In industrial inkjet printing, color management is a critical factor in achieving competitive color and quality results. An effective and accurate color management workflow needs two parts: the right software and the right hardware.
In this article, we explain typical challenges due to color management issues in industrial printing environments. We also briefly discuss an innovative hardware solution from ColorGATE that can tackle these challenges:
the Rapid Spectro Cube LED.
Combined with our software Productionserver and your printing device, you get an excellent print and color management workflow.
The software must work well with the printer and must provide all the functions needed to get amazing results. There is a clear split in "responsibilities" between printer and software:
- the printer must print dynamic colors in an even, calibrated and consistent fashion
- the software must characterize the hardware and driving it with the correct data for achieving high-quality, consistent results within narrow tolerances.
When it comes to hardware, though, you do not only need to consider the printing system but also your color measuring equipment. Without accurate measurement data, you can neither profile your printer nor check whether brand colors are printed correctly. The lack of efficient measuring processes is why color measurement and color profiling are often considered a bottleneck in print production.
This is because traditional measurement methods such as common handheld spectrophotometers have one particular drawback: they are made with flat, paper-like surfaces in mind. There seems to be no reasonable solution for 3D surfaces, or objects that are particularly small, large, unusually shaped, structured, elastic or reflecting.
That's why ColorGATE has designed the Rapid Spectro Cube LED (RSC LED). It is an integrated profiling solution based on a contactless measurement process which captures profiling targets and creates high-quality ICC profiles even from challenging print products.
Using the RSC LED in conjunction with the latest version of Productionserver, it is particularly easy to achieve the desired print conditions / print output. You receive an integrated color management solution for profiling, color correction and print data generation which brings out the best from any industrial printing system.
Typical Challenges in Industrial Printing Environments
When measuring colors on structured or 3D surfaces with typical handheld measuring devices, the following challenges can be encountered:
- Slow, single patch reading process
- Fixed illumination and sensor geometry
- Low-resolution sensors
- Struggle with structured, translucent or reflective surfaces
Compare this to the RSC LED: it can measure color on structured, translucent or reflective surfaces automatically in less than a minute. This is possible because of its high-resolution sensor technology that corresponds to the actual color impression of the human eye.
The RSC LED is a new and unique solution on the industrial printing market. Seamlessly integrated with ColorGATE Productionserver, it enables fast and efficient linearization, profiling, and re-calibration (via MDS).
High-Quality Color Profiles for Industrial Print Products
With the RSC LED, you can create individual color profiles from industrial print objects where other measuring devices quickly reach their limits, like:
- Particularly small objects (e.g., bottle caps)
- Unusually shaped objects (industrially printed objects such as tiles or wood decorations, promotional items, folding rules, etc.)
- Structured objects (textiles) or laminated surfaces - this takes color profiling from 2D to 3D.
But also in 2D profiling applications, the RSC LED is much more efficient than typical handhelds. It captures up to 10,000 patches automatically in less than a minute and delivers high quality ICC profiles immediately after that. Its compact and weight-reduced design is very suitable for flexible and, if necessary, mobile use. Its internal illumination delivers stable and consistent results.
You can find more information on the Rapid Spectro Cube and its LED version on our website:
If you want to know more about how color management can help you achieve outstanding colors in industrial printing, download our free white paper here.