What does press optimization really mean? How do you balance the need for print component-specific optimization and job-specific optimization, and still deliver the job on time and within budget? The answer, is by striking a balance of optimizing from prepress to the pressroom, and all areas in-between. By doing this, a printer establishes a procedure that yields consistent print quality, workflow stability and efficiency of operations.
“We are all working to build a simple, consistent and efficient process. But when we are working on these improvements, we often overlook the first steps moving forward with the same materials and processes we have always used. We will work to identify and establish the right foundations to ensure we have a stable platform that will achieve our desired goals each and every time, with minimal ‘tinkering’ between runs. As we identify and establish our variables, we set this foundation and give our teams the best chance of success in meeting our customers’ needs and expectations.”
Introduction to Optimization Laura Wright, CSW Inc & Bart Wright, Interflex Group
The goal of optimization is to identify the best possible combination of print variables to achieve design requirements. Starting from this goal, Laura and Bart will introduce optimization and explain how it differs from characterization. They will look at the parameters for optimization, like test conditions, and identify print variables that will provide the best results with the substrate and ink color specified.
Chicken or Egg? Scott McLeod, TC Transcontinental Robbie
When approaching an optimization process, it’s easy to jump into the technical work that needs to be done—That’s what we’re all most interested in! But many of the biggest gains in quality, consistency and productivity can potentially come from other—often overlooked—parts of the process. Scott will illustrate a practical approach to identifying how to start—or just clarify—the process of optimization. Learn how to create a path forward, while facing myriad combinations of variables, with a complex optimization plan.
Substrate and Ink Optimization Kirk Birchler, Berry Global
Packaging substrates are chosen for a variety of reasons: to protect, to inform, to sell, to be sustainable and many others. Whatever the reason and whatever the choice, printers must optimize their process to that substrate to be successful. Inks are a big part of that optimization process, and printing on clear or colored substrates only increase the challenge. Kirk will share some of his experiences, and with both a printer’s and a prepress provider’s prospective, show a handful of the challenges that come with optimizing ink for different substrates.
Plates and Screening Technology Ron Henderson, Berry Global
When it comes to plate and screening technologies, you occasionally need to devolve to optimize. Some substrate properties inherently impact the functionality and benefit of certain screening technologies, both those built into the plate and those imaged into the plate. Ron will explore a “less is more” approach as he shares his experiences and insight into this area of optimization.
Press Optimization: The People and the Training Kim Madigan, Smyth Companies
Optimization is more than your consumables and your equipment. The most important piece of optimization is your people. It is important that printers get their people and their teams to accept changes and work together to lead those changes. And it is up to managers and supervisors to give employees a clear understanding of what they are responsible for and how changing just a single step in the process can have huge ramifications. Kim will wrap up this press optimization-focused session with ideas on how printers can implement, document and hold employees accountable to a consistent process.