SpotOn! flexo All Printing Resources

APR Donates SpotOn! Flexo Software System to Flexo Tech's Minneapolis Training Center

FlexoTech Logo

All Printing Resources (APR) and SpotOn! Press have donated the recently released SpotOn! Flexo pressroom software to Minneapolis-based Flexo Tech. Flexo Tech is a not-for-profit education and training center that provides hands-on press operator training for flexographic converters across the U.S. and Canada.

The SpotOn! Flexo software donated to the facility allows press operators in training to work with a highly effective color-matching and color measurement tool. The software provides the press operator optimal ink densities for spot or special colors to match a reference color by using a predictive analysis algorithm.

The new SpotOn! Flexo software will work in conjunction with a new spectro-densitometer donated by Techkon USA. The handheld Techkon device gives Flexo Tech's press operators in training a fast and convenient way to measure color and density. George Adam, President of Techkon USA comments, "Techkon is driven by a strong commitment to education in print and related industries and thus delighted to support the Flexo Tech Program with its donation of the Premium SpectroDens device. We have partnered with APR on this project to provide the device in conjunction with APR's donation of SpotOn! Flexo software to support all of the color measurement initiatives introduced by the Flex Tech Program."

Richard Black, APR's Vice President of Business Development, adds, "One of the most significant issues in the label converting industry is the ability for companies to recruit and retain technical professionals. Ask any converter what their most significant pain points are and listed among them will be the ability to find and retain qualified employees. The programs Flexo Tech provides our industry are invaluable, as we seek to better educate and train the next generation of flexographic press operators. APR is thrilled that Techkon donated a SpectroDens device to work in conjunction with the donated SpotOn! Flexo software package, and we look forward to continuing our synergistic and mutually beneficial relationship with both Techkon and Flexo Tech in the future."

About Flexographic Tech:
Flexographic Tech is a Minnesota Non-Profit 501 C (3) Corporation dedicated to providing flexographic press operators and others in the flexographic industry hands-on training that ranges from a two-day color theory course to a 12-week deep dive of flexographic press operation. Flexo Tech is led by a nationally recognized instructor with over five years of teaching experience at Dunwoody Technical College. Flexo Tech’s mission is to provide the Midwest with a local source of training, filling the gap in the print industry’s need for qualified press operators. Flexographic Tech was founded and continues to be supported by AWT Labels & Packaging and Computype. For more information about Flexographic Tech, please visit: http://www.flexographictech.org.

More information about APR’s SpotOn! Flexo software can be found at:
https://www.teamflexo.com/products/spotonflexo/

More information about Techkon’s SpectroDens can be found at:
http://www.techkonusa.com/products-2/spectrodens4-densitometer/

Download - An Article about this donation, and the Flexo Tech program, Adobe PDF 1.3MB

SpotOn! Flexo Pressroom Software Receives Esko Full HD Flexo Certification

Esko Full HD Flexo Certification

All Printing Resources (APR) and SpotOn! Press are pleased to report that their SpotOn! Flexo pressroom software has received Esko Full HD Flexo certification. Full HD Flexo is the new standard for flexo quality. Companies that are HD Flexo certified are among the best in their field. These companies are constantly innovating to offer the very best in flexo quality.

SpotOn! Flexo, is a leading-edge technology that makes it possible to get optimum color reproduction and density information for any spot color (including C,M,Y,K), right at your fingertips. It compares the spectral data of a color measured on a press pull (using a spectrophotometer) to the spectral data of the reference color. A quick calculation gives the press operator the optimal density to obtain the closest (lowest Delta E, or δE) match to the reference color.

"Full HD Flexo technology takes the Flexo print process to a new quality level that competes with offset lithography," says Richard Black, Director Digital Solutions of APR, "and SpotOn! Flexo helps the press operator take full advantage of the Full HD Flexo technology by providing critical color reproduction information."

Esko's Rory Marsoun, VP of Business Development, says, "We are excited to award SpotOn! With Full HD Flexo Certification. We only certify the highest quality products that we can guarantee will deliver the best results. SpotOn! helps Full HD Flexo and Equinox users achieve accurate and consistent color every day."

SpotOn! Flexo 2.6.0 is now available as a stand-alone (universal) version for either Mac OSX or PC. It is a single-user software that can be upgraded to the full Client-Server version at a later date.

About Esko Full HD Flexo

Esko Full HD Flexo allows printers to achieve gravure quality results with a flexo solution. Unlike other processes that require intermediate analogue or manual exposure steps, Full HD Flexo is the first and only fully digital platemaking workflow in the industry. Full HD plates are prepared completely within an Esko CDI imager and are immediately ready for processing after unloading. The CDI combines plate imaging with inline digital main exposure in one and the same device. The digital Inline UV2 exposes through an LED-array light source delivering the necessary UV power density to assure full control over the polymerization process during exposure.

All UV exposure settings are digital controlled within the platemaking workflow. This guarantees platemaking consistency – long-term stable and repeatable quality well beyond what is achievable with conventional UV exposure frames. Full HD Flexo works with all popular digital flexo plates and sleeves. Customers, vendors and partners can then attain Full HD Flexo certification when work meets published quality parameters. Esko Full HD Flexo Certifications are free and valid for two years.

All Printing Resources Named Color-Logic Technology Partner

Color-Logic logo

August 2014 - Color-Logic has named All Printing Resources (APR)--the exclusive North American distributor of SpotOn! Flexo--a technology partner.

Announcing the partnership, Color-Logic Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Geeves commented: "With the Color-Logic Process Metallic Color System, label printers and converters can print their own color charts, showing the 250 metallic colors available with Color-Logic. The color charts incorporate the attributes of the substrate, inks, and coatings used, as well as the inherent characteristics of the individual press. Because the color charts were produced on a specific press, the client, the label designer, and the printer expect specific results. However, meeting these expectations requires pressroom control. SpotOn! Flexo is an easy-to-use process control tool with a powerful visual dashboard that tracks ongoing press conditions. On-press process control is a huge issue in flexographic printing, and SpotOn! Flexo is an excellent product which enables label printers and converters to achieve consistent and reproducible color from their flexographic presses."

APR Director of Digital Services Richard Black, also commenting about the partnership, said: "The Flexographic Technical Association recently named SpotOn! Flexo winner of the FTA 2014 Technical Innovation Award in the Prepress Pressroom category. Licensed Color-Logic flexographic printers are finding SpotOn! Flexo a valuable pressroom tool to ensure Color-Logic files are being printed properly and consistently. As the exclusive distributor of SpotOn! Flexo in North America, APR is pleased to partner with Color-Logic and its powerful system for printing metallics and special effects using flexography."

Developed for brand managers, product managers, corporations and advertising agencies, the Process Metallic Color System gives licensees the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients from the competition by simplifying the design and print production process and implementing eye-catching decorative effects into their branded products and associated collateral. The Color-Logic system is compatible with offset, inkjet, flexography, digital presses, screen printing, and gravure processes. It is ideal for packaging, pouches, direct mail, point-of-purchase material, signage, post cards, literature, booklets, labels, shrink sleeves, calendars and much more.

Color-Logic™ develops color communication systems and software tool sets for a variety of special effect printing applications. Color-Logic provides brand owners, product managers, corporations, and their advertising agencies the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients with a simple print production process that yields dramatic results. Color-Logic decorative effects utilize the existing workflows of printers and designers, yielding dynamic results without the use of special equipment. Color-Logic supports the value of print and works with designers and printers to enhance their printed media. For more information, visit www.color-logic.com or call +1-513-258-0047.

All Printing Resources, SpotOn! Press Receive Prestigious FTA Technical Innovation Award for SpotOn! Flexo Technology

2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award

April 2014 - The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) named All Printing Resources (APR) and SpotOn! Press winners of its prestigious 2014 Technical Innovation Award. SpotOn! Flexo Technology co-developed by the two companies, was the winner in the Prepress-Pressroom category. An elite team of industry professionals conducted the competitive judging, and the winners were announced at the annual awards banquet that took place on Sunday, April 27th at the FTA's 2013 Annual Forum in Baltimore, MD.

"On behalf of APR, we are honored to be recognized with the prestigious FTA Technical Innovation Award for our SpotOn! Flexo software," says David Nieman, President & CEO of APR. "Collaborating with SpotOn! Press has truly been a partnership of shared ideas resulting in a product that can save our customers time and money."

"Our vision of creating an effective, accurate and dependable tool for flexo press operators to consistently control ink densities would not have been possible without the support and involvement of APR. Together we have delivered a powerful tool unlike any other. SpotOn! Flexo is Color Made Easy," says Bruce Bayne, Founder and SpotOn! Flexo architect.

SpotOn! Flexo Pressroom Software

SpotOn! Flexo is a color analysis software tool that incorporates new, leading-edge technology making it possible to get optimum color reproduction and ink density information for any color. Utilizing a Predictive Analysisalgorithm it determines the best ink density to achieve optimum color reproduction in the pressroom or the ink lab.

SpotOn! Flexo creates a new metric for flexo press output, "Optimal Ink Density." Using spectral information, the software compares the measured color from a press pull (using a spectrophotometer) to the reference color and provides the press operator the ink density for optimal color reproduction. It also incorporates a unique chart that provides the targeted ink density range. Although originally designed for the pressroom, SpotOn! Flexo can also be used in the ink lab to determine if the ink can be successfully matched when it's run on press.

Prior to this technology, matching spot colors has been done subjectively by a visual comparison or by using a spectrophotometer to calculate the Delta E (ΔE). Both of these methods have many variables, making it difficult to achieve consistent and accurate results, press-to-press and job-to-job. Neither method provides any corrective actions to improve the color match.

"Our collaborative goal was to create an easy-to-use product that provides converters with immediate benefits and cost-savings," says Richard Black, Director Digital Solutions of APR. "Being recognized by the FTA with this award confirms we have accomplished this goal."

"We at SpotOn! are genuinely pleased to see the FTA recognize the result of a true collaboration between two companies with common interests. We, along with our partner APR, are excited to get the word out to the industry," says Robin Michalisko, Director of SpotOn! Marketing.

APR and SpotOn! Press Introduce a new Client-Server version of
SpotOn!™ Flexo

SpotOn! Flexo Client Server Now Available!

All Printing Resources, Inc. (APR), working in conjunction with SpotOn! Press, is proud to announce a client-server version of SpotOn! Flexo. SpotOn! Flexo is a leading-edge technology that makes it possible to get optimum color reproduction and density information for any spot color (including C,M,Y,K), right at your fingertips.

"Since the launch of SpotOn! Flexo last November the number one request we have received from users is the ability to share the database file," says Richard Black, Director of Digital Solutions for APR. "This new client-server version of SpotOn! Flexo allows multiple users to access the same SpotOn! Flexo database file via an internal network or the internet."

"Our long term product planning had always included a client-server version" said Bruce Bayne, creator of SpotOn! software. "The success of SpotOn! Flexo as a stand alone product allowed us to move up this development to meet customer requests" added Bayne.

The new client-server version of SpotOn! Flexo operates the same way as the current standalone version of SpotOn! Flexo. The software compares the spectral data of a color measured on a press pull (using a spectrophotometer) to the spectral data of the reference color. A quick calculation gives the press operator the optimal density to obtain the closest (lowest Delta E, or ΔE) match to the reference color.

The ability to have multiple users access the same database file means there is no longer a need to keep multiple database files up-to-date. Now a user can be running a job on Press #1 and Press #2 at the same time and accessing the database file simultaneously. The new client-server version of SpotOn! Flexo comes standard with two client seats (users) and additional client seats can be added at anytime.

The new Client-Server version of SpotOn! Flexo made its debut at LabelExpo 2012.

Cal Poly Benefits from SpotOn! Flexo Donation by All Printing Resources (APR) and SpotOn! Press

Cal Poly Seal

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) Graphic Communication program has recently received a donation of SpotOn! Flexo software and training from APR and SpotOn! Press. This donation to the university's program is a new tool that will help further the education of their graphic arts students in the area of flexo print technology, pre-press processes, and quality control.

SpotOn! Flexo is a software package that addresses a common issue—the lack of spot color ink density information available to the press operator. Using SpotOn! Flexo, the operator can use spectral data provided from a spectrophotometer and get optimal density information, for a spot color to match a reference color.

"We are really pleased to offer Cal Poly the latest industry innovation: a new pressroom software tool that flexographic press operators can use to target optimum density for spot colors," says Richard Black, Director of Digital Solutions for APR. "SpotOn! Flexo is new leading-edge technology that makes it possible to get optimum color reproduction and density information for any spot color (including C,M,Y,K), right at your fingertips."

The new donation will be used as part of the school's Flexographic Printing Technology course. Cal Poly, located in San Luis Obispo, California, has an industry-leading education program in a variety of printing methods and technologies.

The Cal Poly Graphic Communication curriculum focuses on various printing methods, and specific applications to the management and technical function of flexographic printing technology. Cal Poly's Flexography course includes laboratory sessions, where SpotOn! Flexo will be featured in a hands-on demonstration of this new technology for students considering a flexography printing career.

"APR is a great supporter of education, and we appreciate their partnership in helping us educate our students with innovative solutions, SpotOn! Flexo is such a great addition to our program because it's new technology that simplifies the process of matching color on press.

We are delighted with how our students can immediately see if they are in spec or out of spec, and whether simple changes in ink metering can achieve the delta-Es required. We use SpotOn! Flexo in both our academic programs, as well as our industry workshops. It is a vital tool for reducing make-ready time and ensuring process control throughout a press run."

Malcolm Keif, Professor - Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department

"Creating specific tools for differing types of printing methods has always been a goal of SpotOn!," said Bruce Bayne, creator of SpotOn! software. SpotOn!, a process control software to aid in printing to specifications, was first released in 2008 and has been a leader in evaluating printing conditions to ISO and G7 methodologies. "We are pleased to team with APR to donate this technology to Cal Poly," added Bayne.

About Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department

The department (www.grc.calpoly.edu) was founded in 1946 and is one of the largest and best-known programs of its kind in the United States. It includes concentrations in graphic communication management, web and digital media, design reproduction technology, graphics for packaging, and individualized study. The program is strongly supported by industry with grants and endowments and with equipment, supplies and software for the department's more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories. The department is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications. The Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly (www.grci.calpoly.edu) focuses on services for industry, including research, testing, product evaluations, consulting, training, seminars, workshops, conferences and publishing.

APR Named Authorized TECHKON Dealer

November 2011 - All Printing Resources and Techkon are proud to announce a new authorized dealer partnership. Techkon is the innovation leader in densitometers, spectrophotometers and software solutions for the global print and packaging communities.

"We are extremely pleased to bring APR on board as an authorized dealer of Techkon products" says George Adam, President of Techkon USA. "All Printing Resources brings a unique expertise in the flexo marketplace, which is particularly well suited to our focus on providing the very best in instrumentation and solutions for the packaging industry."

As part of a commitment to innovation in color management and measurement in the flexographic industry, APR is pleased to represent Techkon and their color measurement instruments, including the SpectroDens, SpectroJet, and SpectroEdge.

Techkon color instruments provide the customer ergonomics, speed and accuracy along with a simple-to-operate user interface. Unique engineering features of the Techkon instruments, such as the SpectroDens integrated white tile calibration charging base, the ability to take 10,000 measurements on a single battery charge, and a simple USB interface makes them easy to use and deploy.

"I'm excited about the upcoming opportunities with the Techkon instruments. The SpectroDens is by far the nicest Spectro unit I have ever used, plus it's compatible with SpotOn! Flexo!"

Richard Black, Director Digital Solutions at APR

SpotOn! Flexo is a new pressroom software tool that flexographic press operators can use to target optimum density for spot colors. SpotOn! Flexo is new leading-edge technology that makes it possible to get optimum color reproduction and density information for any spot color, right at a press operator's fingertips. Techkon color measurement instruments are the ideal compliment to this new innovative software.

For more information on Techkon products and SpotOn! Flexo, Follow these links: Techkon   SpotOn! Flexo

APR and SpotOn! Press Introduce an Industry Innovation: SpotOn!™ Flexo

November 2011 – All Printing Resources, Inc. (APR), working in conjunction with SpotOn! Press, is introducing the latest industry innovation: a new pressroom software tool that flexographic press operators can use to target optimum density for spot colors. SpotOn! Flexo is new leading-edge technology that makes it possible to get optimum color reproduction and density information for any spot color, right at your fingertips.

SpotOn! flexo

"There's always been a challenge in printing spot colors because of the lack of density information available to the press operator," says Richard Black, Director of Digital Solutions for APR. "That is why we have teamed up with SpotOn! Press to create SpotOn! Flexo. SpotOn! Flexo is a software package that utilizes spectral data to determine the best ink density for optimum color reproduction, allowing the press operator to run a spot color to match a customer's approved color."

"Creating specific tools for differing types of printing methods has always been a goal of SpotOn!," said Bruce Bayne, creator of SpotOn! software. SpotOn!, a process control software to aid in printing to specifications, was first released in 2008 and has been a leader in evaluating printing conditions to ISO and G7 methodologies. "We were pleased to team with APR to create just the right tool for the flexographic market," added Bayne.

SpotOn! Flexo compares the spectral data of a color measured on a press pull (using a spectrophotometer) to the spectral data of the reference color. A quick calculation gives the press operator the optimal density to obtain the closest (lowest Delta E, or δE) match to the reference color.

There are many time-saving and cost-cutting benefits of SpotOn! Flexo software. A major benefit is the reduced press "make-ready" time trying to obtain the correct color match to a spot or custom/brand color.

Other benefits include:

  • More consistency by monitoring the spot colors versus the reference color throughout a run
  • Accurate monitoring to help your pressroom team foresee potential issues, such as changes in ink viscosity or pH
  • Timely troubleshooting of doctor blade wear, anilox roll plugging and plate wear

SpotOn! Flexo provides the density of the reference color as well as the density from the press pulls and provides the press operator the ‘optimal' density required to obtain the best color match. A simple user interface also shows the press operator if they are within the color match tolerance created for the specific print job.

Reference colors can be imported from ink formulation software as .mif or CxF files, or they can be measured using a spectrophotometer that reports spectral data. The software supports most major handheld spectrophotometers.

"Companies today place a very high priority on dynamic and engaging packaging that differentiates their products from others on the shelves. Spot or non-process colors are extensively used, but press operators have had few optimization tools," says Dave Nieman, APR CEO. "So we are absolutely thrilled to offer SpotOn! Flexo as a solution to this challenge. We are confident this industry innovation will change the way flexographic press operators print spot colors."

For more information on SpotOn! Flexo software, visit www.spotonflexo.com.

About SpotOn! Press

SpotOn! Press, LLC is a software developer for the printing and graphic arts industries. SpotOn! is a calibration and process control software tool for the proof-to-press process and was released in 2008. Bruce Bayne, founder of SpotOn! Press, has over 30 years in the printing industry and is a GRACoL Certified Expert. Bayne specializes in color management and prepress workflow hardware and software solutions. He uses this experience to create unique and valuable software tools to empower users to measure and manage color. SpotOn! Press is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at www.spotonpress.com.

About All Printing Resources, Inc (APR)

All Printing Resources, Inc. (APR) is a proven resource for solutions, trusted service, and support to the flexographic printing industry that delivers measurable performance enhancements and total cost reductions including the after sale attention needed to see optimal results. APR represents some of the most innovative product lines worldwide and takes a "team" approach to deliver process improvement and innovative solutions. For more information about APR, go to: www.teamflexo.com.

For more information, contact All Printing Resources at 1-800-445-4017 or email spotonflexo@teamflexo.com.