Over and over again, converters run into challenges with color. Yet while the challenges may seem unique to any one shop, a deeper knowledge, more expertise, and strong technical skills often yield solutions. And always, from color management to proofing to plates, the details matter.
“We were having some color issues,” admits Jonathan Routhier, Prepress Manager at Label Tech in Somersworth, New Hampshire. “Solving them meant learning more about color and getting a new proofer.”
For customer-centric Label Tech, ensuring accurate color was a must-solve issue. In operation for more than 30 years, Label Tech focuses on pressure-sensitive labels for local and international food and beverage, medical, and nutraceutical brands. With several different-sized flexo presses on the floor, a solution that would work for all machines was essential.
Addressing the color challenges, a detailed conversation started with Anderson & Vreeland Account Manager John Mascolo and Regional Manager Peter Spain. They connected Mr. Routhier with the A&V Technologies Team for an in-depth look at the company’s color challenges.
“We talked with the Technologies Team even before we invested in any new machines,” recounts Mr. Routhier. “Anderson & Vreeland was very helpful and supportive in identifying problems and solutions. Jessica Harrell, Manager of the Technologies Team, quickly understood our issues, and along with Peter Spain recommended the Epson P7000 proofer. From helping us with advanced fingerprinting to using the inline spectrophotometer and putting the machine into daily operation, everyone from A&V provided the support we needed.”
Mr. Routhier says a series of written A&V reports on Label Tech’s systems were especially useful in helping his production team get the best performance out of their new Epson proofer.
The support continued with the acquisition of a new Flint nyloflex Xpress Thermal Plate Processor, which replaced an existing system that lacked support and was causing delays in production. “Like any label shop, we have some very demanding deadlines. We were running into delays because we’d have an issue with the plate processor but could not get the response we needed,” explains Mr. Routhier. “Deadlines don’t stop!”
Both the A&V Technologies Team and Mr. Spain recommended the Flint Xpress Thermal Processor. “It is a similar concept to our older machine but the Xpress is a modern design that uses a system of plate materials and other consumables that are meant to work together,” explains Mr. Routhier. “We find the plates do a better job of transferring ink to the substrates so colors are more saturated, and there is also less plate distortion.”
Label Tech press operators also like that the plates used in the Flint nyloflex Xpress Processor are more durable. “The other plates almost had to be babied, handled with extra care,” explains Mr. Routhier. “For example, they had to be stored with a foam layer between plates because they were soft and could easily be dented or damaged. The plates used in the Flint system don’t require as much special handling.”
With a fleet of flexographic presses on the shop floor, the decision to change plate processors had to be carefully thought out. The process began with conference calls and virtual demonstrations of how the new proofer and the new processor would work in Label Tech’s plant. Then came a trip to Labelexpo 2016 in Chicago to see the machine up close and personal. “The A&V Technologies Team was right there with us to answer questions and make sure we understood everything we needed to know,” recounts Mr. Routhier. “Then we sent in files to make sure plates we’d be producing would meet our needs. When we saw that they did we made the decision.”
Since the new machine came online over a year ago, day-to-day advantages have shown up as better productivity along with fewer registration issues because plates need less on-press adjusting. “The nyloflex Xpress Processor goes to work faster and more easily than the machine it replaced,” says Mr. Routhier. “Customers don’t necessarily notice the difference, but between the Epson P7000 Proofer and the Xpress Processor we have solved our color issues and definitely see a difference in the quality of the labels we produce.”