Oct. 14-16 | Marriott Kansas City Downtown | Kansas City, MO

* * Free Pre-conference Session * *
How G7 and the 7 New Reference Print Conditions Make You Money

  We now have USA and ISO metrics for CMYK and Spot Color printing based on ISO Standards. Learn what these metrics for tolerances, deviation and variation really mean to you and your customer's businesses. These new printing standards are for managing the brand owners expectations using proven methods for establishing production tolerance aims. Learn what is acceptable deviation and variation throughout the production process while pointing to the appropriate ISO or ANSI/CGATS Standard.
-Steve Smiley, SmileyColor & Associates, LLC and Joe Fazzi, IDEAlliance

FQC Pre-Conference Project Update


Come join your fellow members as we receive updates from our active FQC Project Teams. Project 1: The Expanded Gamut 2 team has four sub groups that are working in tandem to provide printers, prepress providers and ink manufactures ongoing updates to FIRST that they can reference and use as a guide in developing and implementing expanded gamut solutions. Project 2:  The Near Neutral Dataset Assessment for Corrugated team is already conducting print trials to assemble their data and recommendations. Project 3: The Anilox Gauge R&R Study II results will be shared. In addition, there will be an update for the membership on the activities of the Standards Working Group. Come ready to listen and volunteer to be part of an FQC initiative.

Conference Essentials: Data Collection and the Flexographic Workflow  


Statistics 101 Revisited: An Academic Look at the Numbers We’re Beginning to Use Everyday in Flexography
The printing industry is now at the point where many of our processes generate a large amount of data. But you can’t analyze data and turn it into useful information until you have a basic understanding of statistics from an academic perspective. In this presentation, we’ll review some basic statistics, then see how these are used in common graphics arts applications. By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand the definitions of ‘mean’, ‘median’, ‘standard deviation’, ‘standard error’ and ‘percentile’, and six sigma will be more than just the title of a QC program.
-Mark Samworth, Esko


Bridging Data and the Quality of Graphics


Proofing Data for Expanded Gamut Printing
Today's buzz in the flexo industry is expanded gamut printing. It is gaining popularity and printers are learning how to maximize its benefits in the pressroom. Proofing for expanded gamut printing is a way to provide the brand owner and the printer the tools needed to be successful during the press run. This presentation will look at current tools and technology to data driven proofing approaches and where they are appropriately employed. We will look at a "life cycle" approach to proofing - who supplies the necessary data to create the proof, what data is supplied, how the data is used based on the selected approach, the verification process, the final data provided with the proof to the customer, and to complete the cycle, comparing the press generated data back to the contract proof. Specific case study examples will be presented.
-Jean Engelke, Eastman Kodak Company; Todd Pressly and John Gleich, Group 360 Worldwide


Beyond Relief: The What, When, Why and How of Platemaking Control
Join us as we take a look at the different equipment and plate characteristics that are typically measured in actual plate rooms. We’ll investigate how, when, and why this data is used. Is it meaningful? Does it really tell us anything, or are we just going through the motions? Do the things we commonly measure successfully minimize the defects that are the most common reasons for plate remakes or downtime due to plates? Besides the normal ones (plate gauge, dot sizes on plates, lamp intensity etc.), are there other, more meaningful measurements we should be using to ensure consistent, problem-free print? We’ll unveil results from field research where various platemaking operations were interviewed regarding the plate quality control data they collect, how they measure it, use it, and how they believe it helped provide more consistent print results. Also, results from lab testing will be shared to demonstrate how other variables that are often overlooked and uncontrolled can affect plates and print. In the end, the research will show more meaningful and predictive variables to measure, thereby offering new insights and common sense approaches into platemaking QC that saves time and prevents potential errors from going to press.
-PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group Flexographic Products


Got Data? Better Question, Got GOOD Data?
Variation in the platemaking system for flexographic printing is inevitable, however, minimizing this variation and ensuring that data is accurate and reliable is crucial to delivering quality products. The best way to combat this variation is by performing a Gage R&R (a test to ensure that measurement data is repeatable and reproducible, or in other words, trustworthy.) Performing a Gage R&R is the key step in the quality control process and should be done in every plate room. When performing a Gage R&R, the variation that can be attributed to the gage itself and to the operator are quantified and therefore it can be determined whether the resulting data is satisfactory. If not, corrective action must be taken to ensure that accurate data is being collected and that plates are being made to meet the set quality standards.
-Courtney Norris, DuPont Packaging Graphics

Pressroom Practices for Consistent Data


Finding the Needle in Data: How to Use it to Troubleshoot Your Process
With a virtual sea of data comes the challenge of making something useful of it. Most printers think the data is there for the sole purpose of optimizing or characterizing the press. The true power of data is to let it tell you what needs attention. What data is vital to troubleshooting problems that arise? What data can you ignore? How can you combine datasets to amplify your problem-solving efforts? This presentation will show you unconventional ways to use data to not only improve your process, but to control it as well.
-Randy Carter, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.


Got Data? Now What Else?
There is a cost to collecting data, and it is critical that the benefit outweigh the cost. So now that you have all that data collected, what can it be used to accomplish? This presentation will cover using data to drive preventative maintenance on the press and how this process can save time and help cut costs.
-Lon Robinson, Tension Corp.


If You’re Going to Measure It, Maintain It!
Many of us have had anilox roll audits and some have purchased scopes to check and confirm the condition of their anilox inventory...but where do we go from here? Are you familiar with crunch time? You know, the time spent on cleaning every roll in your inventory so that you can get a picture perfect review. If rolls are not routinely cleaned, it can be difficult to achieve the desired density/color strength your customers expect (and demand). There are a number of methods currently being used and you need to determine which works best for your process. And why stop there? We know there are other components that can and will negatively affect the finished product if not properly maintained. This presentation will take a look at the systems available to help maintain consistent print quality and, in many cases, extend the life of necessary components.
-Bill Malm, Flexo Wash LLC

Applying Data to Achieve the Ultimate Output


Collect, Review, Recognize, Improve
Data comes from measuring, calculating and averaging. Sometimes it’s collected and saved, but once it meets a “standard,” the information is discarded or filed away into a virtual “data no-man’s land”. Oftentimes the most difficult task is plotting a clear and understandable approach to make sense of all the information collected. Once that is identified, we need to make sure to reference it again for the right reasons – to recognize trends, pinpoint areas in need of improvement, prevent costly mistakes, and to aid in the development of new processes sure to arise as the markets and materials evolve. This presentation will review some commercially available approaches to data collection, in addition to sharing some tips and tricks on easy, cost-effective ways to fully utilize the power of your data.
-Jessica Harkins, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.


Drive Color Decisions, Drive Brand Consistency, Drive Performance
Print Quality Scorecards are an effective way to bundle various forms of data collection into one number that can be used to evaluate, qualify and improve print quality. Moreover, using a system with a Flexible Scoring Criteria allows companies to produce to the brand standards and expectations demanded by its CPC clients. This presentation will discuss how Scorecards, in combination with a continuous improvement action plan, is a key player in improving color decisions, brand consistency and performance.
-Robb Frimming, SCHAWK!


Data Collection Solutions: Devices, Components & Options – Part I


Blame The Corona Treater: The Truth About Watt Density, Dyne Level & Adhesion
When inks fail to bond with substrates, converters are quick to blame the corona treater. And why shouldn’t they? Corona treaters are responsible for adhesion, right? Well, not exactly. Dive deep into the relationships between watt density, dyne levels and adhesion. Learn how to properly measure dyne levels and understand how they are only an indicator of potential adhesion success. Gain an in-depth understanding of how to measure applied surface treatment by exploring the variables used to calculate the watt density. And, discover the best practices, including what to document, when it comes to setting up your corona treater. Troubleshooting strategies for the most common application issues facing flexographic printers will also be shared.
-Tom Gilbertson, Enercon Industries


Data Collection Solutions: Quantifying the Anilox Inventory
In most press environments, anilox condition and volume values are unknown and unquantified. In this presentation we’ll discuss how to implement an ‘anilox verification process’ so that you can be sure you are making the right anilox decisions before going to press. We’ll show you how to gain full control of your anilox inventory by collecting the right data and utilizing it correctly so that even your cleaning methods can be scrutinized for effectiveness and reliability. And, if and when damage does occur, you’ll know how to proceed so that you can still get value out of the anilox without interrupting the printing process, and you’ll be able to quickly identify dangers that put your anilox inventory in peril so those issues can be addressed.
-Sean Teufler, Harper Corporation of America


Proactive Management Stems from Integrated Data Collection
Shop Floor Data Collection with Direct Machine Interface (SFDC-DMI) automates the collection of data from the shop floor in real time. Information is instantly made available to shop floor supervisors, giving them a clear picture of their plant’s performance levels. This leads to a highly flexible organization able to quickly make the right decisions when unexpected changes take place. As an integrated part of a complete ERP/MIS, SFDC-DMI also feeds information into the scheduling system, which promotes a dynamic operating environment, poised to reach optimal production levels.
-Jeff White, EFI


Data Collection Solutions: Devices, Components & Options – Part II


Automating Color Management Press Side
How can data be used to automate press side color management, including job setup of inline color measurement systems and ink formulation software to expedite ink recipe changes? For package printers, the new Color Quality Solution simplifies color preparation and by doing so, press downtime and waste is markedly reduced. The solution is uniquely capable of sharing and processing offline and inline color data, thus ensuring a standard spectral color measurement procedure through the ink dispensing and printing stages. Join us as we explore workflow considerations and the data requirements needed to achieve this level of automation and integration.
-Greg Wuenstel, QuadTech


See It. Measure It. Control It.
Who says data collection and analysis has to be complicated or time-consuming? Today there are process control tools based on image analysis that are readily-available and easy to use in platemaking, prepress and press departments. These tools allow you to detect errors at the earliest possible stage of production, thus preventing them from propagating throughout the workflow. Halftone reproduction can now be followed from TIFF to press without the discontinuity created by Murray/Davies dot area calculations and optical dot gain. New analytical techniques are available to provide detailed feedback on the effectiveness of optical and mechanical micro patterning on printed solids. Attend and learn about the equipment and techniques available today that reduce errors and drive cost out of your system.
- Larry Goldberg, Beta Industries


Digital Color Starts with Measurement
During the past year, some of the world's largest corporations have begun to use cloud-based spectral data and standards to reduce the time it takes to introduce new packaging that is printed using flexographic methods and narrow the delta E color tolerance between packaging printed with flexo and other printing processes. One food processing giant reported that it was able to speed introduction and reduce by half the color variance of its labels and packaging by establishing one color target available over the internet to effectively tie together a supply chain of European companies using flexographic, litho, and gravure processes that were printing packaging and labels on different substrates. The new model of cloud-based color standards for flexo printing reduces the time required for approvals at the premedia and pressroom stages while improving the reproduction of spot colors. This presentation details the source of this data, the science involved in achieving narrow color tolerances, practical aspects of using a cloud-based system of color standards and its potential for the industry.
- Brian Ashe, X-Rite

How to be a Successful Failure


33 years of experience alone isn’t always enough. This past year we “experimented” on an industry professional that learned it’s not what you know about flexo, it’s what you DON’T KNOW that counts. Because what you don’t know could be cutting into your profit, quality of product, or consistency.
- Richard Black, All Printing Resources, Inc. and Rose McKernon, Flexographic Technical Association