Hitting offset lithographic color targets isn’t always fast or easy. The manual process of measuring color bars and making ink key adjustments takes time and opens the door to operator error. Meanwhile, the press is running (and wasting) paper and ink. To achieve accurate and repeatable color, printers need to convert their printing operation to an efficient manufacturing process and drive efficiencies in all phases of their operation. For many, a closed-loop automated solution is the answer.
Closed-loop automates the process by capturing spectral data directly from the press sheet, then automatically updating the ink keys. It cuts down on paper and ink expenses that accumulate when you’re not getting up to color quickly, makes short runs more profitable, and minimizes operator intervention. It’s so much faster and more accurate than a traditional workflow that it pays for itself almost immediately.
Today we’re looking at the options available for a closed-loop solution to help you determine if your printing operation is ready to upgrade to automation.
If you’re reluctant to buy clothing and home decorating products online or in the store because you’re not sure how the color will look when you get home, you’ll love X-Rite’s newest color-matching solution.
Color-Eye® uses a calibration card and smartphone app to help consumers shop for items that match or complement things they already have at home, like a paint color that looks great with the curtains, a handbag and shoes that coordinate with a special occasion dress, or a jacket that will match the pants already hanging in the closet.
Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging.
There are basically two types of color measurement instruments: colorimeters and spectrophotometers.
I spent a few years working in Paris, where the Seine River has played a pivotal role in the shaping of the city’s personality. As I stayed longer and got to know the city and its people better, one of the things that became clear to me was that the Seine River physically separated two distinct cultures of the city.
Image courtesy of www.aparisguide.com
The left bank, including the Latin Quarter, Montparnasse, and Sorbonne, is all about creativity, design and ideation. The right bank is more sophisticated and upright (or uptight), and it’s the side that gets the job done. This is where you’ll find the Champs Elysees, the Royal Palace, and most of the larger banks and businesses. The two sides cannot exist without each other, but they are culturally and physically divided by the Seine.
It struck me recently that this picture of the Seine dividing Creative from Execution can provide a helpful metaphor for the relationship of Design to Production in a different setting — product manufacturing companies all over the world. In fact, any company that innovates probably has a river that runs between its design and production functions.
If you recently invested in a spectrophotometer or colorimeter, you know there’s a lot more to learn about color measurement than just how to use your new device. To help you begin exploring the exciting world of color, we’ve compiled seven blogs that explain how to set up your color measurement device, care for it, and use it to its maximum potential.
FUSE 2017 provided a wealth of valuable industry insight by showcasing how today’s brands are not only surviving, but thriving. While each scenario presented unique challenges and obstacles, one constant seemed abundantly clear: brands must create a human connection between themselves and their consumers. Humanizing brands reinvigorates (or, in some cases, generates) a level of trust from consumers that is currently eroding.
Speakers at FUSE highlighted a few specific examples of ways companies have successfully altered their strategies to include this humanization. Read on for a summary, or check out the full article from our President Ron Voigt via Brand Packaging.
In an effort to better understand YOU, YOUR business, and YOUR color challenges, we’re inviting you to be a part of the new X-RITE LAB. Our research and design teams are asking for YOUR input as we look for new and exciting challenges to solve.
The X-RITE LAB is a group of professionals who are interested in voicing their color challenges and emerging as thought leaders. Regardless of industry, role, or years of color knowledge, we’re looking for individuals whose professional goals resonate with our mission – getting color right the first time, every time.
Spectrophotometers are color measurement devices used to specify and communicate color and monitor accuracy throughout production. There are spectrophotometers to measure just about anything, from liquids and plastics to paper, metal and fabrics. Brand owners, designers, lab techs and quality control professionals rely on them to ensure color remains consistent, from the time it’s specified until final quality check, in just about every industry.
This Ci7800 benchtop spectrophotometer is measuring a fabric swatch.
Spectrophotometers come in many shapes and sizes. There’s the practical, convenient portable spectrophotometer, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and travel around the lab for on-site quality checks. Then there’s the larger benchtop device, standing ready to measure the most precise color for the most accurate specifications and tolerances.
Which is right for your color workflow?
Since benchtops are generally more expensive, many are left wondering if the investment is worth it. Today we’re comparing how portable and benchtop spectrophotometers perform in common color measurement scenarios so you can decide which is best for your needs.
We’ve written a lot about “color workflows” and “color management” on our blog. Today we’re connecting the dots to show you how “color workflow management” can mean big savings in a busy pressroom.
Without color workflow management, you can end up producing something you think is right, but is completely wrong in the end.
Especially in the printing industry, checking color quality at multiple steps along the way is the key to ensuring you’re on the right track. Color workflow management closes the gap between users, specifications, and color to ensure good quality.
Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing.
Creating and using digital standards is one way to combat these errors. They can be used to accurately specify and communicate color, design layouts, and formulate colorants and raw materials. Digital standards give brand owners peace of mind that the color they communicate is the color that will be produced, and manufacturers the confidence to work faster and more efficiently.
To create digital standards, you need an accurate, repeatable master spectrophotometer. But with so many instruments on the market, how can you choose? Today we’re highlighting some of the features of our new Ci7860 so you can judge for yourself whether it’s the right instrument for you.