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FLEXO Magazine : July 2014
...by choosing the right anilox and sleeve supplier! Apex offers you a complete Flexo product package! This is what Apex is known for: Quality. Service. Innovation. Reliability. No matter whether you choose GTT, our high-class Ultracell anilox rolls, the new Flexo Bridge & Plate sleeves, or our cleaning/maintenance products, counting on Apex always means counting on durable high quality products and perfect customer service. CONVENTIONAL ANILOX. UNCONVENTIONAL QUALITY. ® THE FUTUREOF FLEXO ® ®ACCURATE, DURABLE& NEW APEX NORTH AMERICA Tel: 724 379 8880 www.apex-groupofcompanies.com firstname.lastname@example.org APEX FRANCE +33(0)475463942 franc e@ ape x- europe .c om t e APEX EUROPE +31(0)497361111 email@example.com t e APEX DEUTSCHLAND +49 (0) 2823 929 360 firstname.lastname@example.org t e APEX ITALY +39 (0) 331 379 063 email@example.com t e APEX IBERĺC A +34 (0) 93 583 1012 firstname.lastname@example.org t e APEX ASIA +65 (0) 6284 7606 email@example.com t e APEX LATIN AMERICA +55 (0) 41 3677 2678 firstname.lastname@example.org t e I nventedby ApexGroupofCompan i es Genet i cT r ansfer Techno l ogy EUROPE : EP2121339 USA : 8 . 397 . 633B2 C HINA : ZL200880125338 . 2 JAPAN : 5301562 O t h erf o rei gnp a te n ts p e nd i ng GTT-Patents Awards, Certifications and Patents USE, CARE AND MAINTENANCE ADVICE Visit us! Visit us! Stand 5610 Stand 5610 human eye is very sensitive to grays and to their potential color casts, which is why particular manipulations of the image files need to be undertaken to compensate for any deficiencies. If one print process substantially differs from the other in this respect, then the image files must be modified accordingly during the transfer, which explains the great- er effort and cost. If, on the other hand, both print processes do adhere to a neutral gray balance, the image files may be transferred with minimum labor and cost (ignoring the first printable halftone dot in this case). However, let’s be clear: It is not advisable to transfer image files directly from one process to the other if the files have been personal- ized for one of them. Instead, it should be the original files—RGB images for example— that are handed over and prepared for the respective target print process, because apart from the first printable halftone dots and gray balance, it is the so called color separation that personalizes the set of files for a specific print process. Color separation is a technical term for the composition of mixed colors with more or less presence of the black printer. Color separations may differ substantially between individual print processes. Nonetheless, be- cause agencies constantly deliver image files that have been prepared for offset lithography through the ISO Coated V2 color profile in Photoshop for the mode change between RGB and CMYK, we often have to rework image files that have been prepared for other print processes for use in flexography. Blurring Inadequacies A focus on gray balance may make things easier, however, this knowledge is not exactly new. So why has it apparently been forgotten? The answer is in the application of digital col- or management in prepress, where the entire color gamut—not only the gray axis, but this one, too—is being considered. Thus, it looks to the user as if gray balance adherence or optimization is not required anymore. This is not true! It is because the color profile contains and seems to correct all the poten- tial mistakes—a much too high dot gain as well as a disturbed gray balance—that our vi- sion to the potential print derailers is blurred. From a sheer mathematical standpoint, color profiles that have been based on disturbed print conditions do work, but in practice they lack precision and are badly reproducible. So the G7 approach is helpful, but there is one critical knock against its working practice worth mentioning. The center of the G7 approach is the practical evaluation of the gray balance. In order to do so, the specific targets arrange combinations of CMY that, based on experience, may yield neutral gray. As the specific combination of tints that will produce neutral gray cannot be predicted up front, there must be variations of the target values, most of them producing non neutral color casts. Operators then must visually pick the most neutral gray tint. This must be done over several tonal areas along the print grada- tion from light to dark. This, in my opinion, is an outdated and inadequate procedure, in JULY 2014 | FLEXO 47