Whether you manufacture plastics, coatings, or textiles, the reality is the same: If you don’t achieve consistent color, your product won’t sell. In fact, at the shelf, most people decide whether they’re going to purchase a product within 90 seconds, and much of that decision is based on color.
We know it can feel overwhelming to make changes to your production workflow, especially if you think it’s “good enough.” But the industry is changing. Brands are demanding more accurate color, faster. To stay competitive, you need to continue moving up the continuum of color control.
Luckily there is a growing range of color tools available to achieve accuracy and consistency. Today we’re sharing what’s available to help you deploy more consistent color in your manufacturing workflow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a perfect world, you should be able to put ink in the press and simply run a job. Unfortunately, every year flexo and gravure printing operations waste ink, substrate and press time trying to get color right. Although advancements in technology have made it easier to achieve color accuracy, the variables that affect color still exist.
In this three-part series, we’re sharing over two dozen reasons your color might be wrong on press. We’ve already covered two important factors – Instrumentation and Standards & Ink. Today we’re looking at how the environment and your press can affect final color.
With today’s complex cross-media campaigns, accurate profiling is even more important for managing customer expectations across the color supply chain. Our i1Pro 2 solutions help photographers, videographers, prepress and digital printers create profiles for the best color on monitors, scanners, projectors, printers, and online web-to-print submission tools.
But with so many to choose from, how do you know which is the right tool for your color workflow?
Whether you’re looking to add a new component to your existing workflow or ready to convert to a complete i1 solution, today’s blog can help. We’ll explain the different components of a color-managed workflow, why each is important, and the i1 solutions that can help at each stage.