FQC/SWG Updates: Fall Conference 2017 & SWG Project Progress

FQC LogoGreetings! I hope all of you enjoyed summer working, playing and getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Since Forum, our project teams have been wrapping up some final details and getting ready to continue trials at member companies. We’ve got new leadership on the High-Resolution Printing Project and welcome Brian Cook from MacDermid Graphics Solutions to the helm. The summer months are a challenge due to vacations and workload, but as we run toward fall, the momentum is building.

Fall Conference 2017

Speaking of fall, FTA’s Fall Conference 2017 is right around the corner! From a Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) perspective, it’s very exciting! First, the Gary Hilliard Memorial Golf Tournament has been scheduled to tee off the Sunday before Fall Conference begins—Oct. 8! This very popular event is the major fundraiser for the scholarship and was moved to align with Fall Conference to give more members the opportunity to participate.

The Gary Hilliard FQC Scholarship is in the amount of $2,500 and is awarded annually. It seeks to support an undergraduate student’s proposed research project that is of value to the flexographic printing industry, follows scientific methodology and produces objective data to support its results. The recipient of this year’s scholarship, Chris Teachout of Central Piedmont Community College, proposed a research topic titled “Finding the Correlation of Floor Height & Minimum Dot Size.” So, get your foursomes ready and plan on attending and supporting this event while at Fall Conference in St. Louis!

And, if you have not reviewed the Fall Conference 2017 schedule, I urge you to do so soon! There is one entire day devoted to calibrating, fingerprinting, characterizing and controlling the production process, and analyzing the final print result. This is the technology, methodology and discipline used in FQC projects. You definitely do not want to miss this opportunity to see first-hand how you can apply these techniques in your own pressroom. See you there!

SWG Update

The summer of 2017 was less busy than the spring for the Standards Working Group (SWG). The ISO/TC 130 meetings were held June 4-11 at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The meetings were very well attended and Ryerson rolled out the red carpet for the TC. It seems our friends to the north want to be recognized as major supporters of the graphic reproduction industry.

The next meeting of the ISO TC 130 Graphic Arts standards committee is set for Dec. 4-9 in Surakarta (also known as Solo) in central Indonesia.

Working Group 1

The terminology working group has asked for the U.S. to initiate national adoption of ISO 5774, marks for document correcting by editors. It was also reported Adobe has tentatively accepted to incorporate the ISO editing marks into Acrobat using PDF 2.0. This will make it possible to edit documents in PDF and add internationally standard correction marks.

Working Group 2

The prepress data exchange group saw updates to:

  • ISO/NWI/CD 12641-2 Graphic technology – Prepress digital data exchange – Part 2: Advanced color targets for input scanner calibration. This standard had been balloted at the committee draft (CD) stage and was to move forward, but the wrong document was sent out for review. Thus, the draft international standard (DIS) ballot has not yet been prepared. The correct, revised document for DIS ballot has only recently been distributed for committee review before being sent to ISO HQ for balloting at the DIS stage
  • ISO 12647-8:2012 Graphic technology – Process control for the production of halftone color separations, proof and production prints – Part 8: Validation print processes working directly from digital data. The systematic review ballot on this standard closed on May 26 and the U.S. voted to revise this standard, primarily because all of the tolerances are still given in CIE Lab color difference units. The ISO committee and most forward-looking packaging companies have begun specifying tolerances in CIE Delta E 2000 units, so this standard needs to be revised for that purpose
  • ISO/PWI/WD 20616-1, Graphic technology – File format for quality control data and metadata – Part 1: Print Requirements eXchange (PRX). This committee continues to meet on a regular basis, trying to hammer out the language and processes for the assessment and communication of print quality. Notes from the committee meetings are available to members of the Flexo Technical Consortium, as that group has expressed a keen interest in knowing how this container for quality requirements is to be constructed
  • ISO/NWI/CD 20616-2, Graphic technology – File format for quality control data and metadata – Part 2: Print Quality eXchange (PQX). This standard passed its CD ballot and the comments were discussed and resolved at the meetings in Toronto. A DIS ballot should be released within the next few months. This is the complement to part one and has the design for a container in which to report the quality of a print job in a standardized format
  • ISO/CD 15930-9.3, Graphic technology – Prepress digital data exchange – Use of PDF – Part 9: Complete exchange of printing data (PDF/X-6) and partial exchange of printing data with external profile reference (PDF/X-6p and PDF/X-6n) using PDF 2.0. The CD passed ballot and will move on to DIS stage. A new supporting document was supplied at the meetings in Toronto. This is version five of the Applications Notes on the use cases for PDF/X-6. The aim is to have the Application Notes ready and available with or before the publication of 19530-9. Those Application Notes were submitted to this working group during the meeting at Ryerson. The notes show how to include external references to ICC profiles and spot color requirements into a single PDF for exchange of design information in a way that instructs the workflow participant on how to edit and print the design
  • ISO/DIS 19593-1, Graphic technology – Use of PDF to associate processing steps and content data – Part 1: Processing steps for packaging and labels. This standard passed the DIS ballot and the collected comments were resolved in Toronto. A new draft has been prepared that includes the comments and will be reviewed and sent out for ballot as final draft international standard (FDIS). This standard proposes to include additional processing steps in the PDF for converting digital designs into printed media
  • ISO 16684-1:2012, Graphic technology – Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification – Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties. The ballot on the systemic review of this standard closed on May 26 and the U.S. voted to approve the standard without revision, so this standard remains the same for the next five years
  • ISO/DIS 17972-3.2, Graphic technology – Color data exchange format (CxF/X) – Part 3: Output target data (CxF/X-3). An FDIS ballot has been distributed. The ballot was due to close on Aug. 4
  • ISO/DIS 17972-4, Graphic technology – Color data exchange format (CxF/X) – Part 4: Spot color characterization data (CxF/X-4). The standard was approved at the DIS stage, and the resolution of comments was distributed and a new version prepared. The resolution of the comments was discussed in Toronto. This should now move to FDIS stage and a final ballot issued. The exact timing of this is not yet known
  • ISO 12639, Graphic technology – Prepress digital data exchange – Tag image file format for image technology (TIFF/IT). This standard is under periodic review and the U.S. TAG intends to vote to “Withdraw” the standard in favor of the various PDF/X standards