Digital Magazine

GMG's Flexo Best-in-Class Workshop is First in Series

ITASCA, IL | GMG and participating sponsors held their first in a series of 11 best-in-class workshops this past October 26 for flexo at Xeikon America's Itasca, IL demonstration center with at least 20 in attendance, including Paper, Film & Foil Converter.

Marc Welch details the capabilities of GMG's OpenColor prepress tool at the first of monthly Best-in-Class Workshops, this time at Xeikon America in Itasca, IL.

With succeeding workshops planned to be held around the country for audiences of 35, GMG's Marc Welch, who devised the program, says they are hoping to target "multiple people from the same company since some of the prepress and production people seldom get the opportunity to attend this type of event. The format is designed to minimize the impact on production [at] 9:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. All events are located close to major freeways and at the center of the target prospect's neighborhood free of charge."

This first workshop focused on narrow- and wide-web flexo applications with emphasis on implementing emerging trends in packaging prepress, including the following:

  • Simplified packaging prepress, color management, and platemaking
  • Better color quality and color accuracy with lower production cost
  • Practical solutions for Extended Color Gamut (ECG) printing
  • Reduction or elimination of press fingerprinting
  • Native PDF prepress tools for consistent quality across flexo, offset, and digital printing
  • Improved resource utilization through optimized press behavior
  • Integration between pressroom process control and color management
  • Next generation instrumentation

In keeping with these trends, this best-in-class workshop for flexo featured GMG's OpenColor prepress technology with the support of Hybrid Software, ThermoFlexX, Techkon, and MeasureColor.

Welch explains, "The workflow infrastructure we are showing applies to offset, flexo, gravure and digital printing processes, wide and narrow web. It is very important that companies do not need specialized infrastructure for their different processes in the future. This simplifies production, resource utilization and provides the ability to match color across processes in a more accurate way than ever possible before. Since the process is entirely based on PDF, it also fits into their existing workflow easily.

"Backward compatibility to existing systems is critical to implementation of new technology. The products we are discussing have ROI in the present environment while at the same time provide essential ‘building blocks’ of their future systems that they need to implement to be successful down the road, for example, web to print, MIS/CRM integration, unified color across platforms, process control, instrumentation, etcetera."

Just how flexible is the OpenColor prepress tool that GMG and Hybrid features at this best-in-class workshop?

"It is the intention of Hybrid and GMG to fit into any environment," says Welch. "PDF makes this easy. We are also heavily involved in XML based connectivity, including CXF, CGATS and other tools that enable automation of the process. We are in the process of developing a cloud-based API for OpenColor that will allow any three-party vendor to directly connect to color libraries. This will impact process that are beyond the current focus including ink formulation, compliance reporting, improving the connection between package design and prepress, and some we haven’t thought about yet. We want to enable local innovation. Who knows what will pop up!

"The key differentiator with the ‘best in class’ sponsors," Welch explains, "is that we all commit to a no finger printing, no excuses support for customers that select these products. This is easier than one might think, because we intentionally selected companies that have similar DNA. Excellent support, great products, high-touch relationships with their clients, long-term financial viability, etcetera. Open systems are great until they break and nobody takes responsibility to fix the problem. We want to remove that concern."

The next Best in Class Workshop is planned for staging in New Jersey. Stay tuned for details.

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