Jessica Millward

Paperboard raises its value-added appeal with new and underused printing techniques. By Jessica Millward, Associate Editor THERE WERE NO easy winners in pP's Excellence Awards competition, but the "Folding Carton" categories have been the toughest races to call in the last few judgings. With a growing pool of high-end products demanding value-added packaging, a new breed of paperboard materials has emerged to support expanding printing techniques. White noise Today's paperboard materials have a dual mission: to enable the best possible aesthetic appearance, and to be durable throughout the post-press process. "As a result, packaging professionals are … specifying higher-quality paperboards

Industry experts advise printers on maximizing die life before, during, and after usage. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor COMMODIFICATION OF MUCH of the die industry has obvious drawbacks for die suppliers, who face intense price wars and shrinking profit margins. But viewing these precision instruments as expendable, interchangeable goods may be eating away at the printer's purse as well. Damage sustained to a die through improper maintenance procedures or careless handling tactics will shorten its life expectancy substantially. Pre-purchase and set-up There are a host of possible missteps in die handling/usage, but shortened die life usually can be chalked up to one of

Flexo plate costs aren't likely to decrease dramatically until platemaking production is made fully digital. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor PLATE EVOLUTION WILL always set the stage for further development of flexographic printing. But with the invention and advancement of "newer, better" systems and materials, inevitably comes the demand for "cheaper." Unfortunately, as plate manufacturers and prepress providers alike testify, a dramatic decrease in flexo plate prices won't be feasible until processing and production become substantially more simplified. Better conventional plate processing There are various methods for improving efficiency within the flexo platemaking process as it exists today. A primary cost-reduction strategy involves

Learn prepress and on-press practices for ultimate aesthetic appeal using UV/EB and aqueous coatings and adhesives. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor Energy-cured coatings/adhesives When not matched with the right inks, coatings and adhesives carry the potential for poor visual performance, especially in the case of energy-cured products. Complementary coating/adhesive and ink formulation is therefore an essential first issue in identifying the source of print flaws. SICPA Eastern Region Technical Manager Dave Steele lists the most common signs of improper coating formulation as deriving from poor wetting or poor adhesion characteristics. If the coating being employed is printed over an ink containing excessive silicone,

Though UV flexo threatens widespread letterpress longevity, suppliers and printers insist it will survive. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor JUST HOW FAR along is the industry's migration from letterpress? And will UV flexo-fondness lead to the complete disappearance of the letterpress label? In an informal poll conducted on the pP Web site, while many respondents predicted letterpress would be phased out within ten years, a majority believed the process would always be in use. For Ko-Pack International customers, the primary letterpress investment has been additional equipment for capacity, notes Sales Director Gerry Nigg. He believes letterpress presses will benefit from incorporation of

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