Colour Management – Taking the Guesswork out of Printing

In order to implement comprehensive Colour Management, printers must ensure that the measurement, control and necessary adjustments are applied to every part of the printing process – from formulating the inks right through to final measurements of the printed job. In simplistic terms, effective Colour Management can be likened to ‘printing by numbers’…. by following a set process and measuring then controlling variables, consistent results can be achieved.

There are many variables to consider. Printing machinery needs to be mechanically sound; Inks need to be formulated consistently for repeat jobs; Anilox cell volumes must be monitored and screen specifications considered. Other variables such as doctoring methods, ink pumps, plate material and the density of plate mounting foam all play an important part in achieving consistent print quality.

Fast setup times and consistent results are priority for customers.

Steve Turner, Managing Director at Print-Tech Solutions comments: “Fast setup times and consistent results have become a priority for our customers. Unless you are extremely lucky, failure to master this process can lead to serious amounts of lost time and money. Leaving the fine detail until the job is about to be run can be a costly mistake. At this stage costs have already been incurred, ‘make-ready’ time accounting for a large part of the overall manufacturing cost. Now is not the time to realise that the Anilox roller is worn, damaged or dirty!  Instinctively when a Colour Management issue arises the usual suspect tends to be the ink formulation. However in our experience, the real culprit affecting Colour Management is often the Anilox cell volume. The one thing which connects the ink and the printing plate – the Anilox roller – often gets neglected. Our training encourages customers to think of the printing process as a chain, where each link is reliant on the previous one to give the chain its strength…a break in the chain can have disastrous results, costing businesses time and money.”

Print Tech Solutions plays a valuable, ongoing and proactive role within the Flexo print sector, working closely with a number of individual sites and groups as part of a focus on identifying, controlling and improving Colour Management. This is achieved through the introduction of several innovative products, supported with regular interactive site visits and operator Anilox awareness training. Through continued support and training, Print Tech Solutions is introducing and encouraging the technical awareness of its customers to a level that will help towards continued in-house Colour Management.

The Importance of Product Knowledge

Steve Turner goes on to say: “The success of our business has been based on developing partnerships with our customers. We encourage them to fully understand our products, which in turn promotes awareness and ownership, helping them to use these products effectively. Our involvement actually starts well in advance of the printing process, by supplying specialised cleaning products and machinery which maintain the condition of some of the pivotal components of the printing process, in particular Anilox rollers and printing plates. For example, before the print process even begins, Anilox rollers need to be at the correct specification and condition for the job, otherwise all efforts taken to control other parts of the process such as inks, plates etc will be in vain.”

Print Tech Solutions has built a reputation for supplying a range of specific products which form part of this printing process, including:

  • Bespoke Anilox training sessions to raise awareness that well maintained Anilox rollers play a vital part in effective Colour Management.
  • The unique Anilox nano™ cell formation offering consistently cleaner cells.
  • Anilox inspection equipment (CellScope™ and CellStore™) which allows customers to monitor and record Anilox cell condition in-house.
  • smart® cleaning solutions formulated specifically for the print industry.
  • The new ThermoPod™ system which provides a deep cleaning rejuvenation function for on-press Anilox rollers.
  • An expanded machinery division to include Ultrasonic Anilox Cleaning Systems, Automated Dispensing Systems, and Automated Plate Cleaning Systems, developed in response to customer demand.

By focusing on these key elements of the printing process which complement other vital, technical products such as inks and printing plates, Print Tech Solutions can continue to support customers on Colour Management issues.

To find out how we can help you with Colour Management, contact our sales team on 0871 224 3838.