How Trisoft Graphics Links Workflow and Color Control Systems with In-House Prepress Technologies

“Our proofing system really smooths out and produces an accurate vignette,” reports Terry Clark, VP, business development. “On a regular contone proof, you’re not going to be able to see that. It’s another level of security to know that everything is much more accurate, and we can be certain that the vignette is going to have a nice and smooth transition, with no hard lining or banding. That’s just one more thing that makes our press checks so quick and secure.”

GMG Trisoft Graphics Dalton Color Department
The GMG OpenColor solution, an FTA Technical Innovation Award recipient

When it converts colors from RGB to CMYK, the color remapping does help save time in prepress to fix something. For example, when the job has some vignettes, the conversion is smooth. Screen angles can also be adjusted if the team sees some interference patterns. They can rotate them slightly.

“Printing is subtractive,” mentions Clark. “We’re basically printing all of the colors you don’t want. When you think of it that way, overprints or ink trapping is really the name of the game. We are able to lay down a phenomenally thin ink film that becomes nearly transparent, and we get very high ink trapping numbers—much higher than most people do. That gives print so much vibrance because we get these wonderful RGB image colors that considerably open up the gamut. It’s what makes our print so dynamic. It’s a really sharp print with really rich, clean color—photographic quality.”

Self-Built Software

Trisoft Graphics collects all the specifications of the press, anilox and everything that any effective prepress department takes into consideration. It also comes down to control of the ink.

“We use a combination of production and color management tools. For example, we use our workflow and all its other pieces—but we also have to give a lot of credit to our own proprietary FleXtremePLUS+ and UltraHD technology,” reminds Zafra. “We use our own special screening which makes a huge difference. Our prints come out so well. We have sample after sample to show before-and-after results.

“We know each individual facility’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) are unique. For the most part, our technology ensures that continuity and consistency will continue, because we have experience with customers who have multiple plants,” says Todd Cort, VP, business development, Midwest. “Even though they utilize some internal buying or job sharing, we know that we can go to Texas, send the work to Kansas City, and we’re still going to see the same results. At the end of the day, it is the technology that differentiates us.

“Once we go to press, it’s on color immediately,” adds Cort. “There are always some gremlins in flexo—a couple of tweaks here and there. For the most part, though, if you extrapolate every single run that some of these large printers produce, there is a massive amount of cost savings.”

A Common Goal

One good example of Trisoft FleXtremePLUS+ and the UltraHD system at work is the Eton Mess with Chargrilled Dates and Apricots Wrappers printed by Sunshine FPC—Best of Show from the wide web category of the 2021 FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards.

The judges commented that, “The printer pulled out all the stops: High linescreen, the latest screening technology, micro text and EG. It was hard to find any flaws.

GMG Trisoft Graphics Dalton Terry Clark & Chester Chin
Trisoft Graphics’ Terry Clark, left, and Chester Chin evaluate a proof.

“The customer didn’t believe flexography could compete with gravure printing, so it was an uphill battle even before the project began. The customer emphasized the importance of keeping the vibrant colors strong and the fine screen work clean. It’s a challenge to accomplish both. Running two items across with persuasive mindot transitions that drop to zero in multiple directions was a challenge. The product images contain highly controlled values from dark to light features with fine pallid colors. The details were close to the dot proof, while holding a wide and open tonal range.”

The printer added that, “Much like an orchestra, it takes a team of committed professionals that is devoted to working together for a common goal. With parallels to great performances in music, the effort and passion came through the visual and technical achievements of the piece.”

Time Is Money

Trisoft Graphics knows that coming up to color quickly saves on the cost of ink, as well as press time. Printers don’t have time to experiment with color matching and getting color consistencies. They want to get on press. With a good system, the plates are in and they are running. Time is money.

Clients often notice an economic difference. “One of Terry’s customer’s press checks used to take five hours,” mentions Ombrog. “When we started working with them, the customer was out of the pressroom in less than 30 minutes.”

“Before I came to Trisoft, I was prepress production manager at a wide web flexo printer that was working with Tristan for prepress and plates,” recalls Roy Sabraw, operations manager. “We were working on an entire line of frozen fruit bags, surface printing on white poly. We had a press check scheduled for three days and I felt uneasy. We’re all at the press and, within 45 minutes, we already had the first job up and running.”

He further recalls, “We got them all off, one by one. Because the proofs matched the bags, we completed them all in one day, and the customer didn’t know what to do with all its free time because the team flew in from the East!”

“A few years ago, we worked on some dog vitamin packets,” summarizes Sabraw. “I received an email message from the print manager, saying. ‘We got this stuff to color before it was even in register.’ I took his email and framed it, and hung it on our appreciation board up in the lunchroom for all the employees to see.”

Clark cites similar experience. “I had a series of 8- and 9-color hamburger packaging—somewhere around 17 SKUs that came in from a meat company. The customer decided to remap the work to CMYK plus white. We converted all the spot colors to process inks. The customer loved it and talked about saving money. Instead of mixing all these spot colors, they just went from one job to another. It was a phenomenal savings and those trap lines and vibrant colors were great!”

Given those many odes to progress, when looking to the future, Zafra promises that Trisoft Graphics won’t sit still. “You just can’t go to sleep and think that what you’re doing will always be top of the line. We’re always looking for new technology.”

About the Author

headshot Eric Dalton
Eric Dalton is GMG Americas director of sales – west region, based in Irvine, CA. He has also served in senior roles at JUST Normlicht where, as vice president, he oversaw the company’s sales and marketing efforts in the US, Canada and Mexico. Eric has extensive experience developing value-added relationships with customers and industry organizations, including product and technology education and color management for graphic arts committees. Contact Eric at [email protected].