Evaluating the Madness: Conference Overview
Ellen Farrell, DuPont Packaging Graphics and Lon Robinson, Tension Corp.
When we think about the principles of a successful printrun, we find optimization, fingerprinting, process control, characterization and continuous improvement. As a printer begins to work their way through those, it can begin to feel like a chaotic and overwhelming task, which can lead to MADNESS. Our conference chairs, Ellen and Lon, will discuss the process leading up to the printing of the FLEXO cover supplement and discuss the comparisons between this 7-color flexo print and the actual cover, printed with 4-color litho.
Technical Innovation Drives Flexo Forward
Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association
Innovation vs. Invention. For years, there has been confusion among companies competing for the coveted FTA Technical Innovation Award. While the act of invention—the creation of a new technology, product or process—is very important in advancing an industry, the true market leaders understand that innovation—the creative utilization of an existing invention—is really what differentiates their company and products from the rest of the pack. Within this introduction, Mark will expand on exactly what the judges saw in the Bobst Firenze S.r.l. (formerly Nuova GIDUE) Digital Flexo Excellence™ technology that they felt warranted the granting of the 2015 FTA Technical Innovation Award.
Digital Flexo Excellence™ Technology
Federico d’Annunzio, Bobst Firenze S.r.l. (formerly Nuova GIDUE)
Digital Flexo Excellence is a system of technologies to digitize and automate the workflow, set-up and run of a flexographic press for labels and packaging. Digital Flexo Excellence presses are designed to deliver high productivity, cost reduction, flexibility and consistent quality, with “digital” efficiency, repeatability and ease of operation. This revolutionary system of technologies has been developed to optimize the flexo print process toward greater excellence so that flexography remains the leading print process for the next generation of labels and packaging converters.
Tuesday, November 3
The cover supplement of the November 2015 issue of FLEXO Magazine was printed using Bobst Firenze’s (formerly Nuova GIDUE) Digital Flexo Excellence press technology. Though the end result of the project was an exciting flexographically printed cover, the real purpose was to serve as a step-by-step guide to printing high quality expanded gamut flexography. In Tuesday’s sessions, each member of the team will discuss the critical elements of each step of the project, kicking it off with the optimization process.
The Methods of Optimization
Jim Kulhanek, DuPont Packaging Graphics and PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group
The goal of the optimization process is to identify the best combination of print variables to achieve the intended design requirements. In our project, two plates and two tapes were tested in four optimization runs. In this session, you will learn exactly how that data was gathered and how it was analyzed.
The Methods of Fingerprinting
Mark Samworth, Esko
The primary objective of the fingerprint trial is to measure and record the dot reproduction properties of the press, operating with the specific settings and materials that were identified during the optimization process. In this session we’ll explore the key mechanical control parameters that were recorded to ensure the press was set up to promote consistency between the optimization and fingerprint runs. Following, we’ll go in-depth into the elements of the 7-color fingerprint target and how they were used to optimize the characterization target.
The Methods of Process Control
Ann Michaud, 3M and John Seymour, QuadTech
Consistency is the single most important aspect in any manufacturing environment. What is the only way to achieve consistency? Process control! In every step of the FLEXO cover supplement (optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and the final printed piece), our team used the same control target. In this session, you’ll learn how consistent the process was, and perhaps more importantly, how to use the data to identify any weaknesses in your production workflow.
The Methods of Characterization
Richard Black, All Printing Resources and Steve Upton, CHROMiX, Inc.
Don’t get those presses running just yet! Before you can print the job, you need to have a well characterized press. In the case of the FLEXO cover supplement, there were four profiles. In this session, you’ll see how each profile was created and used. Then you’ll learn how to correctly examine those profiles to discover what they are telling you about the process. Only after this thorough examination will you be ready press the “print” button.
The Methods of Continuous Improvement
Joe Riccardella, Berry Plastics and Robb Frimming, Schawk
Our project is over and we have left the production facility. However, in real life, you are going to repeat this process over and over again. Continuous improvement is a way of life for those companies that expect to succeed in a highly competitive world. In this session, we will explore what it takes to continuously improve in a production environment so that it is done faster, better and more efficiently. Additionally, we’ll walk you through exactly what your customers expect you to provide them with so that they can be assured that you represent a world-class manufacturing company—one they’ll want to work with.
Wednesday, November 4
Evaluating the Madness: Visual Evaluation of Samples
Lon Robinson, Tension Corp. and Joe Tuccitto, FTA
The visual evaluation of print samples can often be a very subjective process. Many times the customer is seeing something that you aren’t or vice versa. Join Lon and Joe as they provide hands-on experience at visually inspecting not only the final print, but also process control elements that can provide vital print production productivity.
Evaluating the Madness: Measuring Samples
Larry Goldberg, Beta Industries and Robb Frimming, Schawk
If consistency is what you’re looking to produce, then understanding the importance of measuring is essential for every printer. Join Larry and Robb as they teach you the ins and outs of measuring and analyzing print production data, while demonstrating the importance of printing to and by the numbers.