With the approach of the next ISO TC 130 meetings, which will be held Oct. 27 to Nov. 1 in Lehi, UT, there has been a lot of activity. Many ballots were either completed or posted so they will be finished prior to the October meetings.
There was also a large number of Committee Internal Ballots (CIBs). These CIB votes are how the committee changes the structure of a project. It may be that they will change the title of a standard, or change the project from a Technical Specification (TS) to an International Standard (IS), or even the reverse. They are not open to the public and are mainly administrative, so they are normally not disclosed in this report. However, this spring and summer there have been some that are of interest to the flexographic printing community, so they will be identified here.
On a related note, there was an FTA Member Webinar on July 11 titled “Everything You Need to Know About the Updated ISO Flexo Standard.” FTA members can watch the recording of that webinar on MemberConnect.
ISO/TC 130 Graphic Arts — Standards of Interest to Flexography
- ISO/CD2 2836, Graphic technology — Prints and printing inks — Assessment of resistance of prints to various agents. A third Committee Draft (CD) ballot was posted and at press time, comment was to close on Sept. 13. If the document passes the third CD, it will move on to the Draft International Standard (DIS) phase, but this is a long step and it will not be ready by October. This is the revision of the test for resistance to various agents and the US Technical Advisory Group (US TAG) (through FTA) added several additional agents to the list
- ISO 12647-2, Graphic technology — Process control for the production of half-tone colour separations, proofs and production prints — Part 6: Offset lithographic processes. At the May meetings in Hong Kong, it was decided that this standard should be revised and that the contents of PAS 15339-1 and PAS 15339-2 should be incorporated into the revision. ISO/PAS 15339 is the series of standards that documents the so-called G7 process of press calibration using neutral density tone scales as the indicator of conformance. This method was developed in the US and has been sweeping the world, except for central and eastern Europe, where it was believed that only the aim colors and the TVI curves could be used for press setup and calibration. This current version of ISO 12647-2 has been, for many years now, the aim on which FTA’s own FIRST book has set up its specifications and tolerances. The US delegation has been very active in recasting the G7 descriptions so the equations can be understood by and the terminology is not offensive to the European printing community. This will be an interesting discussion at the October meetings in Utah
- ISO/CD 12647-6, Graphic technology — Process control for the production of half-tone colour separations, proofs and production prints — Part 6: Flexographic printing. The previously mentioned FTA Member Webinar covered this standard. The revised version is being prepared for a DIS ballot. This standard already has much of the ISO/PAS 15339 in it, given the primary path through the workflow to be setting up a press to reproduce the reference printing conditions rather than the solid ink color and TVI curves
- ISO/CD 15930-9, Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange using 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. This document was sent out for a two-week review in early July. It will then be submitted to ISO ballot as a DIS. This is a rather lengthy process and there will not be a ballot to discuss at the fall meetings. This is an important standard for flexography as it documents how to use the new PDF 2.0 standard to create content and exchange that content along with references to external ICC profiles. Once this is in place, it will no longer be necessary to strip an embedded profile from a PDF so that the local printing system can be utilized
- ISO/CD 20616-1, Graphic technology — File format for quality control data and metadata — Part 1: Print Requirements eXchange (PRX). The ballot on this CD closed in mid-May and the US voted to approve with comments. Only the US and the CIE had comments on the ballot and all countries approved the draft except for Germany. It is likely that this CD will now move to the DIS stage. The ISO 20616 set of standards contains documents FTA has been watching with interest, looking to being able to cite them in the next revision of FIRST
- ISO/DIS 20616-2, Graphic technology — File format for quality control data and metadata — Part 2: Print Quality eXchange (PQX). This DIS is at the Enquiry stage where all of ISO TC 130 may examine it. If they approve the DIS, then it may go straight to publication or it may be edited and sent out as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) ballot. The ballot closed during the middle of the month and the US voted to approve, but the final accounting has not yet been released. The US delegation has only one general comment, so it is possible this document may be published by the end of the year
- ISO/CD 23498, Graphic technology — Visual opacity of white ink. There was a CIB ballot on this new standard to change the contents of the scope. This is an important change since the Scope is the text that defines what the rest of the standard will address. In the earlier CD ballot, the Scope indicated that the standard would describe how to determine opacity for white ink on paper, board, film and foil substrates. In the discussions in Hong Kong, it was decided that metals and foils were too difficult a concept, so it was proposed that the Scope be changed to leave out the reference to metallic substrates. With that minor change, this new standard should be advanced to a DIS ballot. If all goes well, there should be an ISO standard on how to assess opacity in packaging printing by early 2020
If you would like to review and comment on any of the upcoming ballots on these standards, please contact FTA Director of Education Joe Tuccitto.