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FLEXO Magazine : February 2014
ink limit should be kept below 230 per- cent, especially on dark colors, where rubbing issues can be more notorious. With Pentachrome, the usually small gamut obtained when printing directly on non woven materials in the tradition- al way (the white line in Image 8) can be improved. By using Pentachrome, represented by the green line in Image 8, we see an approximation of the bene- fits of color reinforcement. As a side note, it is clear that it only makes sense to print a customized fingerprint/color book if the spot inks chosen will be applicable to an entire line of products, which is normal in the infant care industry. If this is not the case, a potential better option may be to stay with some particular spot inks independently chosen—in our case, some specific orange, green and violet. However even in this case, there are benefits to having an actual color book to show how color builds will actually print on the press. THE PRESS IS THE FINAL PROOF— AND THE FINAL CHALLENGE We also developed a homemade cali- brated color proof using inkjet technol- ogy on an actual non woven substrate that has been prelaminated on a thick white film. This allows us to get a closer sense of the final results of all graphics and builds together prior to engrav- ing the big and expensive elastomer sleeves for the pressrun. However, due to the variables and tolerances of the non woven substrate and, occasionally, the special inks used, a final finetun- ing on the press is always necessary, adjusting anilox rollers, inks parameters and press settings to the particularities of the specific run in order to get the desired visual quality and results. In spite of being a work in progress, Pentachrome has been used for more than three years to print on non woven substrates for commercial infant care products in the U.S. and Europe. It is a flexible system developed and custom- ized for this particular industry, however it could have applications in other areas facing similar challenges. The concept of using a customized color chart for the fingerprint of the press that later serves as an actually printed color book to visually verify and adjust color manage- ment on prepress, can give an import- ant advantage in predictability when printing on special materials. I would like to give a special thanks to Dave Root for all the help and support on the printing and inks side in this proj- ect, thanks also to our press and plate engraving crews in North Carolina, the United Kingdom and Czech Republic for their hard work. n About the Author: Antonio de Llamas is director of prepress / R&D at Excelsior Packaging Group. He is a professor of graphic technology and the developer of a patented color management sys- tem for flexible packaging in flexo and gravure. He can be reached at 914-413- 7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.flexography.org FEBRUARY 2014 FLEXO 47