Joe was on vacation, and Chris was the
one who was doing the proofreading but
was not familiar with what to check.
The process is manual and not
documented concerning what items and
types of differences to look for.
The operators are so busy with the
number of jobs to proofread that there
wasn’t enough time allocated to spend
The end result should lead to a corrective
action which in this case would be to
document standards for proofreading, or
maybe alternatives such as an electronic
system, so that the method is standardized
on the way to look for errors.
Q. How much does color impact a
Malz: Each industry has different
requirements and defines pack quality
differently. For a cosmetic pack or
beverage, color is paramount. For
pharmaceutical, copy is critical.
Therefore, color is not impacted for most
pharmaceutical packaging, but consumer
packaging is critical.
Another issue is background color and
contrast. For pharmaceutical packaging,
are often used minimally to make sure
that text copy is easy to read, whereas in
consumer industries colored background
are acceptable and used to catch the
attention of the consumer.
Q. Are there certain pharmaceutical
packaging materials that you have
found don’t work well with certain
Malz: Holographic print does not work
well. Shiny materials such as foil, silver, or
gold materials, recycled paper stock, and
very thin paper (which can cause ink to
bleed through to the other side) complicate
the print inspection process.
However, there are technologies and
methods to deal with these with modern
print inspection technology. It’s often a
case of adapting print inspection methods
to work with packaging materials as new
ones are created and the industry changes.
Q. How do you foresee the DSCSA
(Drug Supply Chain Security Act)
affecting print inspection in the
future as the regulations are
implemented across the industry?
Malz: DSCSA mandates unique serial
numbers encoded in barcodes for product
traceability for patient safety. The main
effect on print inspection is the focus on
barcodes—particularly inline as the code
are automatically generated and are unique
so they must be checked dynamically.
Post-print, being able to verify barcodes
automatically vs. databases is a validation
step that requires print inspection software
to connect to databases, and potentially,
Q. What are some of the print
inspection trends you’re seeing?
Are there new technologies that
are becoming prominent across the
Malz: Emerging print inspection
trends include remote setup monitoring
and configuration reducing pressmen
involvement. Inspection areas and
objects are automatically selected,
and inspection sensitivities and
parameters are preset according to
customer requirements before press
The customer is moving into the
quality control process via web-based
collaboration. The brand company can log
in to the print process and approve, reject,
and support his printer in real-time as the
job is in production.
Other trends in the industry include full
automation of routine quality checks.
Being able to automate checks of pre-press files, step and repeats, barcodes,
and spelling is key to helping companies
deal with the pressure of more orders and
jobs without sacrificing quality. This is
a win-win especially for pharmaceutical
printers, where quality is key in the
selection of suppliers.
Connectivity is rising as well. If you
look at a printer, you’ll have an MIS like
CERM, ERP software, a customer portal
with WebCenter, design tools like Adobe
Illustrator, pre-press inspection software
with GlobalVision, inline inspection with
AVT, and pre-press workflow automation
with Esko Automation Engine. The ability
to connect these systems together in a
workflow provides more time savings, as
there is less time spent transferring files
between different systems.
Imagine a scenario where the customer
can upload a job in the portal, transfer it to
the MIS, have the graphics artist create the
file, check the content automatically, get
the required changes direct in Illustrator,
then send it off to production with the
settings for the inspection system predefined in Illustrator.
All of these systems are increasingly
becoming connected, integrated, and
automated. Collaboration between
systems is creating a master process
and is where technology for printing is
headed—and it is already possible to start
implementing to those interested in getting
ahead of the curve. n