The pre press is one of the most critical processes in flexographic printing. Here you can easily understand it.
The flexo prepress
In flexography there are 3 stages that revolve around printing or press. The first one is the pre-press, followed by printing, and finally the post-press.
As in any process, one of the most important is the initial one, since from there you have to consider how the next stages will be to start.
Because the pre-press is one of the most important, and flexographic printing companies regularly leave this process in the hands of third parties.
In some countries these prepress companies are known as Prepress Bureau or prepress service, who specialize in providing all the services and products associated with this stage.
That is why it is important to know what prepress is, how it works and its characteristics.
This is important if you are a brand owner, commercial or flexo printer, as it will allow you to start developing your projects in a flash. more precise and easier way.
What is the pre press?
Is he Previous process to the printing process. It consists of preparing all the variables and conditions necessary to be able to make an impression.
This process goes from the creation of a graphic concept until it is materialized in an input for printing, which can generally be digital files, plates, or films. This changes depending on the type of printing you want to make.
What is prepress in flexography?
In flexo, the prepress is responsible for transforming the packaging idea into a digital design that will be processed in a CTP (Computer To Plate in its acronym in English), so that a photopolymer plate is finally produced that will be used to reproduce the design flexographically on the press.
In the pre-press there are several participants who must work in synergy to achieve an excellent result in the press and post-press.
Among them is the company that request packaging, the designer, prepress bureau or company that processes flexographic plates and the printer.
The responsibilities of each of the parties are fundamental, let's see in detail what they are.
Company in need of packaging
The applicant of the flexographic product is who define expectations of how you want the packaging.
Very surely if you do not have a company that can offer you the entire process, you will have to coordinate very precisely the communication between the other participants that make up the supply chain (designer, prepress supplier and printer).
The designer must know the capacity of the printing process to be used, in order to accommodate his files to those technical requirements.
Therefore, you must have excellent communication between the prepress bureau and the printer, which will ensure that the final product meets the customer's design goals.
The designer must know about flexography, because he must have some very clear technical concepts.
For example, the number of maximum colors you can use, the substratum printing, the ability to reproduce high-definition images (lineatura), the use of CMYK colors to create the files, file formats, the mounting type to be performed (number of tracks and repeats), among others.
The prepress company must work with the printer together to understand the capabilities of the printing process.
Within this process, it is key to perform a correct optimization of the machine and a finger print to obtain the gain curves and other technical conditions to process the files.
This information should be provided to the designer at the beginning of the design phase.
In addition, the pre-press bureau is responsible for producing a calibrated proof of contract to predict the printed result.
The printer is usually the first contact who requires a printed package.
That is why he must give an initial guide as to the technical conditions that must be taken into account to carry out the design and the prepress or flexographic plates.
This in turn will be able to show a closeness of what would be the final printed product, through printed samples that you have already made before.
Digital prepress for print media
Prepress is a field where human resources are very scarce due to the level of technical specialization It required.
The Traditional prepress allowed the learning curve to be shorter, but the digital age has caused it to increase, to the point that today it is called digital prepress for print media.
Among the most required jobs in prepress today is the prepress operator and the prepress graphic designer.
In recent years, technology has made these processes more complex, due to the fact that the controls are more precise and the variables are more and more determinants of quality of the printing process.
There are digital mechanisms for preparing jobs such as pre-press software, high-quality pre-press equipment (such as the award winner of the Kodak Flexcel NX FTA), and plates with state-of-the-art applications.