Colour Control
Barbieri has released a new measuring device for colour management in the field of digital large-format printing. The Spectro LFP qb provides a range of  features and also supports the M1 measurement mode.

The new Spectro LFP qb spectrophotometer from Barbieri comprises three components. First, the Spectro LFP platform is the measuring stage with an enhanced clamping system and integrated M1 backlighting (for transmitted light measurement).

The spectral unit (measuring head) incorporates the latest qb technology and comprises what the company describes as the high-precision spectral core, three light sources for uniform illumination of the media surface from three different angles, and seven LEDs to guarantee real M1 daylight illumination pursuant to the standard. The spectral unit has another extremely useful feature, explains Barbieri: The measuring head is removable and therefore ideal for fast and reliable spot measurement.

The third component, the sensing unit, is described by the company as an innovation in the field of professional digital printing: an integrated camera offering a range of applications never available before. With the help of the camera, the measuring device automatically recognizes the target, performs a precision measurement and communicates the position and the photo to the RIP software for further processing.

The new system also includes switchable apertures (2, 6, 8 mm) for measuring different materials, surfaces, inks and resolutions.

“We want to turn our customers into top performers so that they can deliver the very best certified quality to their customers. Our Spectro LFP qb incorporates the know-how we have built up through 15 years of collaboration with leading international bodies, regular customer feedback and experience on the market,” said Markus Barbieri, Director of R&D. “Now we are satisfied: We can offer our customers not only solutions for existing problems but for the first time also a platform that opens up a world of new possibilities and applications.”
RISO and EFI have partnered for the release of the first EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) for RISO printers. The new ComColorExpress FS2000C from EFI is aimed at high-volume colour inkjet printing, using Fiery DFE technology and the Fiery Command WorkStation job management interface.

The new DFEs, running on the latest Fiery FS200 Pro platform, are geared for RISO ComColor printers, running at 160 pages per minute. The new DFE provides centralized job and colour management.

“Adding ComColorExpress FS2000C powered by EFI Fiery to our top-of-the-line ComColor GD series will bring significant added value for RISO customers,” said Andre D'Urbano, RISO's Director of Strategic Business Development. “We are especially pleased with the ease of use this solution provides, which gives operators the ability to perform even the most complex tasks with a fast learning curve.”

RISO customers now have access to Fiery make-ready options such as Fiery Impose, Compose, and JobMaster, as well as productivity features like Fiery JobFlow Base for automation of job preparation and Fiery Hot Folders for drag-and-drop file printing workflows. Customers can also use the server to integrate their digital printing operations with EFI’s Digital StoreFront Web-to-print and Productivity Suite MIS/ERP workflows.

Colour management in the Fiery DFE along with tools available in the optional Fiery Color Profiler Suite maintain consistent colors throughout and between print runs. Operators can correct brand colours such as corporate logos with Fiery Spot-On and enhance photos in a click with Fiery Image Enhance Visual Editor.
GMG has launched OpenColor 2.1, multichannel profiling software, to create profiles without test charts. Optical brighteners are now detected automatically. The tool is heavily used in packaging proofing.

GMG OpenColor 2.1 now offers a measurement capability for custom patches. Whereas previously customers would require a specific test chart to create a color profile, GMG OpenColor 2.1 enables the measurement of full-tone patches from a print control strip, or even solid patches and tint patches on the running printed sheet and to create a profile from the captured spectral data, something no other profiling tool can achieve.

The second key development in GMG OpenColor 2.1 is the inclusion of a detection tool for optical brighteners, which overcomes the issue customers face when they want to create a profile for a substrate and find that the proof doesn’t match the print as it hasn’t taken account of the optical brighteners in the printing material.

However, when a customer measures a test chart, mini-strip or patches using GMG OpenColor 2.1, the software identifies optical brighteners in the substrate and recommends the correct measuring mode settings and the use of a proofing paper that also contains optical brighteners, such as the GMG ProofMedia OBA series.
Techkon recently launched a completely new version of it’s ChromaQA software (version 3.0), which pairs with the SpectroDens spectro-densitometer to form a pressroom colour solution that allows packaging and commercial printers to monitor the quality of jobs on press.

Techkon explains the spectro-densitometers have settings on them for Measurement Condition (M0, M1, M2, & M3), Illuminant, Observer, Density Filter, etc. and sometimes these settings are mistakenly changed to the wrong settings. To help ensure press operators are taking colour measurements that are accurate for the job they are measuring, Techkon has introduced ColorEnsure for the new ChromaQA 3.0. As a job is created in the ChromaQA Spec module. This  defines the key colours to be monitored along with the reference or aim values for those colours and customer specific pass/fail tolerances.

Before every sample is measured, the ColorEnsure feature automatically checks the connected SpectroDens instrument to be sure that the instrument is set up exactly as specified in the job.  If the instrument is not set up properly, the operator will see the dialog box below alerting them to the situation.

X-Rite Inc., together with subsidiary Pantone LLC, has expanded its PantoneLIVE cloud-based technology, designed for communicating colour via digital networks, with the addition of six new colour libraries for gravure printing.

The company also released PantoneLIVE Visualizer, a new software tool that aims to help graphic designers, brands and print suppliers better compare, evaluate and visualize colours across multiple substrates and printing technologies. The goal of Visualizer, free to existing PantoneLIVE users, is to show variability in colour is the result of changes in the base material, printing process and ink types. Visualizer delivers an on-screen visualization of Pantone Master colours (target) and achievable PantoneLIVE Dependent colours.

X-Rite explains that sometimes, due to the realities of production materials and processes, the desired Pantone Master Standard colour cannot be achieved with the target substrate and printing technology. Pantone Dependent Standards are designed to represent desired Master Standards in these cases, and are the Pantone-approved best match to the Master standards. With PantoneLIVE Visualizer, users can now visually compare and assess colour selections in a variety of production scenarios. Results from Visualizer can be exported into print-ready PDF documents that can be shared across the supply chain to better communicate design intent.

“PantoneLIVE was created to help share accurate and achievable colours across a package printing supply chain,” said Adrián Fernández, VP, PantoneLIVE, X-Rite. “In partnership with our customers, we are continuously evolving the platform to support a wide range of packaging applications and help designers easily visualize on-screen how colour palettes will appear in production.”

Fernández continued to explain PantoneLIVE now offers more than 50,000 Pantone colour choices and supports 80 percent of packaging applications: “By increasing the depth and scope of PantoneLIVE, designers and brands are able speed up the entire packaging design process and get products to market on average four times faster.”

PantoneLIVE’s six new libraries for gravure printing are ultimately aimed at the production of flexible and label applications. Two of the new libraries, according to X-Rite, are designed to help brands and converters match colour on increasingly popular metallized flexible packaging and label structures.

The new PantoneLIVE libraries include:

Labels gravure process using solvent ink printed on coated paper with gloss-neutral varnish;

Flexible packaging gravure process using solvent ink printed on clear film substrate with gloss-neutral varnish;

Flexible packaging gravure process using solvent ink printed on clear film substrate over white ink with gloss-neutral varnish;

Flexible packaging gravure process using solvent ink reverse printed on clear film substrate over white ink;

Flexible packaging gravure process using solvent ink reverse printed on clear film substrate over white ink laminated to aluminum; and

Flexible packaging gravure process using solvent ink printed on aluminum substrate over white ink with gloss-neutral varnish.

Pantone, an X-Rite company, unveiled PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery as its Color of the Year selection for 2017. The company describes Greenery as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals individuals to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

The Color of the Year selection is determined at the Pantone Color Institute from where Pantone’s colour experts search around world looking for new colour influences. For 17 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.

“While Serenity and Rose Quartz, the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016, expressed the need for harmony in a chaotic world,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

Pantone continues to explain Greenery brings a natural connection to people’s daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally – “it is an omnipresent hue around the world.” Often associated with environmentalism and nature, Pantone continues to explain Greenery is also a unifying thread in tech and innovation because of its association with boldness, vigor and modernity.

“The tangy yellow-green speaks to our desire to express, explore, experiment and reinvent, imparting a sense of buoyancy,” said Eiseman. “Through its reassuring yet assertive vibrancy, Greenery offers us self-assurance and boldness to live life on our own terms, during a time when we are redefining what makes us successful and happy.”

Past selections for Color of the Year include:

    PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
    PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
    PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
    PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
    PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
    PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
    PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
    PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
    PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
    PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
    PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
    PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
    PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
    PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
    PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
    PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
    PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)
Touch7, an extended colour gamut system distributed by Color-Logic Inc, has announced that they will now offer Soft-Proofing capabilities.

Touch7 takes just one mouse click inside of Photoshop to produce up to a 7-colour separation of an image. However, Photoshop does not provide an accurate colour representation of any separation with more than CMYK or RGB images,” said Touch7’s Founder and CTO, Richard Ainge. “We are not a colour management company so we partnered with RemoteDirector to provide us with an OEM version of their technology.”
 
Mark Geeves, Director of Sales and Marketing for Touch7, explained: “We have targeted the digital press and printer markets with our Touch7 Soft-Proofing solution since people forget these presses are really production machines and there is a real need not to use them as proofing devices until the design is ready. If printers take six minutes of production time to produce 10 proofs a day then you have one hour of production time wasted.

“Touch7 creates an extended colour gamut separation in seconds,” continued Geeves, “which saves hours of manual masking and now with our Soft-Proofing solution, digital presses and printers are more productive as well.”
 
Touch7 is powered by Khaos Technology, a developer of Adobe plug-ins and software tools for the printing industry.
On sabbatical to research and write the second edition of Wiley’s Understanding Color Management, Ryerson University’s Abhay Sharma provides a synopsis of an emerging model and how to apply it for everyday use.

The Color Conference, held this past December in Phoenix, was an orgy of expanded gamut software, tools and technologies. In sunny Arizona there were solutions for expanded gamut printing from Heidelberg, Esko, Xerox, GMG, CGS and PANTONE. It is now important for commercial printers to understand this new revolution in expanded gamut printing, as more of the industry’s biggest technology providers are developing substantial products in this area.

In general, we have printed for a long time using four process colours – CMYK – and when a customer needed something more colourful we created a separate spot channel plate and ordered ink or requisitioned the ink from the in-house mixing lab. This is the way we have worked for many years in offset and flexography. Digital devices, such as the HP Indigo, are also able to print with extra colour units and Indigo customers throughout North America order their spot colour toner from a lab in Rochester. In this type of usage, the spot colour channels did not expand the overall gamut per se, they just sent some colours to the separate plates or printing units.

Colour paradigm shift
Expanded or extended gamut printing is a paradigm shift in terms of colour and colour gamut. In expanded gamut printing, we move from four-colour printing to seven-colour printing and our base set of process colourants is now seven colour, which can be different for different systems. For example, the new PANTONE+ Extended Gamut swatch book is printed using CMYK plus Orange, Green and Violet (OGV). The Xerox iGen5 has a 5th toner station and can extend the colour gamut with CMYK plus Orange, Green or Blue (OGB). The swatch book is available as a traditional swatch book as well as in software – PANTONE Color Manager – and  shows how spot colours would be reproduced in seven colours (CMYK+ OGV).

We can create an ICC colour profile for this extended gamut process and analyze the extent of the expanded gamut using colour management tools. One indicator of the increase in gamut size and volume is to assess how many more spot colours can now be accurately reproduced by mix of the CMYK+OGV ink set. The big advantage is that we can reproduce many more spot colours without using separate spot colour printing! In other words, we do not need to make spot colour plates and order spot colour inks to accurately reproduce many spot colours.

In addition, we have the benefit of just keeping the press running with this expanded colourant set and no press wash-ups. Only the most colourful of spot colours with the most exacting and high-paying client would now warrant traditional spot colour treatment in making a separate plate and ordering a spot colour ink.

In an extended gamut printing process, many more spot colours will now be in gamut of a seven-colour process. An important new requirement is that software tools need to give you an indication of the accuracy with which the process can reproduce any given spot colour. Every colour management vendor at the Phoenix conference was showing new software that enabled users to gauge their seven-colour-process ability.

Proof is in the pudding
The new world of expanded gamut printing also needs to consider proofing. We still may need to create inkjet proofs for the customer. The inkjet proofer must be able to accurately proof the CMYK+OGV press sheet. An inkjet proofer does not need to have exactly the same OGV colourants as a press, but it does need to have the ability to print the increased gamut, so typically the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 has CMYK + OG, while the Epson Stylus Pro 11880 has Vivid Magenta to try and keep up with a CMYK+OGV press. It may be non-intuitive, but there is no requirement for the inkjet proofer to have cartridges that match the units on the press it is trying to simulate. An inkjet proofer can use any inks as long as it can create a sufficient colour gamut to proof the press colours.

There are pressures on commercial printing today to increase colour gamut and reduce costs. Using an expanded gamut set meets both of these requirements. It is more economical to use an expanded gamut ink set rather than wash up of spot colours for individual jobs.

We are likely to see increased use of expanded gamut tools and printing in all areas of commercial offset and flexo package printing. We have already seen installations of digital presses with an expanded gamut toner ability. Based on the tools and technologies coming to market, from all the major companies, expanded gamut printing is here today and growing tomorrow.
Richard Ainge and Mark Geeves, who developed the Color-Logic’s Process Metallic Color System, are introducing a new product called Touch7 for extended gamut printing.

“Extended colour gamut grinting is nothing new to the printing industry, however, Touch7 with it’s automated and simple one-click colour palettes and plug-ins, empowers designers and prepress personnel to do in seconds, what currently can require hours in manual processing and masking,” explains Geeves, Touch7’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

“The developments by ink companies, print engines, RIP manufacturers and ICC profiling tools has been extensive over the past years, however, no one has really focused on the necessity for providing creative tools for designers, so that they can utilize these developments and reduce their cycle time to production,” continues Geeves.

He explains Touch7 is designed as an intuitive system to help brands utilize extended gamut printing at a fraction of the time and cost associated with doing manual processing, and without the necessity to send files through a dedicated colour separation system. Geeves explains this opens up extended gamut printing to some of the industry’s smallest print shops.

Richard Ainge explains the "true power" of Touch7 lies in its automated ECG colour palettes and plug-ins for Adobe CC, which allows designers to create artwork in an extended colour gamut, without having to leave the Adobe environment.

Touch7 is comprised of three primary components: Touch7 Photo, Touch7 Vector and Touch7 Soft-Proofing.
Building on its PantoneLIVE initiative, X-Rite Inc. and its subsidiary Pantone LLC introduced the new PantoneLIVE Private Cloud, as well as a new PantoneLIVE Rationalization Service.

PantoneLIVE Private Cloud is described as a secure, cloud-based repository that allows packaging converters and commercial printers to store and share existing proprietary colour libraries across the colour supply chain. The PantoneLIVE ecosystem itself is designed to digitally communicate colour between brand owners, designers, premedia, ink suppliers and printers. The model is meant to ease the workflow process and ultimately deliver consistent colour and to meet customer expectations.
 
“In addition to the Pantone Matching System, many converters have invested time and resources developing their own colour libraries and standards for specific customers,” said Adrián Fernández, VP, PantoneLIVE, X-Rite Pantone. “Leveraging the benefits of the PantoneLIVE model to streamline colour specification and communication, we are now enabling printers to publish proprietary colours in a private cloud infrastructure.” X-Rite explains all colours published in PantoneLIVE Private Cloud are available for selection within PantoneLIVE-enabled prepress systems such as GMG and Esko.

X-Rite has also expanded on its PantoneLIVE initiative with its new PantoneLIVE Rationalization Service that is designed to analyze and consolidate a printer’s colour library to improve colour consistency, increase production efficiency, and avoid wasteful duplication of colour.
 
Over time, X-Rite explains a printer’s colour library can grow substantially, including potential issues of duplication, which can become unmanageable or inefficient in ink matching and production planning. “Printers and converters can benefit from the PantoneLIVE Rationalization Service by analyzing and consolidating colorrs that are so close together in the colorr space that they are effectively the same,” said Chris Halford, Technical Director for PantoneLIVE Services, X-Rite Pantone.

“We have worked with a number of converters who have seen a 30 percent to 45 percent reduction in their colour libraries,” continued Halford. “This creates a leaner colour palette with fewer colours to manage and a smaller inventory of inks. This saves time, budget and reduces errors. The remaining colours in the digital library can be easily accessed, giving the printer and the brand owner the confidence that their colours are consistent, no matter where the item is produced or what substrate is used.”
 
Color Mapping is another service included in the PantoneLIVE Rationalization process, whereby client colours are mapped to standard Pantone Matching System (PMS) colours and to PantoneLIVE dependent references. With this mapping, X-Rite explains a converter’s entire packaging supply chain can make use of both Master and Dependent Libraries within the PantoneLIVE ecosystem.
EFI is introducing a new colour-chart-reading spectrophotometer designed to automate the press profiling process in Fiery-driven production printing. The new EFI ES-6000 spectrophotomer is integrated into EFI Fiery digital front-end workflows, allowing print professionals to update profiles and verify colour for output on toner presses.

EFI explains the ES-6000 can read thousands of colour patches in minutes and accommodates M0, M1 and M2 measurement illumination conditions, which better allow for managing the complexities of measuring optically brightened substrates. “Making sure that press profiles are up to date and digital presses are properly calibrated can be a challenge,” said John Henze, VP of Marketing, EFI Fiery. The company states its new spectrophotometer can read up to 2,500 patches on a single A3/tabloid sheet in just 10 minutes.

The ES-6000 spectrophotometer, developed through EFI’s relationship with X-Rite, is specifically integrated with the EFI Fiery Color Profiler Suite. Using the spectrophotomer on a print shop’s local access network provides for colour management of multiple print engines in a single shop location.

Multiple people can use Fiery Color Profiler Suite to print colour patch pages that can be fed into the ES-6000 for automated measurement. The ES-6000 then communicates results back to the correct user for completion of the colour management or verification process.
GMG of Tuebingen, Germany, adds to its unique OpenColor software with the release of version 2.0, which has a new interface, colour correction tools and a test-chart generator. The software's new features are designed to be applied by smaller printing and packaging operations.

GMG OpenColor, which tackles the interplay of inks for creating predictive profiles for overprinting, among more common colour management operations, received the InterTech Technology Award, FTA Technical Innovation Award and a Technical Innovation commendation from the European Rotogravure Association.

“OpenColor 2.0 is a substantial upgrade to our first release… We feel very confident that we added and optimized features according to our target group's needs and made the software easier to use,” said Victor Asseiceiro, Product Manager for OpenColor.

OpenColor 2.0 features a completely redesigned user-centred interface. GMG explains a project-based view provides more flexibility in handling measurement data and creating profiles, while at the same time allowing for more safety in terms of data control and transparency. Each packaging product can be managed via a project folder, which holds all related information in one place.

Also new to version 2.0, a centralized data management systems provides for more accurate and consistent results across multiple sites. GMG explains OpenColor 2.0 offers more control in terms of publishing functionality so that only approved data and profiles proceed into production.

GMG OpenColor 2.0 also comes with new correction tools for determining potential sources of error, optimizing measurement data and editing profiles. All corrections are visualized in a live preview.

The new GMG OpenColor multichannel test chart generator is a tool to create individual test charts for all packaging applications. GMG explains virtually any number of patches can be defined in various overprinting combinations and with full control of the separations. All test charts created with GMG OpenColor can be measured within the application, with the software supporting the most commonly used measuring devices in the industry.

X-Rite Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has introduced an updated PANTONE Certified Printer Program for commercial printers and packaging converters to address new industry standards.

 

The PANTONE Certified Printer Program reviews and analyzes a range of colour operations from preflight, file preparation and proofing to ink formulation and mixing, and process control in the pressroom.

 

The process begins with a PANTONE Certified Printer Audit conducted by an X-Rite specialist. The audit process isolates issues that compromise colour accuracy and is the basis for the implementation of standards-based procedures so that operators can produce consistent colour.

“The PANTONE Certified Printer Program closes the gap that exists between the many other certification programs available today which cover only part of the workflow, or simply a press or a proofer,” said Mark Gundlach, Training Development Manager at X-Rite. “This program is unique in that it ties all areas of production together, from prepress and ink formulation to the pressroom with a focus on both process colour and spot colour reproduction. This applies to digital, flexo, litho and even grand format print production.”

PANTONE Certified Printers follow standard operating procedures throughout the production operation when specifying CMYK colours based on their print standards. PANTONE colours are specified and formulated using spectral data from the PantoneLIVE digital libraries.

Packaging converters and printers that earn certification are then able to use the PANTONE Certified Printer logo in sales and marketing efforts.

Epson has introduced its new SpectroProofer-UVS, described as an inline spectrophotometer for its 17-, 24- and 44-inch Epson Stylus Pro printers. Developed jointly with X-Rite, these optional SpectroProofers provide automated colour management and verification-related tasks in a range of proofing applications.

The new SpectroProofer-UVS models support the M1 measurement illumination standard and are UV selectable between M1 and M2. Additionally, Epson explains the UVS models support up to 50 percent more patches per scan and slightly faster measurement times.

The SpectroProofer series is designed for colour consistency between Epson 17-, 24- and 44-inch printers, making them suited for commercial graphics, package proofing, and remote proofing applications. Current SpectroProofer owners have the option to upgrade to the new ILS30EP component of SpectroProofer-UVS models.

“The new SpectroProofer-UVS models were designed based on direct feedback from customers, and build on the more than five years of success of the current SpectroProofer series,” stated Larry Kaufman, Product Manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America Inc.

The new SpectroProofer-UVS will begin shipping in late-October 2014.

Goss International reached a strategic cooperation with graphic software provider Alwan Color Expertise. The agreement focuses on providing repeatable colour accuracy for Goss Sunday Vpak press users across applications like labels, carton and board, and flexible packaging printing.

“This is particularly critical when using special ink formulations and substrates that have been specified by brand owners, often with little regard for the technical challenges involved,” stated Mike D’Angelo, managing director of Goss International Americas, noting a lack of colour control in this segment, which Goss first entered in 2012. “In response to this need, we have identified Alwan as the perfect fit for Goss, complementing our own product design expertise with their established ISO development credentials.”

Goss Sunday Vpak 500 and Vpak 3000 web offset press models for folding carton, flexible packaging, pre-print and label applications are available in web widths from 520 mm to 1905 mm (20.5 to 75 inches) and print at speeds of up to 457 metres (1,500 feet) per minute. Key features include quick-change sleeve adapter technology for efficient, cost-effective size changes, and advanced offset inking, tension and control systems.

As a result of the new cooperation, software solutions provided will include on-press colour matching, press calibration, and print proofing and verification, all of which are available for CMYK and extended gamut printing, spot colour and HiFi colour production.

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