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Free print colour health checks at Printex 07

Monday, 13 August 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

Download the PrintSpec strip to print out and bring it along to the show to get an on the spot press check.

The scheme is all part of the rise in popularity of ISO specification printing for the industry. Developed by Alan Dresch, of UK-based Mellow Colour, PrintSpec is now updated with all the targets and tolerances of the latest ISO specification.

Colour company DES will be running the PrintSpec health check at its stand (2008) during the show and is encouraging printers to take advantage of the free check up. Download the strip here PrintSpec, run it through your press and present it to the DES colour experts who will be able to tell you how your press is printing. First launched at Ipex last year it proved a hit with UK printers.
ISO standard printing
To comply with the ISO standard, printers have to achieve the tight targets and tolerances specified in the ISO 12647 specification. When applied correctly PrintSpec assures consistent print appearance, job-to-job and device-to-device. The software can also be customized to match an in-house target.

The printer chooses the appropriate ISO specified L*a*b* targets for paper type and ink colour, along with tonal value increase (dot gain) targets from pull down menus in the PrintSpec set-up dialogue. A spectrophotometer is used to capture colour data from the print sample, and a comprehensive colour report is generated displaying just about everything you need to know about colour appearance and how the colour measurements compare with the ISO 12647 Specification.

“With quick troubleshooting of prepress, press and consumables problems, PrintSpec now has a track record of improving efficiency for printers and ensuring that customers receive accurate and consistent colour,” said inventor, Alan Dresch, who will be in attendance at PrintEx. “The longer-term aim of Mellow Colour is to help the printing industry get in line with other industries where critical process control is the differentiator that separates the best from the rest.”

Industry gives PrintSpec the thumbs up

“Prior to PrintSpec it was a real challenge to match print-to-proof.”
John Davies, Production Manager, Rawson Graphics AU

“Proof to print consistency is what pleases clients, and we are finding this around 75% more accurate since installing PrintSpec and, although we are still very much in the learning process, we can see we are achieving a lot more than we have in the past.“
Peter Kneepkens, Prepress manager, Rawson Graphics AU

“For years printers have been telling their client that they are ‘the best’. But how do they really know? With PrintSpec we know we are the best because this print measurement program tell us exactly what is happening on our presses.
With one simple scan we can obtain accurate information measured from an ISO standard and compare to what we are actually printing. Information that includes the L*a*b* reading of the paper which measures the actual whiteness of the stock. Additionally, L*a*b* values, which measure the ‘colour of the colour’, for solid CMYK and the overprints, as well as the all important ink densities, dot gain, and grey balance. Commonly used delta E values indicate whether we are within the required tolerances.
Paradoxically, the measurement needed to see if you are a good printer is not how well you print colour but how well you print grey! The balance of the grey is vital to printing high quality colour.
Most printers will tell you that they ‘finger print’ their presses every 3 months. Not bad you think? Well with PrintSpec we can actually fingerprint our presses for every job. We just simply scan the colour bars on the sheet and immediately receive all the necessary information to get to the bottom of any press or consumables issues should they arise, this means we can nip print problems ‘in the bud’ which saves us time and money.”
Haydn Breheny, Managing Director, Energi Print

Award-winning technology
International colour management specialist, Alan Dresch, received the Technology Hot Pick Award at Australasia’s PacPrint 2005. The award was presented by Print21 for the PrintSpec software that Dresch has developed to allow professional printers accurate compliance to ISO 12647-2 specification.

One thing that Dresch is sure about is that implementing ISO 12647 is more than process control; it is about changing the way that printers operate. Dresch believes it is inevitable that print will follow customer pressure to implement printing standards internationally and now is the time to take the first step on that journey.

Appointments for Health Checks
Call Stacey Lupton 02 9736 6726 or email us

This article was brought to you by Free print colour health checks at Printex 07

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