Editor's note: This is a case of lithographic offset printers in South America turning to flexographic printing. How do they get into the role from ignorance to rapid development in the Americas where flexography is so developed, thanks to a comprehensive product supply chain Support and their own understanding of competitiveness, more importantly, they learn and understand this technology different from offset printing from a completely open angle, and establish a standard set of standardized management processes, and benefit from it ...

JACKROM is a professional label and carton printer, headquartered in the capital of Caracas, Venezuela, managed by the president Zaragoza, this Central American company employs 70 professional talents, the company was founded in 1972 So far, lithographic offset printing has been used.

JACKROM decided to take an important step in the competition strategy to become a flexographic printing processor, recently purchased a McAndy 2200 flexographic printing machine. This machine is equipped with a full UV printing unit, hot stamping and embossing functions, and a cross-cutting unit. Although JACKROM now uses all UV printing, the machine is also equipped with hot air drying, which allows ink printing. After a year of consultation and training for employees, JACKROM transferred to Flexo. The following is the story of their progress and challenges.

Large customer base

The customer base of JACKROM is very large, and many of them can be easily transferred to the new flexo printing machine. The company's customers include food, medicine, beer / wine, tobacco and other industries. In the future, many of the company's existing businesses can be moved to flexo. The company's business has many needs for blanching and embossing, which is why the company's president Zaragoza realized that the future of JACKROM is flexo. At present, many of the hot stamping and embossing of JACKROM are still offline. Once the employees have mastered the printing suitability of the flexo, the company will get a considerable benefit.

Proper training methods

Training employees with correct flexo knowledge is essential to the company's development of flexo. The training starts from the management level. First, let the employees understand how to place the tools in the correct position. The purpose of this is not only to make the worker a flexographic printing operator, but also to let them know how to set up and manage the next step. Pre-press preparation area, printing area, operation area. The goal of the training is to make every step of the entire production process standardized and repeatable. Finally, each employee must have a comprehensive knowledge of flexo printing, including a period of classroom training and hand-to-hand operation guidance-all relevant content from printing preparation to the final product, the use of anilox rollers, plate mounting, and ink Use and so on.

Since this is JACKROM's first exposure to flexo workflow, it is important for employees to take the time to prepare for the next thing. The company has established an inventory system for anilox rolls, knives, and plate cylinders. It uses production planning tables and other documents to track anilox roll and plate cylinder data. Experts from the consulting company also helped set up an anilox roll and tool inventory catalog Management procedures.

Machine printability test

The experts of the consulting company discussed the details of the test with the expert of the platemaking company Gray before going to JACKROM to prepare to test the printing suitability of the machine. The plate-making company has prepared a professional test version. As for the parameters of the anilox roller, it has been determined when ordering the machine. Gray said: "JACKROM made all the preparations before moving the machine and tools to the workshop." In the initial e-mail and telephone communication, Susan, who was responsible for design and pre-press production, said, "There is no doubt that the company has worked hard from the beginning to achieve the best results that flexo can express," in order to support This goal will use digital laser plate-making and combine FM technology into the screening process.

At the beginning of the training, they performed the first printing test proofing on the machine, using a spectrodensitometer to collect and measure the data, in order to provide the basic information of the machine to the plate making company.

It is very important to test and proof the machine early, so that you can have enough time to analyze the printed information to obtain feedback. The personnel of the plate making company need to obtain the curve on the JACKROM company's printing machine, and they can apply this information in the subsequent plate making process To achieve the best results. The plate-making company also prepared a "improved trapping" printing activity to help adapt and operate the registration agency. All of this work is to obtain data, find a method and improve the application level of JACKROM as quickly as possible. They also carried out a CMYK four-color file proofing, using 1000 lines 1.6BCM anilox roller, during the proofing process, have the opportunity to observe the registration of the machine, check the drying system and tension control. The sampling test of the machine is an excellent opportunity to train the operator to master the operating guidelines in the professional flexographic operation manual FISRT (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances) of the American Flexographic Association. Of course, for some experienced offset operators, the language of the consultants has to be "translated", and Susan has undertaken these tasks.

All test prints are running at a speed of 120 meters / minute and are extremely stable. During the process of 80 meters / minute to 150 meters / minute, the test results of the prints show that the dots have not changed, which indicates the pressure of the machine The control is very good, and does not fluctuate with the increase of speed, the sampling process of the printing press is very successful. Gray, a platemaker, said: "The results are great, especially from mixed screening, pressure, hue, highlights and performance of the small dots are beyond my expectations. This is the best 'newbie I have experienced in so many years On the road '. "[Next]


After completing the printability test of the machine, the training part of the placement needs to be carried out by hand. Employees must understand what kind of double-sided tape is needed for printed films, aluminized materials, and paper, and what is the difference in their density. The machine has been optimized in the last test before. The machine will print a variety of materials in the future, so it is important for the operator to understand how to choose double-sided tape according to the printed material.

It is also important to learn how to set up the printing preparation area so that you can most easily access the required materials and tools. The consultants specifically guided the two operators Riomayer and Edison in this regard, so that they could be organized and maintain a clean working environment, which was more efficient. Riomaire and Edison quickly Comprehend the method of posting, and improve the quality of posting through several techniques, and keep practicing to achieve a very high level. The instructors were also pleased to see that they quickly adapted to this new training.

Printing machine operation guide

Training on printing presses begins with the unwinding unit and then enters tension control, which is important for effective register adjustment. Because the operator ’s experience comes from a sheet-fed offset press, tension is an issue that has never been considered for them. This part of the training went smoothly, and the next step is to set the impression cylinder, pressure and plate cylinder . And how to use the correct flip frame to achieve double-sided printing.

JACKROM hopes to be able to use in-line blanching as much as possible. The trainers gave Ikela blanching unit special instructions, including the preparation process and correct operation methods. JACKROM also often uses in-line embossing, including the use of anilox rollers and rotary film cutting props, which have undergone the necessary training one by one.

Process parameter tracking

The recording and tracking of each historical parameter of printing is vital to improve the efficiency and standardization of the operator. The trainers helped them set up the file system from the beginning to ensure that the operators could easily repeat the first operation process in the future. This repeatability does not refer to the repetition of a simple printing process. Narrow label printers usually face a variety of different applications, some of which are special materials, and some are special die cutting, embossing, bronzing or other applications.

If you build a database, the operation will become very easy. Recording these data is not only for convenience, but more importantly, other operators can also refer to it. All businesses must consider the situation when personnel change, how to continue to maintain effective production. In the future, cross-training in the production process should also be considered by the company.

Change the inherent concept of offset printing

Since the establishment of the company, JACKROM has been offset printing, and many business requirements are very high. Especially when developing new customers, it suddenly jumped into the field of flexography, showing the company's determination and determination. Employees need to understand from a flexo perspective that their work is very different from offset printing: plate separation, trapping, and achieving high-quality image requirements are all different. How to process images and color separations correctly and achieve proper accuracy is the time taken by JACKROM to learn.

JACKROM will experience some growing pains in some places, and more of all, they have already achieved success. Zaragoza is a very visionary and pioneering entrepreneur. We have seen that JACKROM's flexo business is Rapid growth.

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