Before a printer begins running a job on press, it is imperative to know exactly what the job will look like when it runs. A color proof easily pays for itself in light of the time and waste that is saved by doing proper pre-press preparation.
Having the right color proofing system is critical for that process. For Central Chemical & Service Corp., Addison, IL, color proofing systems and inks have been its forte since 1974, when the company was founded by Edward Weller Jr., a leader in new product development at Sun Chemical for many years.
Today, Edward Weller III is successfully leading the company his father founded, and is branching out into even more specialties.
“Our specialty is our OptiColor Imaging System and Spectratech inks for the proofing and pre-press market,” Mr. Weller said. “People want to know what they are running before they go to full production. There’s a variety of color proofing methods, from color copiers to CTP, but our system is an enhancement for niche areas such as metallics and very fine vignettes. It’s a real high-end proofing system.”
Many packaging companies rely on Central Chemical& Service’s expertise in proofing and pre-press to determine what works best on press. To meet the needs of these converters, Central Chemical’s customized inks have to work on a variety of substrates, whether they are metallic, foils, rub-off transfers, labels or numerous other possibilities.
“For narrow web packaging and mid-range flexo printers, we can give unbelievable flexibility in getting excellent proofs,” Mr. Weller said. “Instead of having to outsource, OptiColor helps companies retain control. OptiColor can print directly on stocks, which is excellent for flexible packaging, shrink wraps or customized foils.
For Central Chemical, manufacturing the Spectratech water-based inks that will work effectively on its OptiColor Imaging System requires the ability to create a wide range of inks, from flexo and screen to overprint varnishes.
“We are a very specialized formulation boutique,” Mr. Weller said. “We enjoy development challenges and excel in developing partnerships with other companies. We are very keen on innovative technology.”
Ink jet is another area of expertise. The company has developed a new formulation including the addition of a receptive hardener which has improved its Ink Jet Receiver to where it can accept more saturated CMYK,thereby reducing the risk of color bleed which has occurred from some color output plotters. This water-based product, when coated or applied to various substrates, is capable of receiving most digital four-color, ink jet output. Ink Jet Receiver has been used successfully to custom prepare substrates such as shrink film, label stock, foil papers, Kimdura, polyesters and transfer bases.
In addition to its proofing and ink manufacturing, Central Chemical & Service provides avariety of specialty consulting services which have been key to the success of new products for other companies.
Since Central Chemical has customized so many inks, its experience allows it to enter new fields rather quickly. For example, the company is branching out into customized UV products.
“Our proofing systems have opened a lot of avenues to us for inks,” Mr. Weller said. “We now are working to develop UV ink systems and dispersions, and have a pilot program running. It’s where the market is going.”
Central Chemical & Service has thrived on its ability to develop customized products for the demanding proofing marketplace. That capability should help lead the company to future success in the UV market as well.