X-Rite Pantone have announced they are to exhibit at the ISPRINT Expo, taking place at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds in Tel Aviv, Israel from 20-22 October 2015. X-Rite dealer Colortek Kassorla will join them at the expo in stand 125 Building 10. Together, the companies will be showcasing how X-Rite’s eXact Scan solution gives printers the tools they need to understand, manage, and control color accuracy.
X-Rite eXact is a next generation handheld spectrophotometer that ensures the utmost in colour accuracy, helping printers to avoid costly reprinting and rework. eXact Scan extends the functionality of X-Rite eXact, with features that enable unmatched speed, flexibility and quality control. When used with X-Rite’s InkKeyControl, eXact Scan lets printers achieve faster make-ready and improves quality through the control of ink keys. eXact Scan displays real-time measurement results in a graphical red/yellow/green “traffic light” report, which enables press operators to quickly manage changes as they print.
Christian Benz, product manager at X-Rite, says, “Printers today must manage their resources while still meeting the demands of their clients. X-Rite’s eXact Scan and InkKeyControl software provide a way for printers to meet both goals. It offers a low-cost way to ensure the colour quality and consistency demanded by today’s brands. And, because eXact Scan can bring ink zone controls to older presses, it can extend the life of their biggest investment – the press. We look forward to showing ISPRINT attendees what this powerful combination can mean to their business.”
Based in Kidron, Israel, ColorTek is a partner to leading inkjet manufactures and also offers a variety of solutions for the digital photography, prepress and printing industry. ColorTek has led the formation of an organisation for the standardisation of colour communication. This organisation, called ICcF (Israeli Color control Forum), is committed to work together with leading European organisations to implement quality control across the industry.
Kent-based Frost Signs & Graphics has invested in a Barbieri SpectroPad Series 2, aimed at guaranteeing colour consistency for its clients, from City and West End Solutions.
The company – which specialises in vehicle wrapping – had found that on occasion reprints were coming out at a different shade to the original, but that the problem wasn’t evident until they were on site for installation. Director James Frost explains: “Any mismatches in colour were only seen when we were on site installing the new vinyl alongside the original, which was increasing our lead times, wastage and labour costs – and annoying the customers affected.
“We knew we needed a colour checking solution to give us confidence in an accurate consistent output without the original onsite – you can’t get a full sized bus into the studio to check it!
“We spoke to CWE Solutions about Barbieri, and the SpectroPad seemed perfect for us.”
Media, ink, temperature, humidity, workflow, and printer interventions are some of the many factors that influence the colour appearance in large format digital printing. To maintain an advanced level of accuracy, given the number of potential variables, you need a high end calibration device. The Barbieri SpectroPad 2 is this solution and allows users to recalibrate quickly and easily with confidence.
The SpectroPad Series 2 is a revolutionary portable, professional spectrophotometer which can measure a wide variety of different reflective media. Thanks to its independence from a computer, it can be also be used directly on the printer. Its integrated touch display enables interaction with the device and provides instant measurement results and assurance the output is correct.
“The fact that the Spectropad is portable as well as wireless further allows us to take spot readings directly from the vehicle when trying to match output without having to run cables and so on,” said James.
CWE Commercial Director Graham De Kock added: “At 6mm, the measurement aperture is the biggest available in a portable device, which offers a more accurate colour reading across a wider range of samples and will seriously help the team when evaluating their large media graphics.”
[Image shows James Frost, Director of Frost Signs]
South London based Displayways has installed Agfa’s Asanti PDF-based workflow solution with an Anapurna M3200 RTR 3.2 metre wide printer for improved quality and efficiency.
The company produces a variety of display material for well-known museums, landmarks, major international corporate companies and fashion brands for whom quality and consistency is of the utmost importance. Displayways clearly supplies some very discerning customers who will not accept ‘good enough’.
“When we started to look at upgrading our old printer we prepared test files and asked a number of companies to provide us with samples. As soon as the results came in from Agfa we were very impressed and decided to take a closer look. We were then invited to Agfa’s HQ and the rest is history,” explains Rob Kelly, director at Displayways.
Displayways is not only called upon to match Pantone colours but also painted backgrounds, materials and even furniture so demands are high.
“Although we have been using Asanti for just a few months we can see that it offers many advantages. Colour consistency is very important and Asanti helps us to achieve this across all our printers. Archiving enables the records of past jobs to be quickly retrieved providing detailed information for job matching. We can also see that Asanti offers advantages for tiling and we plan to take this further in the next few months,” concludes Sergii Palii, operator at Displayways
Simplification of print performance and cost savings are now being addressed successfully with CMA ColorCloud which is designed to be a cloud-based colour management solution for production businesses of all sizes. This cost-saving and easy-to-use tool enables users to deliver precision accuracy across all output devices and materials, ensuring stability and consistency, and generating correct results across all digital platforms, computer monitors and, even, smartphones and tablets.
Developed by colour specialist CMA Imaging whose long-term experience and expertise have led it to a market-leading position in today’s graphics industry, CMA ColorCloud is designed to be used with a measurement device via a standard web browser. Requiring no hardware or software, nor any maintenance downtime or costs, it utilises a set of patented management algorithms to ensure accuracy of colour throughout both proofing and printing, with calculations that ensure the right relationship within the CMYK model, correct grey balance and a resulting reduction in ink or toner usage.
CMA ColorCloud’s primary intention is to enable users to improve their workflow by providing consistency and accuracy which result in improved print quality across single and multiple devices. Its capabilities include precision colour matching, lowered costs, and a reduced margin for error while significantly enhancing operator efficiency via optimised ICC and device link profiles that ensure repeatability.
Based on a pay-per-profile model, CMA ColorCloud users also have the option of purchasing an annual unlimited licence. Its potential extends across digital print devices using toner-based or ink-jet technology, as well as wide-format engines that employ all ink formulations such as eco-solvent, latex and UV-curable chemistries.
“The colour related problems encountered by users reliant on consistency and accuracy are becoming more prominent now that short turnaround times are essential to maintain machine uptime and optimise margins,” states Gerardo Cerros, Chief Technology Officer at CMA Imaging. “With CMA ColorCloud it’s now easy to print identical colours across a series of different materials and surface types. This is essential with today’s brand colour matching requirements as well as being desirable in everyday use because of the ink savings that are generated.”
CMA Imaging has based its ColorCloud concept on the challenges that have resulted from the growth in precision colour throughout digital job generation, proofing and printing, and by understanding the needs of today’s print service providers and display specialists. The company’s deep-rooted expertise extends into providing one-stop-shop colour management solutions for contract proofing, flexo, screen and offset litho printing, as well as wide-format and digital production.
In addition to intelligent software solutions, CMA Imaging offers FSC and PEFC certified papers and combines responsibility for promoting the reduction in chemical and consumable waste with lowering costs and improving throughput for its customers. The company partners with specialists who are able to maintain its key criteria for adding value while enhancing environmental principles throughout all sectors of the printing industry.
X-Rite Incorporated, a global leader in colour science and technology and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, has announced that the ISO TC130 committee that sets global standards for the Graphic Arts has adopted the X-Rite Color Exchange Format version 3 (CxF3) as the new standard for colour data exchange and verification. This standard (ISO 17972-1:2015) provides the graphic arts industry with an accurate, efficient way to communicate colour information across any supply chain.
X-Rite made its technology available to ISO without any restrictions to support and continue to contribute to the industry through this major technical development. X-Rite fully endorses ISO’s goal of harmonising technical specifications for products and services that make industries more efficient by communicating colour electronically in a global colour supply chain.
The CxF3 format is defined in a completely open way so that all aspects of a colour can be communicated, even when the application and the colour communication features required are unknown. This means that every software vendor implementing and supporting CxF3 is able to easily and accurately extend the information throughout global workflows.
“Physically correct and accurate colour communication is critical to an efficient workflow in the Graphic Arts,” says Ray Cheydleur, Printing and Imaging Product Portfolio Manager at X-Rite. “X-Rite's CxF3, and now ISO CxF, ensures an accurate and efficient exchange of digital standards, measurements and metadata. The publication of this standard provides a framework for sharing colour data at all steps in the workflow – from brand owner through to production. Many companies and products have already benefited from CxF3, and now that it is an ISO standard, many more will benefit in the future.”
“When a company invests in the effort required to define and deploy standards that profit the industry at large, it is a true indicator of market leadership,” adds Francis Lamy, Chief Technology Officer at X-Rite. “CxF is a key enabler to more efficient workflows with less waste, faster turnaround times and streamlined communication of colour information in colour critical workflows. We are proud to be able to make this contribution to the industry.”
X-Rite established the first version of CxF in 2000. Since then, the company has continued to invest in and improve the specification, using knowledge gained from serving a wide range of markets. X-Rite also established a website where the CxF3 specification and examples are publicly available for download (http://www.colorexchangeformat.com). This website has facilitated the wide distribution of CxF3 and provided strong support for the creation of the 17972 series and the publication of the earlier ISO standards.
“Printing according to established ISO standards is a benefit for both the print producer and the media buyer,” said Laurel Brunner, Managing Director of Digital Dots Limited. “With the adoption of ISO 17972-1:2015, a new dimension has now been added to standards compliance that will help everyone in the colour workflow more easily produce colour quality within expected tolerances and to make it easier to communicate colour. X-Rite has made a valuable contribution to of the industry by making this important specification available as an open standard.”
JFM Plates, a Manchester-based specialist reprographics and finished printing plate supplier, has invested in GMG FlexoProof, along with GMG’s spectral proofing engine, OpenColor. In addition, GMG ColorServer provides file re-separation to offer clients better press to proof consistency in conjunction with JFM’s platemaking service.
JFM Plates is an eight-employee organisation that offers creative design, proofing and wide-format digital printing, as well as platemaking services that include Full HD flexo, letterpress and litho: “Our aim is to provide a diverse range of services with the focus on offering exceptional customer service,” says Mark McKee, General Manager, JFM. “In order to keep abreast of ever-changing customer requirements we invest in our best-in-class Esko production workflow and automation software – hence our recent investment in GMG, which integrates seamlessly with this technology.”
“We realised that we needed to re-evaluate our proofing offering as our workflow continued to become more automated, and more repeatable,” says Mark. “Our previous proofing solution required considerable user intervention which, as customer needs grew and lead times fell, wasn’t a scalable process. At the same time, we noticed that we were receiving more and more requests to match output to proofs produced on Epson devices. We knew if we had the ability to both read-in and create MX4 profiles then the colour matching process would be almost seamless.”
After approaching GMG, JFM went through a considerable period of discussion and testing: “We wanted to be 100% certain that the solution was right for us – and our clients. I made numerous visits to GMG in Norwich to conduct my tests. GMG were unbelievably supportive – they even assigned me my own hot-desk in their offices!” says Mark.
GMG proposed a solution based on GMG FlexoProof and GMG ColorServer, together with the GMG InkOptimizer and GMG ProofControl applications, designed to offer JFM faster, more accurate colour-space conversions (reducing retouching times), the ability to ingest customers’ existing MX4 profiles, as well as having the capability to build bespoke MX4 profiles from supplied proofs.
JFM also invested in OpenColor – GMG’s spectral proofing engine, which has given JFM the ability to build MXN profiles from minimal data taken from the printed material. OpenColor has the ability to predict the overprints of any CMYK or CMYK and spot colour interaction, whilst also understanding how substrates, print sequence, dot gain, and finishing effects visually change the final result. MXN profiles can be taken from as little as 12 patches, as opposed to the previous 1,500+ patches used within MX4 technology, allowing JFM to build extremely accurate proofing profiles without always having to fingerprint the printing press.
GMG FlexoProof has established itself as the premier software solution for the production of high-accuracy digital contract proofs in the packaging market. Key to the success of FlexoProof is its unique 4-D colour transformation engine that ensures the highest possible quality and production reliability.
GMG ColorServer automates the colour normalisation of PDF files, providing highly-accurate CMYK to CMYK, RGB to CMYK and spot colour to CMYK conversions while preserving the integrity of the black channel. The result is a standardised and simplified colour management model that delivers consistent print results across any print process and substrate.
After a smooth installation and training period, JFM couldn’t be happier with the results: “GMG’s tech support has been fantastic,” says Mark. “They took the time to listen to our issues and requests, and proposed a set of solutions that more than delivered in terms of speed and the quality of the end result.
“GMG has helped us take the production of repro and platemaking to a higher level, with a more measured and efficient approach from start to finish. The ability to create and share MX4 data with other companies has been priceless and helped elevate our company in the minds of our customers, partners and staff.”
Toby Burnett, MD, GMG UK, says: “JFM Plates are a great example of how even modest-sized companies can make substantial quality and efficiency gains through the use of GMG’s technology. We are pleased to have been able to work with Mark to deliver a solution that has delivered tangible benefits for the business.”
Large Format Review provides daily breaking news on digital printer technology as used for commercial production of print for wide-format sign and display, dye-sublimation textile and fabric printing, packaging and industrial applications. We also cover 3D print and additive manufacturing.