Colour Control
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.

GMG has introduced version 4.9 of its ColorServer technology with new PDF/VT-1 compatibility, CMYK to RGB conversions and support of IDEAlliance file standards.

GMG ColorServer automates the colour normalization of PDF files, which is designed to provide accurate CMYK to CMYK, RGB to RGB, RGB to CMYK, CMYK to RGB and spot colour to CMYK conversions, while preserving the integrity of the black channel. The result, according to GMG, is a standardized and simplified colour management model for more consistent print results across a range of print processes and substrates.

The PDF/VT-1 file format, now supported by ColorServer 4.9, continues to gain momentum for work requiring high-speed personalized content such as transactional applications like credit card bills and bank statements, as well as with jobs like direct mail, catalogues, photo-books, coupons and tickets.

Along these lines, GMG is releasing a 64-bit native version of ColorServer 4.9 to meet the required processing times of high-speed inkjet systems. The current 32-bit version of ColorServer 4.9 has also been optimized to deliver processing times of up to 3,500 variable-data PDF pages per minute (depending on hardware configuration and job specifications).

The Paper Adaption Tool in ColorServer allows print service providers to recalculate a file’s colour data against a particular support material, even if the proof simulates a different final stock. For example, the Paper Adaption tool can adjust print data to match an ISOcoatedV2 proof, even if the production material is different.

GMG ColorServer 4.9 also now supports the new FD 5 and FD 7 spectrophotometers from Konica Minolta.

Ryobi MHI launched a new colour control system called INSTA.COLOR, which stands for Integrated Smart Technology and Automation for Color Print, during a mid-May open house event in Marietta, Georgia.

The company ran live demonstrations of its flagship 8-up Ryobi 920 series press with INSTA.COLOR for more than 60 printers. Ryobi states INSTA.COLOR allows the press to come to colour with sellable work in as few as 25 sheets, while also helping the press hit 6-minute make-readies.

“INSTA.COLOR provides color fidelity well beyond pre-set densities and gives Ryobi users the control they need to meet their customer’s precise color demands,” explained Chris Manley, President of Graphco, Cleveland, and co-founder of Graphic Systems North America (GSNA).

GSNA is group of six distribution companies carrying Ryobi press technology, which includes Canada’s KBR Graphics Canada and Canadian Printing Equipment, as well as Print & Finishing Solutions, G.E. Richards, Paper Handling Solutions and Graphco. GSNA was formed in 2013.

The GSNA open house event was held May 7 to 8 at the Ryobi MHI North American Demonstration Center. INSTA.COLOR leverages Ryobi’s PDS-E SpectroDrive scanners with closed-loop print density monitoring. It allows for on-press colour adjustments as needed.

The Ryobi 920 press series can be integrated with both INSTA.COLOR and LED-UV instant curing. The 920 press is available in up to 10 colours with fully automatic simultaneous plate changers, reaching speeds of up to 16,200 sheets per hour.

Techkon, a German developer of densitometers, spectrophotometers and software for colour control with a North American division in Danvers, Massachusetts, unveiled its new PressLink technology, describing it as a “closed loop print colour control solution.”

PressLink is comprised of hardware and software components that, Techkon explains, enable both automatic presetting of the ink fountains at the start of a press run as well as continuous automatic adjustments based on target values throughout the press run.  PressLink runs based on a range of industry-accepted file formats and is compatible with most press manufacturers.

The system connects prepress directly to the press using Ink Presetting software. As the press starts running, the operator scans press sheets with the SpectroDrive to ensure the accurate density has been achieved. If accurate density is not achieved, then Techkon Expresso Software will send the right settings to the ink keys to make the necessary adjustments on the fly, thereby providing closed-loop colour control.

PressLink is available in thee different packages, as well as in custom configurations, including:
 
PressLink Ink Presetting
Calculates ink coverage for each ink zone and all colours based on CIP3, JDF or TIFF file from prepress. Automatically presets press ink keys for optimal ink coverage.
 
PressLink Scanning
The Techkon SpectroDrive automatically scans entire colours bars while simultaneously sending spectral colour and density measurement data wirelessly to a PC running Techkon software.
 
PressLink Closed Loop System
The Techkon SpectroDrive measures press sheet colour bars and automatically adjusts press ink keys to maintain optimal ink coverage. Ink keys are set based on target density or minimum achievable Delta E.

Techkon, a manufacturer of colour-measuring instruments for the printing industry, is introducing new functions for its SpectroDens handheld Spectro-Densitometer.

The advances include a new scan-function for individual control elements. The instrument can measure density and spectral values of up to 54 patches in one scan, based on new pattern recognition algorithms. For the scan, no guide bar is required because the instrument’s four wheels keep straight alignment while scanning. SpectroDens algorithms detect that the colour bar being scanned is correct, has the correct number of patches and that the colours are in the right sequence. SpectroDens displays an error message if the incorrect number of patches are scanned or if the scanning speed is too fast or too slow.


Techkon’s SpectroDens now also features support of the common ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strips tvi10 and M i1 with ISO-Check functions. This, according to Techkon, allows users to perform a check in accordance to ISO/PSO within three seconds.

New ISO 12647-2:2013 values are also now included in SpectroDens as well as its supporting SpectroConnect software. These new target values and tolerances for offset printing were published in December 2013.

Teckhon’s updated SpectroDens instrument is also designed to work with the Substrate Corrected Colorimetric Aims (SCCA) formula, designed to account for variances in paper colour, developed within the IDEAlliance Print Properties & Colorimetric Committee. SpectroDens allows users to measure the paper and, based on those measurements and using the SCCA formula, calculate new aim points on the instrument. This helps with colour matches for substrates containing optical brightening agents.

All new functions are free depending on the instrument version by firmware update of SpectroDens. The updated instrument will be showcased during the upcoming Ipex exibition in London from March 24 to 29.


GMG, developer and supplier of colour management and proofing solutions, has launched an upgrade program in which users of older i1 measuring instruments can upgrade to the latest i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer for a special price.

Users to turn in their older i1 measuring devices to GMG via an authorized retailer, can purchase the i1Pro 2 device along with a ProofControl update for $1,221. The offer will run until November 30th.

The i1Pro 2 features new measuring technology that supports the M1 measuring standard. The future ISO/Fogra industry standards - which will probably be available from the end of this year - are based on the new M1 measuring standard. To be able to employ the new measuring standards, users will have to replace their current measuring devices and software by new technology.

GMG ProofControl permits contract-quality verification of proofs, making colour accuracy objectively measurable. The latest version supports the verification of spot colour and GMG OpenColor profiles.


X-Rite Inc. introduced version 1.5 of its i1Profiler system with an emphasis on creating accurate device links to better drive a range of printing processes (inkjet, toner, offset) and to manage legacy print work.

i1Profiler v1.5 includes a new Device Link Profiling feature for colour mapping from one device to another, which includes an emphasis on creating what X-Rite describes as digital-to-digital and digital-to-offset links. Version 1.5 allows for re-targeting colour data values when a job is being printed – in maintaining colour separations.

Frank Maeder, X-Rite Product Manager of Imaging Solutions, states that in addition to running equipment more efficiently, customers using i1Profiler v1.5 should see benefits in the vibrancy and saturation of printed materials and efficient use of inks and toners.
 
Beyond the new Device Link Profiling feature, the i1Profiler v1.5 update also includes: M1 support for i1iO in spot mode, support for the Hutch Color (HCT) targets for scanner profiling, support for the Ugra/Fogra Media Wedge CMYK for large-format printing, and enhanced display and projector profiling.
 
Device Link Profiling is available free of charge to current X-Rite customers with i1Pro 2. Users must have an i1Pro 2 instrument with an i1Profiler Publish license or a USB dongle with an i1Profiler Publish license to unlock Device Link.


Color-Logic, a developer of colour systems and software, has certified the Presstek 75DI press for use with the Process Metallic Color System. This announcement extends a long relationship between the two companies.

“The Presstek 75DI press and its predecessor presses are well-suited to market demands for fast turnaround short-run color printing, and are gaining acceptance for short-run prototype production in the packaging market,” said Mark Geeves, Director of Sales and Marketing at Color-Logic. “As packaging printers embrace the Color-Logic process, many are turning to the Presstek machines to show clients how their packages would appear on the shelf.”

Mark Sullivan, Presstek Group Product Director of Digital Printing, added: “The special effects and extreme high quality produced by the Color-Logic software and the Presstek 75DI presses invariably catch the eye of brand owners as they look for ways to make their brands stand out from the crowd."


Pantone is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Pantone Matching System with a special, limited-edition release of its Pantone Plus series of guides and books. 

“In celebration of Pantone’s 50 years of colour inspiration, we designed special anniversary edition packaging and covers for the PANTONE PLUS SERIES,” said Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone. “The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® sparked a revolution in colour management and inspiration. We can’t wait to see how the PLUS SERIES shapes the next 50 years of colour.”

The origins of Pantone stem from a commercial printing company after employee Lawrence Herbert used his chemistry knowledge to simplify the company’s stock of pigments and production of coloured inks. By 1962, he ran the ink and printing division at a profit while the company’s commercial-display division faltered. He bought the company for $50,000 and the first Pantone Matching System for Printers was released in 1963.

Herbert soon got the majority of the ink producers he contacted to sign on to his system. In the mid-1960s, the Pantone system was adapted outside of the printing world for use in the design and artist markets. The company followed the desktop publishing revolution of the 1980s and remains a global standard today.

The limited-edition Pantone Plus Series guides and books feature metallic covers and a 50th anniversary logo. Additionally, the Pantone Formula Guide and Pantone Colour Bridge sets are packaged in a 50th anniversary gift box. The guides are available separately or part of value bundles.


X-Rite is introducing the IntelliTrax News auto-scanning system, a newly developed hardware-software package, to help newspapers reduce ink usage, press time and paper waste, while improving the quality of printed colour images. 



The new software is primarily designed to monitor and control colour density and gray balance. IntelliTrax News (ITX News), which has been running in what X-Rite describes as large regional newspapers, includes a newly developed spectrodensitometer.


"With prior systems, newspapers had to manually align gray bars of printed sheets to take measurements, which creates extra steps and opportunities for errors if press operators don't position everything correctly," expained Steve Mattingly, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Southern Lithoplate Inc., a Wake Forest, N.C. manufacturer, distributor and provider of printing plates and associated products for targeted print markets. "With the ITX News system, our customers will get accurate, consistent measurements in a single pass, giving them a high level of confidence and managing waste in an industry that is continuously challenged to track, manage and lower costs."

Pressroom personnel, according to X-Rite, can use the ITX News system to scan the gray bar of a full broadsheet in about 10 seconds and generate graphics that summarize data and can used to adjust ink flow at press consoles.

X-Rite continues to explain that ITX News can closely monitor the density values of cyan, magenta, and yellow inks on any of the columns being run on newsprint to reduce the time and paper needed to produce sellable copies. The graphics shown on the system's touch-screen monitor for gray balance allows press operators to make the necessary adjustments to maintain process control throughout the press run.

In addition to reading C, Y and M values, the instrument concurrently can read black patches embedded in the gray bar so pressroom personnel monitor both colour and black text with one measurement. An earlier version of the product could not measure both colour and black values on the same sheet at the same time.


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