The Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC), acting as a select standing committee of the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association, Inc. (FFTA), will provide the industry with a better understanding of the factors controlling the quality of a flexographic image. FQC projects can run for months or years and investigate selected printing variables in flexographic printing technology. FQC actively participates in the global graphic standards committees and associations in researching and representing the flexographic printing process and Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST).
Volunteer members on the FQC hail from all walks of the flexographic industry—material, prepress and equipment suppliers, academics, converters and CPC representatives. Meetings are held monthly via teleconference and occasionally on-site at FTA events like Forum, or other industry events.
Current Flexo Quality Consortium Projects
Part B (Wide Web)
Goal: To clarify the meaning of high-resolution printing by FTA members in several disciplines within the wide web industry.
Lead: Brian Cook
Plate & Mounting Tape Optimization
Goal: To document optimizing flexographic plate performance with various plate durometer and mounting tape densities.
Lead: Mark Coffman
Water-Based & UV Flexo Ink and Temperature Study for Narrow Web
Goal: To determine the impact of temperature on narrow web flexo ink printability, performance and print quality.
Lead: Mark Portelli
The Latest Flexo Quality Consortium & Standards Working Group (SWG) Update
“What we are not seeing is any feedback from the membership that will support our contributions on behalf of our organization (FTA). We publish the SWG Update quarterly in FLEXO Magazine so membership is informed of what is going on with relevant standards development. The summary is brief and easy to understand. The SWG is a small group and its members only represent a fraction of the composition of our diverse membership. That means if a proposed standard does not align with their expertise and experience, we may not be providing the right input during the development process. That is where we need you!”
Flexo Quality Consortium Project Reports
Upon the completion of a project undertaken by the FQC, any findings are put into a project report. These project reports are either published in FLEXO Magazine or presented at an FTA event like Forum or Fall Conference.
- CxF Color Characterization Comparison, presented at Forum 2017 by Steve Smiley and Dr. Sam Ingram. The goals of the project were to compare profile accuracy of the CxF characterization to the Standard IT8.7/4 characterization process
- High-Resolution Printing: Part B (Narrow Web), presented at Forum 2017 by Ann Michaud and Alexander James. The goals of the project were to compare the impact of various technical approaches to higher-resolution flexo printing based on output metrics in Part A, and report out what kinds of end results can be anticipated and what process steps are necessary to achieve them
- High-Resolution Printing: Part A, presented at Forum 2015 by Ann Michaud and Alexander James. The goals of the project were to define and implement a new target image; define new tests, methods, and criteria of excellence; and design a new data collection sheet for characterizations and tests
- Postprint Near Neutral Dataset Assessment Gamut Alignment, presented at Forum 2015 by Steve Smiley and Shawn Oetjen. Read about the project, published in the October 2015 issue of FLEXO Magazine and authored by Steve Smiley and Shawn Oetjen
- Open Cell Anilox Gauge Repeatability and Reliability (R&R), presented at Forum 2014 by Dan Reilly. The goals of the project were to determine the repeatability and reliability of current anilox measurement devices on commercial open structures. Additionally, as there is no ANSI standard, deviation between instruments was to be determined and potential calibration established
- Expanded Gamut Color Selection, presented at Fall Conference 2012 by Danny Rich, Ph.D. Read about the project, published in the December 2012 issue of FLEXO Magazine and authored by Danny Rich, Ph.D.
- Anilox Roller Volume Measurement Gauge Study, presented at Forum 2011 by Dan Reilly. Read about the project, published in the December 2012 issue of FLEXO Magazine and authored by Dan Reilly
- Defining the Reference Characterization Dataset for Flexo Narrow Web, presented at Forum 2011 by Shawn Oetjen, Mike Buystedt and Steve Smiley. Read about the project, published in the October 2012 issue of FLEXO Magazine and authored by Shawn Oetjen
- UV Ink Spitting, presented at Fall Conference 2011 by Sean Teufler. Read about the project, published in the February 2012 issue of FLEXO Magazine and authored by Sean Teufler
Flexo Quality Consortium Executive Committee Members
Jean Engelke – Chair
DuPont Packaging Graphics
All Printing Resources Inc (APR)