Canadian Packaging

Art And Science


November 28, 2008
by Andrew Joseph, Features Editor

Drawing a pretty picture or composing a striking image requires a fair bit of artistic skill to do properly, but it also takes a whole lot of science to replicate them faithfully, flawlessly and repeatedly in their thousands on today’s high-speed flexographic printing presses.

By any measure, there is no shortage of either creative flair or technical savoir faire at the lively, 18,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ont., owned by GMF Flexo Prepress Inc.

Operated since 1997 by co-founders Ernest Herzig and Greg Platt, both long-time flexographic industry veterans, the full-service graphic prepress services provider houses an impressive wealth of inhouse skillsets and sophisticated, leading-edge technologies that have enabled the 35-employee company to build up a loyal customer base of leading packaging converters, CPCs (consumer product companies) and food-and-beverage producers across North America, today enjoying annual sales in the $9-million range.

“We produce color separation and photopolymer plates for the flexographic packaging industry,” says company president Platt, describing GMF as a niche graphics trade-shop specializing in high-quality, multicolor halftone work. “And, while we may not be as big as the big boys in this field, we are more creative and innovative than them.”

A bold claim, perhaps, but one well-supported by the fact that GMF was the first company to have introduced the now widely-used Opaltone technology to Canada back in 2003.

Developed by the Charlotte, S.C.-based Opaltone Inc., the patented imaging technology—used to digitally mix and manipulate CMY and RBG process inks, along with optional K (black) ink—has found widespread acceptance in the prepress industry with its many inherent advantages, including:
• global standard cross-platform digital color process;
• vastly increased process color range from only seven colors previously available;
• multicolor separation software and OMS (Opaltone Matching System) color books;
• low-cost inkjet proofing solutions and remote proofing capabilities.

“We believe that Opaltone truly enhances the fidelity of the printed image when compared to regular process print,” Platt told Canadian Converting during a recent visit to the GMF facility. “By working closely with each printer, we were able to demonstrate to the CPC clients exactly what Opaltone allowed us to do, enabling us to show off our expertise in color management and press-to-proof matching.”