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 : June 2008
FTA TODAY EXAMINATIONS: NEAR AND FAR Launching in to the Prepress Session, chairs Po Cheung (Smurfit-MBI) and Gerry Sondej (SCI) introduced Tom Cassano of MacDermid Printing Solutions, who asked where the value of a digital prepress workflow is. "People are interested in protecting brands," he observed. Cassano also re- vealed that "of 20,000 new prod- ucts introduced every year, only 2 percent are successful." He said speed to market is the competi- tive weapon. Private brands are growing 25 percent nationally, he warned, adding that atWal-Mart that growth is 40 percent. When it comes to converting to digital platemaking, Cassano said the critical question is "Will I lose business if I don't?" He followed by commenting, "Only you know best the economics of your business." Cassano was followed by Ray Bodwell of DuPont Packaging Graphics, who com- pared various digital platemaking tech- nologies. He started by insisting that "in_ house platemaking is not for everyone." In his talk, Bodwell covered the three types of processing (solvent, thermal and laser) and three types of images etters-direct laser engravers (DLE), laser ablation mask (LAM) and laser laminate. Bodwell calculated that solvent processing takes 161.5 minutes from a "cold stop" and that, with continu- ous plate production, can output 14 plates per shift. Thermal systems can produce a complete plate in 42 minutes and average 30 plates per shift. Solvent with laminate technology was estimated at 174 minutes for the first plate and 13 plates per shift. DLE, where the laser is the limiting factor, can output a plate in 95 minutes, but only averages six plates per shift. Mark Samworth, EskoArtwork, took a new look at an old topic: dot gain curves. "There is nothing new about dot gain Forum Chair Scott Gilbert (left), with Vice-chair Mark Mazur address attendees at FFTA Forum 2008. curves," he admitted. He asked, "Why is only 5 percent of the industry using color management?" Samworth declared, "The fundamentals are more important than the advanced," and "curves are the most important part of flexo." He advised at- tendees to build curves, and label them with a simple letter and number system. With synchronized curves, he claimed, you can match any spec, use any curve creation tool, use intuitive judgment and deter- mine curves from production sheets. "A proof is an agreement between the customer and printers of a visual repre- sentation of what we think the product is going to look like," explained Richard Black, All Printing Resources. The flexo process has variation, Black stated. Thus, he asked, "Should we be matching the press to the proof or the proof to the - JUNE 2008 FLEXO www.flexography.org press?" He went on to cover the differ- ences in Piezo electric and thermal inkjet proofing technologies. Some keys he out- lined for predictable inkjet proofing were: "communicate in CMYK, not RGB," "set ink limits," and "make sure you have spot color support." He also suggested attendees "pick a good partner" and "pick a product that is right for you." Dieter Niederstadt of Asahi Photoproducts said that obstacles to making flexo stronger include variation in print color and qual- ity, the lack of practical standards, and the fact that all rival pro- cesses have standards. There are opportunities for flexo, though, he proclaimed, citing FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances) and the will to improve. "Flexo print quality has been improved, but can it be sustained?" He said one way to do that is by standardizing material supplies from batch to batch. Direct laser engraving is another solution, he claimed, which offers reduced oscillation, elimination of cushion tape and reduced environmental impact. Anchoring the session, EskoArtwork's Ian Hole offered a perspective on sus- tainability "from 30,000ft." Sustainability, he said, has three levels: environmental, business, and social. "The global packag- ing industry is $45 billion with 5 million people employed." By 2050, he said that number would jump to $1.1 trillion with 7 million people employed, while the global population would rise from 6.4 billion to 9 billion. He insisted that, "One day there will be software that can calculate the im- pact of a package." He encouraged attend-