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AxisControl – Heidelberg’s new colour measuring system

Monday, 11 September 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

A new colour measuring system from Heidelberg delivering spectrographic quality control directly on the CP2000 Center means Heidelberg can now supply two customized solutions for different requirements. The ImageControl colour measuring system has won many admirers in industrial high-end applications. It measures over the entire print image, transfers colour reference values from the digital prepress and produces colour measurement data for generating ICC profiles.

In contrast, AxisControl is a basis colour measuring system that can be used by any print shop needing to carry out effective quality controls directly on the CP2000 Center. It is ideally suited to Speedmaster SM 52, SM 74, CD 74 and SM 74 DI models where efficient, high-quality results are required.

AxisControl uses spectrophotometric measurement, performs colorimetric analyses and uses the grey, full-tone, solid overprint and screen patches of the colour bar to calculate the parameters for online colour control. It can measure up to eight colours in a single pass and can also measure perfected sheets on presses equipped with reversing units.

CP2000 Center and AxisControl – the perfect match

The colour measuring system in the CP2000 Center comprises a new sheet viewing table and a moving measuring bar that is fitted with a spectrophotometric measuring head. Operation is via the colour touch screen display on the CP2000 Center (the display is adjustable in height and inclination) and an additional control panel on the viewing table.

AxisControl therefore profits fully from the user friendliness of CP2000 Center, which guarantees speed and reliability from the outset. The park position of the AxisControl spectrophotometric measuring head is ideally positioned at the top of the CP2000 Center away from the sheet viewing area. This ensures that the printer has an optimum and ergonomic working area at the CP2000 Center.

AxisControl is fully integrated into the CP2000 Center and can also be used with the CP2000 modular expansions MemoryPlus and OnlineAssistance.

AxisControl comes to the colour bar

Thanks to the moving measuring bar with measuring head, the colour bar required for the measurements can be positioned anywhere on the print sheet – i.e. at the rear edge, centre or front of the sheet. This allows greater choice in placing the colour bar at the most suitable and cost-effective location on the sheet.

Measuring technology also enhances the make ready procedure

The trend towards ever shorter, high-quality runs means that make-ready procedures today can benefit greatly from measuring technology. AxisControl’s measuring head scans the colour values in the colour bar quickly and reliably. This information is used to determine all colour values and quality parameters such as dot gain, slur and doubling.

AxisControl compares these colour values with the predefined reference values stored in the system. All measuring results and recommended adjustments are displayed automatically in graphic form on the colour touch-screen display. Once the operator approves these, they are sent online to the ink zones of all printing units. A colour database is also available to provide support in setting up new print jobs.

All colorimetric reference values from Pantone and HKS are stored in this database at the factory. However, users can also add other special colours to the colour database using appropriate measuring procedures.

A whole host of benefits for the printer

AxisControl also offers considerable benefits in the production run. The fact that the colour values are continuously checked over the entire run means that high quality is ensured from start to finish. The single-point measurement function also enables spectrophotometric analyses of relevant locations in the printed image. This results in shorter make-ready times and greater stability in the production run. AxisControl is thus an innovative development for even greater print quality, higher Prinect productivity and reliable, high-quality colour control.

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