Color Sequence and Lamp Placement is Everything
How many of us have heard or used the saying, “My memory is getting so bad that I could hide my own Easter eggs?” With everything that is always going on in our lives, I’m sure that we have all been there one time or another.
With Easter upon us, many children will be participating in the tradition of an egg hunt. Their parents, neighbors or adults will be hiding either hand colored or plastic eggs filled with goodies for the children to find.
Each of the hard boiled eggs will be dyed with a different color or design depending on the how they were decorated or the order they were dipped in the colorful tinted water. The vibrant colors changed drastically depending on which cup or bowl each egg is placed in first, second or last.
The same applies to the importance of reproducing a previously printed piece using UV technology. The ink sequence and lamp placement have a huge effect on the outcome.
You can go from blue sky’s to purple just by turning a lamp on or off in between certain colors. Have you experienced what happens to various Pantones when overprinting opaque whites cured at the unit printing the PMS color?
Many machines these days are sold with a reduced number of lamps. Not having full interdeck drying capabilities makes it even more important to know where the lamps were positioned for that previously printed job.
It’s not viable for a press operators to remember every form they run throughout a busy day. And for those multiple shift operations, it would be almost impossible to know how the other crews ran the job last. Why spend all of that wasted time trying to reinvent the wheel whenever you’re running an exact reprint?
I always stress the significance of “Repeatability & Predictability.” Reprints are no exception. The fact of knowing what results your going to achieve before you hang the plates should be straightforward. There should be no reason to struggle with reproducing a printed piece that you have previously run.
Record this crucial information on every job—either in a log book by the machine, on the job ticket, in a database or simply write it on the sticker that you attach to the OK sheet. I assure you this will make it that much more effortless for the next guy to reproduce the previous sample when you go back on press with that job.
And for those of you that will be hiding the eggs...remember to draw a map! There’s nothing worse than finding a three month old Easter egg under a bush in the front of your house while doing yard work this summer.
Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.
In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.