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  • Questions...

    As stated in my previous post, I am a noob in flexo. So please excuse my ignorance and rudimentary questions.

    We have:
    1 - Mark Andy P5
    2 - Marc Andy 2200
    1 - Webtron 650

    All are very well maintained.
    We are using HD ASAHI plates imaged on a Esko CDI Spark 3530. We use an outside vendor for this.

    We primarily print labels.

    I was hired to bring the prepress in house.
    File assembly, soft proofing, trapping, step & repeat and distortion.
    Basically providing a RIP-ready file to our vendor.

    What workflow do you use?
    What trap width do you use?
    What linescreen do you use?
    On large black areas, do you use a rich black?

    Thank you for your help!

  • #2
    I'm fairly new to flexo as well, was brought on to update our prepress department and streamline operations. Here's my two cents:

    What workflow do you use? Right now, our workflow is mainly Illustrator based with almost everything done manually. I'm looking at imposition software options currently and want to move to a PDF based workflow. I've been very impressed with Hybrid Software's Packz program so far but haven't made a final decision yet.

    What trap width do you use? our standard is .015" on all sides

    What linescreen do you use? usually between 120-150 LPI

    On large black areas, do you use a rich black? mostly we run spot colors for large solids, so haven't needed rich black so far.


    We're using an outside vendor for our plates as well - do you mind if I ask who you use?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by hsearcy View Post
      I'm fairly new to flexo as well, was brought on to update our prepress department and streamline operations. Here's my two cents:

      What workflow do you use? Right now, our workflow is mainly Illustrator based with almost everything done manually. I'm looking at imposition software options currently and want to move to a PDF based workflow. I've been very impressed with Hybrid Software's Packz program so far but haven't made a final decision yet.

      What trap width do you use? our standard is .015" on all sides

      What linescreen do you use? usually between 120-150 LPI

      On large black areas, do you use a rich black? mostly we run spot colors for large solids, so haven't needed rich black so far.


      We're using an outside vendor for our plates as well - do you mind if I ask who you use?
      I sent you a PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        A bit of background, I have 9 years experience in narrow web flexo which appears to be what you are doing based on the presses you mentioned. for the past 10 months ive been doing wideweb flexo. i will provide feedback from both points of view. excuse the long answer.

        What workflow do you use?
        At my previous job we used esko. i found it a bit cumbersome to update job tickets but if you dedicate yourself to get it right it is great software. there is a concern also regarding what will be required if you want to do a certain function. the deskpack tools are typically all contained within illustrator but imposition and certain trapping options may require a separate server. make sure that you understand all the requirements for the tools that you want. it is nice to do most things right in illustrator as most prepress techs know illustrator well.

        currently i am using hybrid packz. i evaluated esko solutions vs hybrid before going with hybrid. this was a tough decision as pricing and functionality was pretty equal. one thing that pushed me away from esko was their service agreements costs for support. a big hesitation i had with hybrid was the learning curve. i could see some people having trouble adjusting to using packz if they are used to illustrator. i still find myself attempting to do something that could be done in illustrator that either i dont know how to do in packz or am not able to in packz. overall if you use packz as a pdf editor and not to create files it works extremely well.

        i have found it fairly easy to apply traps and adjust settings to get my desired results. automating print cards and step and repeat has been great. i am able to modify print marks (live objects) on my own within packz fairly easily. depending on the tools you choose with esko you may have this capability or will need to have esko create the marks for you. the variables/live objects in hybrid are extremely powerful. they are not the most straight forward to use but the documentation is very useful and the support team is extremely helpful. when i am not able to do something i will get a webinar going with the support team typically within the hour. in many cases we are able to resolve the issue on the webinar. in cases where the solution is time consuming they will create the marks for you and send you a file typically within the same day. they will also go over how they created it with you if you would like.

        there are some bugs i have ran across and some functions that are just not included in the software that i wish were. you can't key select an object to align other objects to. this was a great function that illustrator added a decade ago that i do miss. the barcode creation works great but there are some limitations on customizing the font dimensions if you are trying to match the look of a legacy barcode. you are typically able to match it but if you need to then create multiple ones for the rest of the SKUs you need to manually modify each of them. it typically wont retain the customized formatting once you update the code. support was able to create a script to keep the formatting on a specific file for me which is great but it wont transfer over to a new product with different formatting requirements.

        if i had to recommend one over the other i would go with packz but it is a close call and i think very dependent on your situation.

        What trap width do you use?
        we typically would use 0.007" trap in narrow web. on gear presses or where the objects would allow us to we would use 0.014".

        in wide web we typically use 0.0035" due to having a CI press. in some cases we will use 0.007".

        What linescreen do you use?
        typically 133 and sometimes 150 for both wide web and narrow web.

        On large black areas, do you use a rich black?
        i have only used a rich black on one product and it was only a sample. typically line blacks are very dense in flexo and there is no use for rich black. i think with hd screening and EGC rich blacks may be used. there may be uses for rich black that i am not aware of. this hasnt been something that we have typically questioned.

        Comment

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