(Posted on 10/10/17)

In response to a request from the members’ forum, the Board of EFIA has this year analysed the judges’ feedback on the entries to the 2017 awards programme so that members can gain valuable insight into what they observed.

Whilst all samples were of a very high standard in their respective categories it is clear that there are some recurring issues. In the knowledge of these issues it is hoped that we can help entrants avoid overlooking important factors that can be the difference between an excellent print and a winning print in 2018.

The largest category at over double the next category was registration faults, it is vital that registration is as near perfect as possible to avoid an otherwise superb print being judged below the competition. This is something that can often be corrected if spotted so we urge very high vigilance in this area.

This was followed by samples being below the standard set by other entries in category, that does not mean they could not win on another day, it is entirely dependant on the other entries.

If a print is to win a competition representing the excellence of our process it should not have print faults present, some prints have hiccies and dirty print that is visible or faults on every other impression that are often picked up under close scrutiny.  Grainy solids and heavy impression settings attract judges attention and can make an otherwise show stopping print look inferior to its competition.

With hundreds of entries to the awards programme 24% of the submissions achieved either Highly Commended, Bronze, Silver or Gold awards.

Philip Perrin, Skymark and EFIA Board member commented “What is clear is simply that the standard for flexographic printing is now so high in the UK, it is very easy to fall behind in a competition where excellence is everywhere. We’ve heard time and again that flexo now competes with litho and gravure and this competition is really showing that belief is true.”

What it also proves is that there are many printers out there that with the slightest register adjustment, plate clean or impression reset could win its category, it can be really close. It is going into the detail of putting that fault right, that final run up that determines a prints success.

Andy Young, DS Smith and EFIA Chairman added: “As a printer I know how tough it is to maintain consistent high quality and with all the new innovation on the market now, the game is changing. Flexo is truly at a pinnacle of performance and the EFIA Awards programme is really challenging our industry to come up with the best they can do.  We were truly shocked at the outstanding standard of some prints and have shared these with some brands, who can’t believe what they are seeing. This was a proud moment for me, for sure!”

To view the winning prints, including Amcor’s McCain Gastro Chips, Best In Show win, please visit www.efia.uk.com and if you would like to ask any questions regarding the 2017 or 2018 Awards programme, please email admin@efia.uk.com

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