The Challenge: A Midwest flexo printer was experiencing a mystery. They had a procedure in place which they had relied upon for years—and for years had no problems. Using an existing verifier, they tested the barcode files three times:

  1. at pre-press
  2. at proofing.
  3. during the print run (spot check).

Over time, the results were solid and stable. However, when their old verifier was no longer supported by its manufacturer, they upgraded to a new ISO compliant one, and that’s when the problems began. Suddenly pre-press and proofing weren’t always the same and on-press results fluctuated widely. What had happened?

What we did By analyzing the situation, we determined that the problem was that the old verifier was not testing all the ISO parameters—it was ignoring two critical factors which the new technology was testing and reporting. The new test results were the first truly compliant evaluations of their work—and they weren’t quite as good as the printer thought they were.

Conclusion:  This situation points out the need to stay on top of new technology. A good tool makes it possible for you to do things a poor tool cannot. An ISO compliant verifier gives a printer “eyeballs” they wouldn’t otherwise have. Because of the new verifier this printer realized for the first time the need to exhaustively fingerprint their presses—and the ability to monitor the key metrics during the print run