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FLEXO Magazine : August 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES ishes on any label and when a promise is made to a customer, it is committed 100 percent. This demand usually leads to slower press speeds, longer setups, and the willingness to perform con- stant R&D as different designs come in. Wineries love to push the limits of printing. Paragon follows methodical and rigid procedures to ensure that its customers’ labels are always of the highest quality. This requires different steps from the time a label is run all the way through subsequent re-runs. In fact, it is very rare that a re-run is a simple repeat. Usually the labels will change vintage dates, which require new plates for every run. On most first-time runs, management encourages a press check with either the customer or its graphic designer. This elim- inates any guesswork and ensures that the fi nal label is exactly what the customer envisioned. In some cases, press operators are matching previously printed samples that were produced via off- set or from another fl exo printer, a challenge that usually requires an in-house press check to guarantee customer satisfaction. Once a standard is set and the label is signed off for approval, a specifi- cation card will be written that includes information on the sub- strate, anilox rolls, inks/varnishes, plate material types and even the stickyback used by the press operator. A customer-signed master sample, is then attached. The spec card also lists what to watch for, such as color or any special processes and materials that were used to make the job run more effi ciently. This card is fi led and saved and referenced every time the label prints or until the specs change. Once the job is ready to run, stock and colors will be checked and the copy and text will again be proofread against the proof signed by the client. The die cut will also be checked for fi t and any scoring of the liner. If the liner is scored too deep, it can cause label applications issues on the bottling line. Then a rub test will be performed. The rub test will be used throughout the run to make sure that the label is able to withstand packaging and shipping, so it looks as good on the shelf as it does fresh off of the press. The fi nished label will then be checked by either the general man- ager or lead press operator, who will use a precise check- list to ensure that every quality aspect has been checked. Apart from general print quality, wineries also are very time- Paragon’s 110,000 square ft. Petaluma, CA corporate headquarters and printing plant (shared with Mrs. Grossman’s). sensitive when it comes to labels. In almost all cases, the wineries are working with mobile or fi xed bottling lines that are constantly booked and heavily staffed. On top of that, the wine is placed in storage tanks during bottling, where there is a small and very precise window of time when the wine can be bottled. This al- lows for no missed days or huge damages and expenses. Running shiners (fi lling the bottles and labeling them afterwards) can cost thousands of dollars and the wineries are more than willing to pass that cost onto their label producers. To deal with this vari- able, Paragon has to be fl exible with its production schedule and willing to work closely with its customers, so they get the labels they want in a timely, cost-effective manner. Another huge area of concern to Paragon’s customers is the physical characteristics of the label. Wineries love foil stamp- ing, embossing and un-coated and specialty stocks with specific adhesives and durable liners that can stand high-speed applica- tion. This means no stock substitutions and a constant monitor- ing of the stocks that come in from their suppliers. Many wine labels have to withstand immersion in ice buckets, which causes FTA Narrow Web Best of Show 2006: Paragon Label www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g AUGUS T 20 0 8 F LEXO 75
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008