Flexo is slowly getting its act together with respect to measurable print standards, especially with test forms. An example comes from GiDue, the press manufacturer based in Turate, Italy, which has developed three test printing plates in cooperation with the University of Wales, Swansea, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating. The test plates are intended to establish set flexo print standards that provide measurable data of print quality and performance from the time of press purchase and throughout its working life. Testing takes less than four hours.
“We have been working towards our Auto-Certification Test (ACT) program for the past two years,” says Federico d'Annunzio, managing director. “These tests record the ‘health’ of a press during its working life with the objective of scheduling effective and timely maintenance procedures and optimizing press performance.” Testing can be carried out on any press at any location and the results forwarded to Swansea Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating for measurement and certification.
Test Plate 1 is a complete measure of all aspects of the printing quality of the flexographic print head. Test Plate 2 measures the print stability of the print head. Strong mechanical stress is induced by printing a full solid image on half of the web and no image on the other half, resulting in measurable stability values. Test Plate 3 uses a dedicated algorithm in the press scanning equipment in combination with the specifically designed test plate to identify and accurately measure gear mark