ This incredible device is changing the industry and it has been invaluable for our com- pany,” he said. “ We’ve been able to out-serve our competition and add tremendous value for our customers. ” n About the Author: Ginny Mumm is a freelance writer based in Southern California. LEC Series 330 and 540 digital printers/cutters manufactured by Roland. www.flexography.org JuLy 2013 FLEXO 61