InterTechA Wizard Based Approach to Optimizing Screening Parameters In Flexo Printing

Mark Samworth, Esko USA

Esko’s Print Control Wizard is an innovative response to the shortage of skilled flexo press operators and the growing demand for more high-quality, short-run print work.

Print Control Wizard is an intuitive wizard-based tool that brings innovation to the platemaking department by simplifying the implementation of screens and curves for the flexo print process. Creating and managing flexo screening and imaging processes can be tedious and time-consuming. Printers typically need a color, prepress, and plate making expert who understands screening and color management and a wide range of variables just to ensure consistent plates. This game-changing technology allows almost anyone to create superior flexo plates, eliminating the time needed to train and develop new operators.

The Print Control Wizard walks the operator, step by step, through the process of defining screens and curves for a flexo press. Designed to be instinctive, efficient, and flexible, Print Control Wizard offers a company-wide way to standardize and optimize flexo curves and screening for trade shops and label and flexible converters—regardless of the skill or experience level of its operators.

Thanks to its wizard-based system, Print Control Wizard is simple for operators with less experience, but retains the accuracy, flexibility, and operational efficiency required by more experienced operators. It considers all the parameters in play within the platemaking and flexo print process: plate exposure, processing system, plate type, press, substrate, ink, tape, anilox, and print target to build stable and specific output for the individual platemaking and press environment.

This tool reduces the implementation time for screens and curves, speeds up the day-to-day repro tasks by keeping plates cleaner on press and applying a “dot clean up” function, improves overall equipment efficiency by better controlling press results, takes the human subjectivity out of the QA process, and relieves the pressure of finding and hiring highly skilled operators. It’s designed to remove extra tasks while setting a repeatable standard process for pre-media and trade shops, producing high-quality, consistent plates with limited skill set.

Beyond its ease of use, Print Control Wizard allows users to set printing conditions based on their existing inks and tailored to their individual production workflow, ultimately reducing makeready and streamlining the flexo print operation. Print Control Wizard is an important tool for the flexo printing industry to stay ahead by producing smaller, higher-quality print runs.