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August 27, 2012
Why is trapping so important in Flexography, and how do we determine what will work best for us?
Trapping generally refers to overlapping
colors that are adjacent to one another and occurs with all designs. Even with
the best presses, there tends to be some movement from color to color when
trying to register them without leaving a white gap between them. While newer
presses may claim to be able to register color to color with very little trap
being applied, it is just good sense to make some allowance to help make the
printers job easier and the customers' satisfaction greater. Having said this, if
you apply too much trap between medium hue colors they can create a darker line
where they meet. The trick to what works best for you and your equipment is to
carry out regular finger printing to help determine the sort of registration
that can be held and is particularly important on older equipment as bearings
and gears begin to wear.
Having an experienced prepress operator that has
plenty of separation experience can make the art of trapping look easy, but
even with newer software that can be used to apply trapping between colors
automatically there is a great skill to being able to help make any job either
easy to print, or a nightmare if care is not taken when applying trapping.
Always try to explain to your prepress house/customer what you need to
produce a good print for them and do not be afraid to adjust your files to what
you need and not what someone else thinks you need. This can be particularly
difficult when a customer is more
accustomed to offset printing where little or no trapping is often the norm.
August 6, 2012
What images can we print using a variable data inkjet printer, and can we print on any substrate?
It should first be understood
that all VDP (Variable Data Printers) are not all capable of producing the same
images at the same speed. That said, most systems are capable of producing
sequential numbering, 1 and 2 D bar codes, random numbering, harvest marks and
graphics. Speed and resolution of print can and does vary a lot from machine to
machine. Again, although most substrates can be printed on including absorbent
and non-absorbent materials, not all VDP systems offer the variety of inks to
be able to do this. Most systems only print in one color — that being black — but
more advanced systems can print in other colors and other specialty inks.