Process Printing sequence....

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Process Printing sequence....

Postby visualmartyr » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:16 pm

in my dozen or so years of printing i have ran wide and narrow web flexo, offset, and digital printing presses in about every brand of press you can think of. Over the years i have seen the 4cp sequence in just about every way imaginable. In an opportunity to get all of the guys in our crew on the same page we are starting to make everyone do it the same way(there were a couple of guys on the "backshift" that just love to go against the grain. so for weeks there has been an intense amount of debating between several of our guys and most all seemto know they are right and set in their ways. With that being said i thought it would be interesting to open the debate here and see what everyone thought and what kinds of ideas we could learn from one another about this subject. an industrial engineer named Shachi Patel did a study and report a few years back that tested all sequences and claims there is no real difference...thoughts?? let the debate begin
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby RiZZa » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:34 pm

The theory part of my training advised Y then M then C then K. But the press I currently operate, we put the cyan down before the magenta on all of our process. When I asked why, the boss said it prints better that way on this type of press. Its a Comexi ci press.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby NarrowWebGuy » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:54 pm

For surface print, FIRST 4.0 says that the usual sequence is KYMC or YMCK, depending on your black ink coverage. Regardless, yellow is usually first-down of the CMY rotation because it's usually the most opaque. Also, you want to measure ink trap greater than 80%, whenever possible.

I think it's best to follow these industry specifications whenever possible, so that your customers get a predictable result. For more info, see section 20.4.6 of FIRST 4.0:

http://www.flexography.org/04Education/first.html
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
- Kurt Vonnegut
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby flexo.uk » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:29 pm

Most people run YMCK. K is normally last as it tends to do the trap or as it got its name...... "Key" . There are two reasons to run Cyan first. Firstly it is easier to see than yellow, secondly, with servo sensors you are best of having a dark colour for you master mark.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby Fuzz » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:51 pm

Most People? Are your red, green and blue overprints all looking good in the YMCK sequence? Do your testing, then be consistant with what you do.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby flexo.uk » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:19 pm

Fuzz wrote:Most People? Are your red, green and blue overprints all looking good in the YMCK sequence? Do your testing, then be consistant with what you do.

I think if you did a pole you would find that "most people" do run YMCK! The RGB areas look fine and I have never seen a poor looking image (with correct repro/dot gain/curve,etc) using this sequence. :smile:
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby sickofprinting » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:38 pm

Offset vs flexo.
In offset I don't remenber ever running the k last.
Offset printing 2 color t-head I always ran mykc.
On the 6 color heidelbergs (with uni-tack inks) kmcy or kcmy. Progressive tack inks require adjusting tack to change the print order.

In flexo I run ymck like everyone else usually, but the CM order seems to have some affect on certain light purple shades.
Aside from those circumstances, I never really noticed much difference in the order in flexo.

I had a manager a while back attempt to force offset order on everyone, because that is what he knew.
He still works there but the crew has changed a few times since then.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby Labelcowboy » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:14 am

LMAO....talk about a difference of opinions....so all add mine....
Been printing for over 20 years and was taught YMCK (never asked why?, just was told that was the sequence)
Around 5 years ago when getting my presses fingerprinted it was suggested to me that i would get much better overall coverage if we swapped the yellow and cyan due to the higher wax content of the yellow ink......I RELUCTANTLY CHANGED SEQUENCE JUST TO APPEASE MY BOSSES but i was amazed to notice that it WAS better...especially on achieving greens (the yellow lays down on top of cyan much better than cyan lays down on top of yellow). We changed our sequence that day and have never changed back....for older legacy jobs we didnt even notice any hiccups.
Good luck!
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby Fuzz » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:35 am

Amen Cowboy...30 years in this business, my story is the same as yours. But, shops need to figure it out for themselves, do what works best for them, and be consistant.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby Frank Burgos » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:00 am

Hey guys,

Great discussion. Just for fun, there's also printing reverse on film. Any opinions on that?
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby flexo.uk » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:22 pm

As Fuzz says, do what works for you but be consistant. They key is to be able to repeat the first print every time. You dont want several different print sequences, just the one that works for you and produces a good looking image. Most people work with their ink and repro people and come up with a great result.
I think the funny thing with print is people are taught one way, it works so they dont want to change it. I'm British and we sure dont like change! Print though has changed a lot over the last few years. Look at the old process anilox's - 600 lpi with printing plates at 133. These days????? 1400lpi with 200 line screens. Flexo is a wonderfull world but pushing all the science to one side, you do what works or whatever is needed to meet the customers expectations.
Frank - Do you mean on clear film? Something like as drink lablel or shrink film?
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby SknyRussianHillbilly » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:56 pm

Last down yellow will generally help increase trap values overall.
It is usually easier to print on the substrate than another ink.
The trouble with last down yellow is that it is difficult to get a process yellow that can match the transparency levels of offset, hence a yellowish cast.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby Graham » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:36 pm

My 2 cents: That is interesting, switching the cyan and yellow. I'll have to give that a try. I thought the reason for running YMCK was due to ink migration. If you are running the yellow in the final station, for that matter after any of the other colors, and it re-wets the other inks, your yellow will end up trashy. Right?
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby gricey » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:32 pm

Hi gents,same story as cowboy.We used yellow before the cyan and then changed to CMYK.This had a much better effect on the greens.we always used the k last.never changed back.(water based process flexo)
Hope this helps.
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Re: Process Printing sequence....

Postby locoprinter » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:29 am

Frank Burgos wrote:Hey guys,

Great discussion. Just for fun, there's also printing reverse on film. Any opinions on that?


Reverse print seems to work just fine with KCMY because there aren't the trapping issues one has with surface print. We use YMCK for surface printing but normally the ink trapping area isn't that large. I have worked on large paper presses where the trapping areas were large and CMYK was used because yellow is the hardest to trap, followed by magenta.
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