Since 2015 Hamillroad’s Bellissima Digitally Modulated Screening (DMS) has been deployed at a small number of sites as part of the product’s initial research & development phase. Despite being in early development and experiencing a few known issues, it was used in jobs that won multiple Golds, Silvers and Best on Shows at the 2016 South Africa FTA Awards, 2016 EFIA Awards and 2016 FlexoTech Awards.
In the past 6-9 months Bellissima DMS has been fully optimised to work at 4,000 dpi on Esko CDIs using Full-HD. This has completely eliminated the few known issues in previous development versions, but has also produced some significant breakthroughs in the technology, which we will be announcing in due course. Those improvements were clearly reflected in the more recent 2017 EFIA Awards, where prints using Bellissima DMS won a total of 5 Gold and 4 Silver Awards, despite only being used by a handful of companies.
Bellissima is now being used in pre-release production testing at a number of strategic locations with some carefully selected development partners, so as to be fully production validated over the coming months and will become commercially available worldwide later this year. Exact details on that will be announced in due course.
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Bellissima DM Screening
Bellissima Screening (Italian for ‘most beautiful’) is Hamillroad’s “Digitally Modulated” Screening for Flexo. Bellissima delivers the ultimate in flexo screening by delivering a previously unobtainable level of image detail rivalling the quality of print normally associated with offset and even gravure, as well as significantly increasing the quality gap from flexo to digital.
Bellissima Digitally Modulated Screening utilizes innovative technology that’s a fusion of the best characteristics of AM, FM, XM, GS and CS screening while avoiding their limitations and problems. It dramatically enhances the quality and stability of flexo presswork.
Digital modulation (DM)
This unique screening digitally modulates each and every pixel it produces thereby precisely controlling the dots in each separation while its “stochastic rosette” interleaves the screens in the separations to eliminate noise and moiré.
In addition, the stochastic rosette maximizes the ink-on-paper area and minimizes the amount of ink-on-ink, to expand the available color gamut while eliminating color shifts due to misregistration.
The screening analyzes each pixel to ensure that no dot is too small to plate or print yet still not large enough to be visible. Dots are created in a carefully controlled manner, to ensure detail is placed exactly where it is needed, vignettes are smooth and flat tints are ‘flat’. The result is a quality of print, particularly on flexible substrates, that was previously unachievable in this environment.
Overcoming printing press machine issues
Bellissima DM Screening helps to extend the life of a flexographic printing press. Using the patented dots, common printing problems including bounce, barring, and slur are significantly reduced and in some instances, eliminated completely.
- High quality prints equivalent to 350 – 450 lpi (4000 dpi)
- Moiré free – both screening and subject
- Highlight dots down to 1.0%
- Shadow dots up to 99.5%
- Vignettes that fade smoothly to nothing (no hard breaks)
- Smooth flat tints for ‘perfect’ 4 color process printing
- Solid object protection
- High solid ink densities via 100% solid surface patterning options
- No color shifts with mis-registration
- Large 20 – 25 (actually 40 x 20 – 50 x 25 and larger) micron dot
- Retains input image detail of 450-600 dpi images
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Compared with AM Screening
Bellissima DM Screening uses specially shaped dots that like an AM screen minimizes problems with dot gain variation and is easy to control on press. However, unlike an AM screen, it does not suffer from problems such as highlight dot loss, moiré or lack of image detail.
Compared with FM Screening
Like an FM screen, Bellissima DM Screening produces a stunning level of image detail, equivalent to 350-450 lpi for offset printers. However, unlike an FM screen, it does not suffer from problems such as noisy flat screen tints and variability on plate and press.
Compared with XM (hybrid) Screening
Bellissima DM Screening precisely controls the size of its highlight and shadow dots which like an XM screen allows it to retain a full tone range of 0-100%. However, unlike an XM screen, it does not suffer from problems such as moiré, or noisy flat tints and color shifts with misregistration.
Bellissima, DM Screening and DMS are trademarks of Hamillroad Software Limited.
All other names are trademarks of their respective organisations.