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The Original ITR Solution



Across web, or Cross Web.Direction at an angle of 90 degrees to the grain or machine direction of a web or sheet of flexible material; also transverse direction (or TD)

Adhesion – The state in which two surfaces are held together by interfacial forces; measure of 
the strength with which one material sticks to another.

Adjust Curves (Photoshop) – Allows you to adjust the tonal range of an image at any point along the 0-255 scale while keeping up to 15 other values constant.

Air Mandrel – A shaft upon which cylinders, sleeves or other devices, are mounted or affixed 
and has an air supply to assist with the mounting onto the shaft.

Alcohol – A group of organic solvents widely used in flexographic inks containing the 
grouping ofC-OR. The most common members of this group are methyl alcohol, ethyl 
alcohol, propyl and isopropyl alcohols.

Anilox Roll – An engraved ink-metering roll used in flexo presses to provide a controlled film 
of ink: to the printing plates that print the substrate. The ink film is affected by the 
number of cells per linear inch and volume of the individual cells in the engraving.

Anti-Aliased – Partially fills edge pixels so that they are semi-transparent.

Artwork – The original design, including drawings, photos and text produced by the artist.

Back Printing – Printing on the underside of a transparent film; also see reverse printing.

Backprint – A design which prints wrong reading and prints on the underside of a substrate such as film. The design on the cylinder is right reading.

Backup Roll – See Impression Cylinder.

Bare Cylinder Diameter (BCD) – The diameter of the actual plate cylinder, before the 
sticky back and plates are mounted.

Base 1 – 1.) The anilox roll or cylinder before it is engraved. 2.) The core of a design roll before 
the application of elastomer.

Base Cylinder – The cylinder used to accept a sleeve-mounting system.

Base Length -The only possible printing area of a cylinder. Rubber may be applied to all, or a part of this cylinder face. Any journal landings of an integral shaft or heat mount rings on a Mosstype base, etc. will NOT be included in this dimension.

Bearer – 1.) Type-high supports mounted around each end of a plate cylinder to help carry 
part of the impression load
and to help prevent bounce. 2.) When vulcanizing rubber 
plates or matrices, the metal spacers used to separate the
platens, in order to produce 
finished, molded and vulcanized plates or matrices of the desired thickness. In
photoengraving, bearers are the dead metal remaining on a plate that support and protect 
the printing surface
during molding operations.

Bitmapped Image – A graphic image consisting of a matrix of pixels.

Bleed – An area outside of the finished design area where additional design is engraved to allow for variance of our customer’s slitter; usually 1/8″ to 1/4″. It should be specified by the customer.

Bounce – The abnormal reaction to compression, resulting from the cylinder’s erratic, 
rotational movement, causing missed or imperfect impressions. These imperfections are 
evident as horizontal lines or bands of decreasing intensity on the leading edge. In 
extreme cases, the horizontal lines will also appear on the trailing edge.

Buna-N – A synthetic rubber, made from butadiene and acrylonitrile, used in the manufacture 
of flexo plates and rolls. It is resistant to aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, cellosolve and 
water, but not resistant to aromatic hydrocarbons and esters (acetate).

Butt Register – Printing of two or more colors that meet seamlessly without the need for 
masks, spreads or chokes commonly used by printers.

Caking – When dried ink collects on the rollers and plates.

Calibration – The process of setting a device to conform to a standard or preset conditions; 
often used to correct for drift or change in the device’s performance characteristics and to
, bring it back to norm.

Caliper – The thickness measurement of printing materials such as plates, mounting tape, etc. See gauge.

Caliper Gauge – A micrometer used to measure the thickness of a sheet of material.

Camera-ready – Copy and/or artwork that is ready for the photography step to make a film 
negative for platemaking in the printing process.

Carryover – The amount of extra image on each side of the match to allow for wavering of the blade when our customer is trimming their wallcovering.

Cell Count – The number of cells per linear inch (or centimeter) in either a laser or 
mechanically engraved anilox roll.

Cell Volume – The volume delivery capability of a single anilox cell or group of cells in a 
given area.

Cellosolve – Union Carbide Corp’s trade name for ethylened glycol mono-ethyl ether, a 
retarding solvent in flexographic inks.

Channels – One of the ways Adobe Photoshop stores color information about an image and to store selections depending on which mode (RGS, CMYK) is used.

Chattering – Horizontal lines or bands in printed solids or screens of varying color intensity.

Checking – The short, shallow cracks on the surface of a rubber product caused by exposure 
to extreme environmental conditions, such as exposure to ozone.

Choke Roll – The printing roll carrying the background or overall pattern. See also, Design 

Choke Trap – The intentional overlap of a lighter background onto a darker object needed to 
ensure that a slight misalignment or movement of separations on press will not affect the 
final appearance of the job. i.e., color or white fringes or borders around image detail. 
Called trapping in digital imaging systems. See trapping.

Chromium Plate – A thin covering of chromium, usually electroplated, over a copper or 
nickel base to increase the surface-wear properties.

Clearances – Area of ground or space between colors or separate pieces (i.e., flowers to centers) to allow for spreading of colors when printing.

CMYK – Abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, the 4 process colors. These are the 4 basic printing inks used to create the full spectrum of color on a printed page.

Color Break – The designation of ink colors to be used for specific image areas.

Color Proof – A printed or simulated printed image of each process color (cyan, magenta, 
yellow and black) using inks, toners or dyes to give a representation of the final printed 

Color Rotation – The order in which our cylinders are put in press to print a design and get correct laydown of colors.

Companion – Additional designs in the line that have the same or complementary design motifs.

Computer-to-Sleeve (CPS) – A system where the plate is mounted on a sleeve and imaged in 
the round directly from a computer system using laser ablation.

Compression – Many image file formats use compression techniques to reduce the storage space required by bitmap image data. Compression techniques are distinguished by whether they remove detail and color from the image. Lossless techniques compress image data without removing detail; lossy techniques compress images by removing detail. The following are commonly used compression techniques:

• Run Length Encoding (RlE) is a lossless compression technique supported by the Photoshop and TIFF file formats and some common Windows file formats.

• Lemple-Zif-Welch (LZVV) is a lossless compression technique supported by TIFF, PDF, GIF and PostScript language file formats. This technique is most useful in compressing images that contain large areas of single
color, such as screenshots or simple paint images.

• Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a lossy compression technique support by JPEG, PDF and PostScript language file formats. JPEG compression provides the best results with continuous-tone images, such as photographs.

• CCITT encoding is a family of lossless compression techniques for black-and-white images that is supported by the PDF and PostScript language file formats.

• ZIP encoding is a lossless compression technique supported by the PDF file format. Like LZW, ZIP compression is most effective for images that contain large areas of single color.

Continuous Tone – Any image with a complete range of tones from black to white. Examples would be photographs, paintings, pencil drawings, ink washes, original artwork, etc.

Convertor – A manufacturer who takes raw materials – such as resin, polymer, paper pulp – 
to produce the final package (box, pouch, bag, envelope). Printing mayor may not be 
included in the process.

Crop Marks – Marks made on the outer edges of artwork to designate the area to be printed 
or cut.

Crown – The difference in diameter between the center of a roll and reference points at or 
near the ends of the face.

Cure – The process of hardening a heat-set or photo-reactive material. For example hardening 
photopolymers requires exposing the photinitiator to UV light.

Cut Back Curve – Data which indicates the halftone dot areas need to be compensated for 
normal dot gain throughout the entire tone scale during the printing process. The data is 
specific to particular materials and process conditions.

Cylinder Right Reading – As we look at the engraved cylinder, the images look the same as they will when they are printed. This is almost always the case with backprint rolls.

Cylinder Wrong Reading – As we look at the engraved cylinder, the images are the reverse of how they will look when they are printed. This is almost always the case with Surface Print rolls.

Dead Space – Non-printing space on either edge of a file.

Deflection – Deviation from a straight line under load, e.g., fountain-roll pressure against the 
anilox roll, causes both to bend or bow slightly. Excessive bending of both or either one 
will result in uneven ink metering and subsequent non-uniform printing.

Design – A piece of artistic work which we process to make printing cylinders.

Design Element – A fundamental or irreducible part of a design.

Design Is Not Centered On Cylinder – The overall design will be placed off center in relation to the base length or cylinder face.

Design Roll – A printing cylinder with an elastomeric material affixed in position and 
engraved with a design. Used for seamless printing.

Design Width – 1. ) The width of the design itself, across the cylinder, including bleed. This does NOT include eyelines, bump rings, marginal printing, registration marks, etc. 2.) The intermediate step times however many across, plus bleed (if any). May include non print areas. May be less than the actual Printing Width. May be wider than the actual Printing Width. May be centered. May be off center.

• Note: The Design Width could be centered and have the actual printing width be off center.

Design/Border – The name or number our customers assign to their designs. If a customer does not give a name or number to their design, Marketing will pick one. Wallcovering orders will have either DESIGN or BORDER circled.

Digital File/Original Art/Film Negative/Film Positive/Layout Drawing/Printed Sample – The type of artwork our customers have sent to us from which we prepare our art. These are usually returned to them.

Direct to Plate – A system designed to image printing plates directly from computer data, 
eliminating the need for film production and the use of contact plates.

Distort – To alter an image unproportionally to force it to fit into a desired size.

Distortion Factor – A multiplier which compensates for normal flexo image-shrinkage with 
rubber plates and image-stretch when any type of flexo plate are made flat and the 
mounted around a cylinder for printing.

Durometer – A measure of hardness, by using a durometer gauge, either Shore A (for soft 
rubber) or Shore D (for harder, less resilient materials).

Elastomer – Any rubber-like substance or polymer.

Embossed – A finish or design imparted by means of compressing a material between 
matched rigid surfaces or a rigid and a ductile surface having the desired raised or 
depressed surface pattern. The process usually occurs between rollers, although it may 
be done in the flat.

End Product – The final package or printed piece, after all blanking, folding, gluing or heat 
sealing is done, ready for customer use.

Engrave – Process of removing material from cylinders as to leave the raised portion which is to be printed.

Engraved Roll – A roll having a mechanically or laser engraved surface.

Engraving – A general term normally applied to any pattern which has been cut in or incised 
in a surface by hand, mechanical, laser or chemical etching processes.

Epoxy Resins – Plastic or resinous materials used for strong fast-setting adhesives, as heat- 
resistant coatings and binders, etc.

Extrusion – Continuous sheet or film (or other shapes not connected with flexography) 
produced by forcing thermoplastic material through a die or orifice.

Eye Lines – Vertical lines added to overall films per customer request.

Eye Mark or Eye Spot – A small, rectangular printed area usually located near the edge of a 
web or design, to activate an automatic electronic position regulator for controlling 
register of the printed design with subsequent equipment or operations.

Face – Overall printing width of the design.

File Formats – You can use various file formats to get images into and out of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator. Graphic file formats differ in the way they represent graphic information – either as vector drawings or as bitmap images. Some formats
contain only vector drawings or bitmap images, but may include both in the same file.

• PDF – Portable Document Format (PDF) is used by Adobe Acrobat, Adobe’s electronic publishing software for Windows, Mac OS, UNIX and DOS. You can view PDF files using the Acrobat Reader software included on the application CD-ROM. Identical to Postscript pages, PDF files can represent both vector and Bitmap graphics, and can contain electronic document search and navigation features such as electronic links.

• EPS – The encapsulated PostScript (EPS) language file format can contain both vector and bitmap graphics and is supported by virtually all graphic, illustration and page-layout programs. The EPS format is used to transfer PostScript language artwork between applications. When you open an EPS file containing vector graphics created in another application, Photoshop rasterizes the file, converting the vector graphics to pixels. The EPS format supports Lab, CMYK, RGB, indexed-color, duotone, grayscale and Bitmap color modes, and does not support alpha channels. EPS does support clipping paths.

• TIFF – The Tagged-Image File Format (TIFF) is used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images. The TIFF format supports CMYK, RGB and grayscale files with alpha channels, and Lab, Indexed-color, and Bitmap files without alpha channels. TIFF also supports LZW compression.

Final Product – The end product customers will convert the printed material to (i.e., giftwrap, wallpaper, food wrapper,
envelope liner, etc.)

Fingerprint – See press characterization.

Finished Diameter – The diameter of the finish ground cylinder ready for shipping as a tint or pad roll, or for further
processing as an engraved roll.

Flatten Image (Photoshop) – To merge all layers into one background, greatly reducing file size.

Flexography – A method of direct-rotary printing, using resilient raised-image printing plates, 
affixed to variable-repeat plate cylinders, inked by a roll or doctor-blade-wiped engraved 
metal roll carrying fluid or paste type inks to virtually any substrate.

Four-Color Process – Printing with Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan color inks plus Black by using 
screens to create all other colors.

Gear Chart – A handy reference, it is a compilation of the various printing lengths, or repeats, 
obtainable within the different gearing systems.

Gear Marks – A defect in flexographic printing appearing as uniformly spaced, lateral 
variations in tone corresponding exactly to the distance between the gear teeth.

Gear Side – Opposite to the operator side on the press.

Gear Side Consideration – Specific placement of a design on a cylinder, in relationship to the gear on our customers’ press, so that the printed product coming off the press is ready for the next step of the converting process.

Gear Tooth – The number of teeth within the gear system on a press. The tooth measurement 
is determined by taking the repeat and dividing it by the pitch. (i.e.: 21.000 repeat 
.250 (1/4cp) = 84T)

Gravure – A printing process in which the image area is etched below the surface of the 
printing plate. The ink is carried below the printing surface in small wells or lines etched 
or scribed into a metal plate. The surface of the plate is wiped clean so non-image areas 
carry no ink and the image is transferred directly to the paper by means of pressure.

Grin – Unwanted ground color (white) showing through solid printing areas or between two separate colors which should fit or lap together.

Halftone – Because a press cannot print varying shades of gray, the continuous tone copy must be reproduced as a black and white. The appearance of the shades in between are obtained by the relative size and density of dots produced by the halftone screen.

Impression – The image transferred from the printing plate to the substrate and the 
adjustment required to achieve that.

Impression Cylinder – The roller or cylinder which backs up or supports the substrate at the 
point of impression.

Ink Rotation – The sequence in which inks are printed. For process colors, it is commonly 

Interpolation – The way Photoshop assigns color values to any new pixels based on the color values of existing pixels in the image:

• Nearest Neighbor – Fastest and least precise method; maintains existing color values in poorer edge quality.

• Bilinear – Medium quality method; creates some new color values but edges are still somewhat jagged in appearance.

• Bicubic – Most precise method; creates new color values to maintain smooth edge.

Intermediate – Portion or portions of a design that will be stepped to create the overall design.

Join – The point at which image meets in either match or repeat. This may also indicate the trim in wallcovering.

Journals – The end shafts on which a roll rotates.

Kerning (Photoshop) – In type text; controls the spacing between the characters.

Ketones – A class of organic compounds which are generally colorless, volatile liquids, such 
as acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, etc.

Kiss Impression – The lightest possible impression which will transfer a film of ink from the 
anilox roll to the entire print surface of the printing plate, or from the entire print surface 
of the printing plate to the material being printed.

Lapping/Trapping – One color falling or printing partially on another.

Leading – Spacing between baselines in rows of type.

Line Color – Any color that is not part of the process-color image, printed on a separate print 
station. Often, it is a special ink: formulation, but it can be a second print station using 
process inks, especially black.

Line Copy – Copy made up of solids and lines in contrast to halftones or shadings made up of 
a series of dots.

Logo – Credit line with the customers’ name and/or job designers’ name on it. It is usually included within the face of the design.

Luminite Order # – This is a 5-digit number followed by a letter or letters assigned to every job. The number is assigned in Marketing.

Mandrel – A shaft upon which cylinders, or other devices, are mounted or affixed.

Match – The width of a wallcovering pattern where the continuity of the design is preserved when rolls of wallcovering are hung side by side.

Moiré Pattern – The distracting and unattractive plaid pattern that occurs when 2 or more screen tints are overlaid incorrectly.

Neoprene – A synthetic, chlorinated butadiene rubber used in making flexo railers, that are 
resistant to alcohols, cello solve, water, aliphatic hydrocarbons and to a limited extent, esters (acetates), but not resistant to aromatic hydrocarbons.

Orientation – To adjust the tif in the correct position for make ready.

Outline Font – A font intended for use on a laser printer or Image setter. Rather than made of dots like a bitmapped font, each letter is defined by its outline which is filled to display the character. Outline fonts can be scaled to any size without losing quality.

Overall – The full design that the customer will be printing.

Pattern or Patten Plate – The engraving or combination of plates used for making the 
matrices from which rubber plates are made.

Percent Coverage – The measurement of the area of the image that is covered with dots from a tint screen.

Pitch Diameter – The measurement of a gear, determined by dividing the tooth pitch line 
circumference by Pi.

Pixel – 1.) A single dot. The individual units that make bitmapped characters or graphics. 2.) The abbreviation for picture element. It is the smallest unit (cell, dot, square) on a 
color monitor display screen grid that can be displayed, stored or addressed. An image is 
typically composed of a rectangular array of pixels.

Plate Break – The non-print area where the two ends of a flexographic plate butt together 
after being wrapped around the plate cylinder on the printing press.

Plate Cylinder – The press cylinder on which the printing plates are mounted. There are two 
types: Integral, the shaft is a permanent part of the body. Demountable, the shaft is 
removable to receive a multiple of bodies of varying diameters and, in some cases, face 

Platform – A separation that falls full under one or more other separations.

Point – A unit of measure for specifying type and line attributes. There are approximately 72 points in an inch.

Press Characterization (fingerprint) – The procedure to quantify and document the printing 
process and use the data to adjust upstream systems and provide data to monitor the 
printing process for consistency.

Print Width – 1.) The total width of engraved image, including eyelines, bump rings, marginal printing, registration marks, etc. 2.) Includes everything raised on the cylinder that will print, eye marks, eye lines, registration marks, micro dots, marginal imprints, integral bump rings. May be centered. May be off center. May be the same as the design width. May be wider than the Design width. May be less than the design width.

Process Color – Refers to the process of reproducing a full range of colors by use of only four separations. One for Cyan, one for Yellow, one for Magenta and one for Black. For printing a full color image, a separate HALFTONE is made for each of these four colors. When printed together, they create the appearance of a full range of color by overlapping dots.

Proof – A prototype of the printed job that is made from plates, film, or electronic data, for in-
house quality control and/or for customer inspection and approval.

Raster Art – Artwork which consists of a grid or raster of small squares (pixels.)

Rasterize – The process of converting mathematical and digital information into a series of dots (bitmaps) by the RIP for the production of a negative or positive film. To prepare the art for engraving, it is sent through the RIP unit. Our RIP is a software program on one of the Macs which is why it looks like we have 2 workstations. The RIP rasterizes the art.

Recut (CCR) – Re-engraving of a cylinder for a customer at their cost. (IE. 55563E01, E02, etc.)

Reflect – To create a mirror image of an object across an axis of reflection that you specify.

Register – In printing, the alignment of two or more images when printed sequentially on top 
of each other.

Registration – Registration X, bulls eye, mircrodot method which printers use to register their cylinders.

Relief Engrave – The images on the roll which are left after engraving to print free of the background.

Repeat – 1.) The circumference of the cylinder. 2.) The printing length (circumference of the printing surface) of a plate cylinder, 
determined by one revolution of the plate cylinder gear The pitch circle circumference 
of the plate cylinder gear.

Resolution – The spacing of dots on a page or pixels on a monitor or printer, usually expressed in dots per inch (dpi). A higher resolution indicates a finer-quality output: the Mac screen is 72 dpi.

Reverse Engrave – Only the background is left after engraving. Images appear to be cut out (or dropped out) of solid rubber.

RIP – (Raster Image Processor); Part of an output device that rasterizes information so that it may be imaged onto film, paper or engraved on a cylinder.

Roll # – Refers to color rotation and the number assigned to the cylinder.

Rosette – The circular dot pattern that occurs when screen tints are overlaid correctly.

Rubber Type – The part number used for the compound blend of covering selected for our customers’ needs. The rubber type is determined by the inks and cleanup methods our customers use, surface tension testing to measure
the ability of our roll to release ink onto the substrate, MSDS, etc.

Rubber Width – If the order is on a base, Rubber Width should be 1″ passed the Printing Width on each end, total 2″ longer than the Print width (if there is room) This may be centered. This may be off center. It should be based on the Printing Width. If the order is on a sleeve the entire sleeve gets covered.

Ruling – Describes artwork that is comprised of fine lines for printing.

Screen Ruling – The number of lines per inch on a contact screen.

Screen Tint – A screened percentage of a solid color measured in lines per inch. The greater the screen tint, the larger the halftone dot and the more intense the color.

Scribe Lines – The fine lines on the surface of the plate cylinder in an evenly spaced 
horizontal and vertical position to aid in mounting rubber plates accurately. Center lines 
or other positioning guide lines applied to the nonprinting areas of a rubber printing plate 
to facilitate mounting on a cylinder.

Separation – A representation of a single color for printing purposes.

Shore A – The A-type gauge, on a scale from zero (softest) to 100 (hardest), used to measure 
the durometer. Shore D is used for harder products.

Shore D – The D-type gauge, on a scale from zero (softest) to 100 (hardest), used to measure 
durometer. Shore A is
used for soft, resilient compounds.

Slug – A rubber-plate section, usually type, used as an insert.

Spot Color – A special premixed ink used instead of or in addition to the process color (CMYK) inks.

Stickyback – The double-faced adhesive-coated material used for mounting elastomeric 
printing plates to the plate cylinder.

Stretch-Shrink Factors – Calculations of dimensional change, which occur in rubber-plate 
molding and in all plate mounting, when a fiat plate is applied to the curve of the plate 

Surface Print – A design which prints right reading and the cylinder is wrong reading. The cylinder prints on the surface of the substrate, such as paper.

Tint (or Flat) Screen – Breaks up solid areas into uniform series of dots to create the illusion of different tones with a single color. It produces an even tone, rather than a gradation. A 60% screen tint places dots over 60% of the image area.

Transfer Roll – A plain roll rotating in contact with another plain roll, transferring variable 
amounts of ink in an inking system.

Vector/Object-Oriented Images – A type of drawing that defines an image mathematically, rather than as “pixels” in a bitmap. Type and line art are examples of object-oriented elements. Since it is based on formulas and mathematics, this type of art can be re-sized easily. Objects can be made up of straight lines, fixed angles and curved shapes. The object is rasterized so that the image setter can produce a film.

Vulcanization – A curing process to change the physical properties of a rubber.

Water-based Ink – An alternative to solvent-based inks, these contain a vehicle whose binder 
is water-soluble or water dispersible.

Web or Web Width – The width of customers substrate for a particular order. Could vary each order. Is not necessarily the length of the base or the print width. Generally centered on the press and over the base, but, some Narrow Web presses run the web off center and some Ruling presses with tapered sleeves run the web off center.

Contact Us

148 Commerce Drive, Bradford, PA 16701-4736 Phone: 888-545-2270 Fax: 814-817-1421 Web:


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