Every flexo shop owner knows that in the eyes of most customers you’re only as good as the job you just produced. So every job has to be as close to perfect as possible. You need all the help you can get and that demands a reliable, consistent workflow.
Flexo shop workflows can be very physical processes. But today some of the heavy lifting—making sure each job closes in on that sought-after perfection—is handled by computers, software, plate makers and processors. When the right tools are used together, they can help ensure greater accuracy, improve print quality and speed the process of getting jobs on press.
Consider a four-color label destined for a bottle of tea. You need to crank out 25,000 of these, each week, for the next month, with the job specs requiring black plate changes each week. Not a big job, really, and it’s not hard, but you’re shoehorning this job into your workflow because it’s for a new customer with a dozen other products you could handle and you want to be the go-to source for every one of them. So you need to make sure it is all right each week.
Begin at the beginning
To help make sure that customer keeps you on his preferred supplier list you need a rock-solid workflow that trims the time needed to produce top-quality labels and keeps your costs under control. To make that a reality, Anderson & Vreeland combines the best-in-class tools from Hybrid Software, GMG Color, Xeikon and Flint Group to revolutionize the way your company produces labels.
Most labels get their start in programs like Adobe® Illustrator®, arriving in converters’ shops as PDFs. And they almost invariably need work before they can be used for printing. So begin with PACKZ, Hybrid’s PDF editor developed specifically for labels and packaging. PACKZ contains a complete set of prepress, editing and quality assurance functions to help get those ready for use, including those weekly black plate changes.
Getting color right
Next comes the ever-critical factor of color, so you turn to GMG’s Open Color Separations to create conversion profiles for predictable multi-channel separations that will match press output. Because GMG and Hybrid work together, created profiles can be applied and previewed in Hybrid Packz, giving you a two-way street for PDF editing and color management. Once approved, the file can be RIPed in Hybrid Cloudflow, a compact, modular private computing cloud for automated graphics production workflows.
The RIPed files move directly to the newly re-designed Thermoflex family of digital imaging devices from Xeikon, such as the ThermoflexX 30, capable of user-defined resolutions of up to 5080 dpi. The touch-screen-equipped easy-to-use imager works equally well for small 10 x 10-inch plates to ganged images on plates up to 30 inches.
After a quick pass through a UV-A exposure unit it’s time to process the plates. The Flint Group nyloflex® Xpress Thermal processor and plate materials are designed to work together to provide the best possible plate quality. Designed from the shop floor up as a holistic system, the nyloflex® Xpress Thermal processor leverages the interactions of the processor, the plates, and developer. The benefit for you is higher quality and faster, more reliable plate production.
The small-footprint processor can accommodate plates from 10 x 10-inches to 42 x 60-inches and material from 1.14 mm to 2.84mm thick. For optimal flexibility, those sizes are field-upgradeable when needed, so a shop doing small plates today can move up to larger plates when required.
Flint Xpress Thermal plates rival solvent plates for print quality and process in just 10-15 minutes. Imagine how much this could accelerate your workflow while providing the quality your customers expect.
With Hybrid, GMG, ThermoflexX and Flint Group, Anderson & Vreeland can help you create a powerful new workflow for creating great packaging that will keep customers coming back.