3) We interviewed the Manufacturing Department of Japan Sleeve, which performed the actual printing of this calendar.

 How did you print this calendar?

We preprinted the water-based pearlescent as the background, and then printed the other inks on top using FM Screen’s quadric-process.

*About FM Screen Printing: Tiny dots called “halftones” grouped together densely produce the effect of color printings.  These “halftones” are regularly lined-up, and their size controls the shade.  This is a traditional method which we call “AM Screen Printing.”  In contrast, a method using the amount of halftones instead of their size to control shading is called “FM Screen Printing.”  FM Screen Printing presents a remarkable improvement in higher detailed-representations and increases the options of color representations more than AM Screen Printing.

 Did you have any experience in printing in the same form?

Although we had experience in using oil-based ink for FM Screen Printing, the colors were pretty stable then.  But since this is the first time we used UV ink for FM Screen Printing, things didn’t go that smoothly.

 Any troubles?

新村様 曽根様Normal printing methods use the halftones’ size to present the shade effects while FM Screen uses the halftones’ density, so the colors change dramatically where the inks are involved.  Also, we had trouble stabilizing the color using MEGAMI INK’s UV ink because we usually use hybrid ink for our work.

Moreover, we test-printed the material made from the platemaking side, but the modulation didn’t turn up as we expected, so we asked the platemaking side to re-adjust it. This calendar is thought to be highly requested compared to our usual daily work.

 Was there anything you paid special attention to during the printing process? 

Since the ink’s temperature is OK in normal temperature, we focused on the adjustment of the ink’s viscosity because water-based ink always leaves particles.  We made sure that it wouldn’t influence the four colors we put on later.  Either being too hard or too watery makes a difference in the gloss.

 How did you like what was completed?

カレンダーSince MEGAMI INK’s ink has its own gloss, the modulation turned out totally different.  Also, the FM Screen Printing method turns out to be suitable for making designs with modulation.

We got some compliments that made us blush when we showed this calendar to others.

 Any impression about the printing process this time?

Although we challenged using UV ink for the FM Screen Printing, there may be still other suitable combinations existing, and we plan to challenge all of them in the future.

 Although there were challenges using UV ink for the FM Screen Printing, there may be still other suitable combinations existing. Do you plan to explore any of them in the future?

We like a challenge, that’s why we do it.  There are cases when we can make different kinds of prints using the equipment we have now, and meantime there are some difficult cases in which we thought, “This is impossible.” (laugh)

Even so, by challenging and overcoming the matter, we gain more skills and experiences, which is why we think that it’s a good lesson this time.

  What kind of things do you plan to grapple with in the future?

久保野様Basically, we plan to focus on “environments” and “printings using special inks.”

For the environment, not only are we going to use environment-corresponding inks from now on, but we’re also installing printers with filters to decrease waste.  Customers’ requests for “prints considering the environment” have been increasing tremendously, so we wish to satisfy their desire.  Meanwhile, instead of the traditional PP set up process after printing, we have installed a new improvement of surface manufacturing.

Also, we are determined to install aggressively more special printings using pearlescent, gold, and silver inks instead of just using the simple quadric-colored process inks.

 Special Thanks To:

Japan Sleeve Corporation http://www.japansleeve.co.jp/

Masami Kubono, General Manager of the Department of Management.
Yoshihiro Niimura, Section Head Manager of Department 1 of Manufacture.
Hideki Sone, Subsection Head Chief of Department 1 of Manufacture.


Megami Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd.,   Web: http://www.megamiink.com/en
3-1, Ueno 1 Chome, Taito-Ku, Tokyo 110-0005  Japan
tel. 03-3802-4111

For those who wish to see various print samples with special inks, please contact us through the inquiry link.


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