FQC/SWG Updates: Wrapping Up 2018 with a Fall Overview & Look to Next Year

Flexo Quality Consortium FQC LogoFor the Standards Working Group (SWG), the fall of 2018 saw a large number of ballots moving through from the documents that were to be completed prior to the fall plenary meetings of ISO TC 130, held Oct. 14-19 at Kikai Shinko Kaikan Building in Tokyo, Japan.

Below are the actions that have occurred since the September update, including at the fall meeting, and are of interest to the FTA community.

ISO/TC 130 Graphic Arts – Standards of Interest to Flexography

  • ISO 2836 Graphic technology – Prints and printing inks – Assessment of resistance of prints to various agents. The U.S. voted to approve this ballot with comments. Several actions were to be taken, including adding test conditions for oxidizing and reducing agents, and determining specifications for the filter papers. There was no mention of the U.S. request to add references to the other methods of laboratory test print preparations to include flexographic proofing
  • ISO/CD 12547-6 Graphic technology – Process control for the production of halftone color separations, proof and production prints – Part 6: Flexographic printing. This standard and the comments from the earlier ballot were discussed in Tokyo. One of the comments on the ballot was that the standard contained too few requirements, stating instead, “…to be agreed between the client and the customer…”. Steve Smiley and Craig Revie were tasked with developing specific requirements for this standard. The Japanese delegation also felt their comments had not been included, and so Steve and Andreas Kraushaar (Fogra) will create a table of requirements where a “TBD” statement may be appropriate. Hopefully, this push for more specification will not result in a standard that is too narrow to be of value to flexographers who print on a wide variety of paper and film substrates
  • ISO DTR 19303.2 Graphic technology – Guidelines for schema writers – Part 1: Packaging printing color reproduction. This Technical Report (TR) defines criteria for a brand owner or brand owner council to develop its own schema. This standard has best practices for designer, brand owner, premedia and converters. So as a stand-alone, you could follow all the “shoulds” and be one of the top printers in the world. There are annexes in document for: flexography, offset, gravure and digital.

This document points to CGATS Technical Reports, ASTM procedures and other ISO standards where applicable. This could be used as an audit by an individual, a third party or for ISO 9000 or 90001 workflow points, or for a Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) or Brand Owner Certification.

This document was approved without comments, recommended for publication by the plenary meeting and sent to ISO HQ

  • ISO/PWI 21328 Graphic technology – Requirements for multicolor printing. Sam Ingram gave a presentation describing what has been done at Clemson University using the Esko method of complementary ink substitution to build the profiles. It was also noted that Idealliance is developing an expanded gamut (EG) target into an IT8 framework and an EG control strip. Elie Khoury, the current editor of 21328, questions whether the standard should be focused only on packaging (flexographic printing) or if it should be process agnostic. More debate ensued, including whether the document should focus on offset ink on paper first. Eventually, it was decided to form an ad-hoc group to discuss the issue.

FQC Update

The High Resolution Printing team is aggressively finishing up its trials and is analyzing data. We anticipate a very engaging and informative report out during the FQC Session, “FQC: Research Is the Key to a Successful Flexo Future,” at Forum 2019!

We are also going to be conducting a survey of each segment of the membership to help us focus our approach to the Environmental Impacts on Inks project. When you receive your survey, please take some time to fill it out and contribute to this important project.

The group came up with the following proposal to make the document:

Title: Graphic technology – Guidelines for multicolor printing

Scope: This technical specification defines one procedure to generate a multicolor characterization data set. This specification provides a description example of color printing with CMYK + OGV.

Steve and Sam are to prepare Form 04 and a working draft (WD), and send it to ISO/TC 130 for New Work Item (NWI) ballot.

The previous project leader, who had been unable to draft even a scope on this in the past three years, has been successful in delaying this work further, as this action is to start over. Still, the FTA will be driving this as it moves forward, and some FTA member companies have already volunteered to make pressruns to provide the aim data. Any FTA member who wishes to contribute to the development of this standard on 7+color process printing should contact Sam

  • ISO 23498 Graphic technology – Visual opacity of white ink. The comments on the recent ballot were discussed. As a result of the comments from the U.S., the committee proposed a resolution to the plenary to revise the title and scope and to have a new Committee Draft (CD) ballot. There was a desire to have the method tested on colored substrates rather than only on white paper/film or clear film. A task group was assigned to perform psychophysical and metrological testing of ink opacity on colored substrates. Still, it is intended that a new CD ballot will be out by the end of February 2019. This is a standard that is vitally important to FTA members who print on clear films. The intent here is to have a standard that will specify the visual significance of various levels and differences in levels of white inks viewed over black and over white substrates or backing

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.

Jean Engelke FTA FFTA Board HeadshotAbout the Authors: Jean Engelke is the chair of FTA’s Flexo Quality Consortiumand a member of FTA’s Board of Directors and FFTA’s Board of Trustees. She has earned an AAS in graphic and design technology, a B.A. in printing management, an MBA and an M.A. in industrial engineering management. Jean started her career teaching printing and paper science at Western Michigan University. She has held positions in R&D, engineering and global product marketing with Appleton Papers, Alcan Packaging and Kodak. Most recently, she served as the business development manager – packaging group for RR Donnelley. In 2017, she received the FTA President’s Award.

Dr. Danny Rich obtained a master’s degree in physics in 1977 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, VA, and in 1980 completed a Ph.D. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1998, he joined Sun Chemical Corp to direct the Sun Chemical Color Research Laboratory in the Daniel J. Carlick Technical Center in Carlstadt, NJ. He has been awarded the Nickerson Service award from the Inter-Society Color Council in 1999, the National Printing Ink Manufacturers award for Technical Achievement in 2008, a Thomas Alva Edison award for innovation by the Research Council of New Jersey in 2008, the Robert F. Reed Medal from the Printing Industries of America in 2013 and the Mattiello Memorial Award from the American Coatings Association in 2015.