There is no shortage of tips when it comes to picking fresh fish from a store or market. But what about when the fish is covered by a wrapper or other type of packaging?
Consumers, as they do, will make assumptions based on that packaging. It makes what they see that much more important than it already is.
When they see the Lerøy Torsk Lettsaltet Wrapper—printed by Westpak, with prepress provided by FTA member Marvaco—they will see “spectacular highlights with a clean and precise background vignette.” That’s according to judges in the 2021 FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards, who crowned the print Best of Show in the mid web category.
“The Lerøy Torsk job shows how the high-resolution printing produces extremely fine details with plenty of contrast, from highlights to shadows,” says Westpak Prepress Manager Ville Riitahaara. “The result demanded excellent process control and was achieved in a more sustainable way in process printing.”
Here, Riitahaara walks through the job’s intricacies, obstacles and triumphs with FLEXO Magazine.
FLEXO Magazine: How did this job begin? What were the concerns and demands the customer brought to you?
Ville Riitahaara: There was mentioned that harmony of shades between background and bar code had to be in good balance. The job was very demanding, as the background is process printed in many blue shades, and simultaneously the white codfish needed to show the finest details. An excellent register was required for the negative texts and thin dotted lines.
FLEXO: In evaluating the job, what did you identify as potential obstacles or difficulties?
Riitahaara: The Lerøy Torsk job shows how the high-resolution printing produces extremely fine details with plenty of contrast, from highlights to shadows. The artwork involves a high degree of difficulty as the strong solid and smooth brand color is printed in harmony with the very demanding light blue color tones, combined with fine details of white fish, as well as negative texts. The result demanded excellent process control and was achieved in a more sustainable way in process printing.
FLEXO: How did your operators go about executing the job and meeting the customer’s requirements?
Riitahaara: A new ICC profile was done some weeks before printing of this job, which showed improved printability and extended the contrast from highlight to shadows. Lerøy Torsk Lettsaltet was such a demanding design to utilize the whole print performance range in practice.
FLEXO: Talk about some of the significant technologies used in printing the job: What press was used?
Riitahaara: The job was printed on a Uteco Onyx XS featuring the latest Uteco flexographic technology and design optimized for very short runs. It was printed with two high-opacity lamination whites to achieve the best contrast and opacity.
FLEXO: What plates and plate processors were used?
Riitahaara: The job was printed with 1.14-mm. (0.039-in.) digital plates utilizing the Full HD technology of the Esko 5080 Inline UV2. The plate was washed, finishing in a Vianord EVO inliner.
FLEXO: What inks and substrates were used?
Riitahaara: Solvent-based inks and the reverse-printed film material in laminate was PETP.
FLEXO: What screening technology was used?
Riitahaara: [Prepress partner] Marvaco used the Full HD technology for a high linescreening of 152 lpi with AM dots down to 1 percent.
FLEXO: Were any special effects or embellishments added?
Riitahaara: There was a plan to print matte lacquer in-register on this design from a downstream unit, but we did not receive the cylinder in time to meet the first delivery time. The matte lacquer was added for the second run.
FLEXO: How did you apply targets and tolerances to the job?
Riitahaara: Marvaco produced the color proof to Westpak Oy that utilized the recent seven process ink fingerprint. The print quality was controlled with a spectrophotometer according to the targets.
FLEXO: Running the actual job: What speed did you run the press at?
Riitahaara: The job was printed at 787 fpm.
FLEXO: Were there any notable aspects of makeready and setup?
Riitahaara: This job was a process printing job that was produced just like all our other printings, each and every day. Westpak Oy has a long tradition in process printing, so the setup was quick and easy. The only extraordinary issue was to print the bar code with a separate blue color that matched the background.
FLEXO: Examining the final print: How did your team feel about its color and consistency?
Riitahaara: We matched the proof and made the production so that the customer would receive the laminate that would make their packed product stand out.
FLEXO: What about its future repeatability and predictability?
Riitahaara: This job has been produced already a few times, even with the matte lacquer in register. Due to the long experience in process printing and good housekeeping, the production has been stable and the printing has matched the original proof from run to run. The repeatability has been very good without any surprises.
FLEXO: What was the customer’s reaction to seeing the printed job?
Riitahaara: Do not really know. In this business no news is good news—no claims equals the customer is happy.
FLEXO: How can receiving a Best of Show award in the 2021 FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards help to win new business?
Riitahaara: Winning awards in the FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards is always a milestone. It’s the most challenging and appreciated competition in the world. This might sound arrogant, but when facing some insecure customers, we could say, like Formula 1 driver Kimi Räikkönen, “Trust us, we know what we are doing,” and we have the recognition (like the Best of Show award in the 2021 FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards) to prove that.