How Pulse and Sun Chemical improved colour management and productivity for a flexo printer

This well established flexo printer – a big player in its field – was pushing for better process improvements, but was being held back by their current supplier.

We saw the signs and urged a solution

And they say timing is everything. When Pulse contacted the client based on a positive press release documenting the arrival of a new press, it was clear to see both parties’ aspirations were aligned.

We presented an approach that could help our printer client save time, ink and materials at the press by matching to calibrated colour targets.

One of the key criteria for the printer was to allow the supplier to provide continuous print sleeves, which we were able to do in spades. They also appreciated the collaborative approach and technical knowledge to help improve the process together.

We also walked through a comprehensive fingerprint programme using continuous HD ready laser engraved elastomer print sleeves that would help deliver what would become a simple print by numbers process providing fast, consistent colour accuracy and print consistency throughout. Simple.

Naturally, it didn’t take too long for the printer to spot the benefits of a streamlined system that could strip out hours from their usual day to day operations by a considerable margin.

A restrained process that ate up time and resources

With limited colour management, the burden of proofs and creating standards for approval was placed on the printing press, creating delays and adding non-sustainable costs to overall projects.

Even on a short-term scale we found this to be a flawed approach to colour management, wasting valuable paper, ink, time and resources.

Pulse controlled the colour management programme through meticulous fingerprinting – introducing linearisation and colour profiling across all paper stocks. The fingerprint was run on Pulse DLE (direct laser engraved) print sleeves which ran directly off the press airo mandrels.

These print sleeves not only provided print consistency, accuracy and simplicity but proved to be a great investment capable of printing 2.5million linear metres, after which it went into the “Pulse Green Sleeve” repurposing programme, helping to reduce further waste and CO2 emissions

‘We’ve seen a year-on-year increase in sleeve orders’

printed out sheets in different colours eye one spectrophotometer checking colour checker
man adjusting contents in a printer

Pulse and Sun Chemical made the dream team

Sun Chemical is the largest producer of printing inks and pigments in the world.

Sun Chemical spans over two hundred years, and has delivered consistent colour expertise, innovative technology and an ongoing commitment to quality in service to its customers.

Using our extensive best practice colour management experience we worked closely with Sun Chemical to achieve repeatable, predictable colour standards using our collective knowledge of fingerprint technology.

Sun Chemical provided the ink solution via installing an x-rite eXact spectro to read in and check for colour, solid density and dot gain.

To complement this hardware Sun Chemical provided training on the SunColorBox digital colour management toolset.

Adding the finishing touch, Sun Chemical made sure to include their SunMatch ink formulation solution to further compliment the ink kitchen dispensing system.

Tripling throughout with 100% colour accuracy

With Pulse’s colour management expertise and Sun Chemical‘s tech, this collaborative approach provided the printer with a closed loop solution that delivers continued improvements to overall productivity – making a significant impact on predicting CMYK targets at the first print pull with 100% reliability.

This solution doesn’t just benefit process separations but also spot colour targets too. Having been supplied with non-calibrated samples from a variety of output devices and using the printer’s profile we were able to provide a colour-managed swatch, taking into account the print process, ink and substrate.

And hey presto, Sun Chemical was able to read the Pulse swatch via the onsite spectro and create an ink formulation that correctly matches on press, right first time, every time!

sun chemical logo

Contributing to growth

“The Pulse sleeves and colour management expertise have played a key role in the printer’s growth. We’ve seen a year-on-year increase in sleeve orders which is testament to the quality the printer is now producing, resulting in new business being won and Increased volumes that run more efficiently – what’s not to like?”

Simon Woods, Sales Director