“The Biggest Print Challenge” by David Callif, President, BCM Inks

What’s the biggest or most complicated print challenge you’ve faced? I’ve got to believe you remember the experience like it was yesterday. The good news is if you’re reading this article- you worked through it.

You survived!

My experience occurred last year. Here’s what happened and what I learned.

A consumer package goods company contacted BCM Inks concerning a special project. Our job was to match an 8 color plus 1 varnish bottle label for direct print on high holdout corrugated, develop an alcohol resistant OPV, and print and diecut inline. We also had to recommend a converter who could handle the job. The timeline for the entire project was 8 weeks.

We accepted the challenge with relish. We broke the project into manageable parts. We assigned our R&D associates the task to develop the alcohol resistant OPV. Our Color Studio specialists were tasked to match the 8 colors – 4 process and 4 spot, including 2 metallics. We then communicated our progress to the CPC through our National Technical/Sales manager. The net result was excellent communication/feedback. We learned that our alcohol resistant OPV was good but did not quite meet the gloss or slide angle specs. We went back to our suppliers and found the right combination of raw materials. We also worked with the prepress company to see how we could print the 8 colors plus OPV more efficiently. We determined that we could remove the cyan from the separation and achieve the designated print. This was a major revelation.

This meant cost savings from one less plate and ink.

The next step was actually printing the box. We designated the converter based upon print capabilities and location. We then worked with the converter on color sequence, plates, cutting dies, etc. A target print date was established. BCM then sent one of our print specialists to the account for the run. So far so good. We started the run after an approximate one hour setup. Everything went well for the first thirty minutes. We then started to experience some fill-in of the half tone image by the silver metallic ink. The metallic ink was drying too quickly. We adjusted the ink’s dry rate, washed the plates then restarted the job. We kept the silver metallic ink open throughout the rest of the 80,000 piece order. We also printed the OPV in line without an issue. The CPC’s Brand Team reviewed the print. They were ecstatic! Everyone had met the challenge.

What did we learn?

1) Planning is essential.
2) Work with experts/partners.
3) Find value in every aspect of a job.
4) Accept challenges.

What’s been your biggest print challenge? Please share it with me at Dave@bcminks.com.