Commentary & Analysis
FREE: GretagMacbeth and X-Rite Extend Color Control into New Territories
GretagMacbeth and X-
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: September 19, 2005
GretagMacbeth and X-Rite, the twin superpowers of color measurement and control, are a strong argument in favor of the benefits of competition in the market place. Both companies are rolling out their complete arsenals and newest solutions at Print ‘05 in Chicago’s McCormick Place, extending versatile color measurement and management options into design and photographic applications and further into the packaging and flexographic market segments. In addition both are showing new products featuring dramatic improvements in timely collection, analysis and uses of color data, clever methods to protect printed pieces from the measurement device and the measurement device from the printed piece, and support for custom created control targets.
One is led to wonder whether the diverse and impressive array of devices, software and color workflow solutions each company offers are in part a testimony to the quality of the competition.
GretagMacbeth at Print ‘05
GretagMacbeth’s NetProfiler2, an internet based technology which remotely verifies and certifies multiple spectrophotometers, is a must see. NetProfiler2 allows users with different generations of measurement devices spread over one location or multiple locations to calibrate those devices one to another for consistency and repeatability. Once a device is verified, the NetProfiler2 system downloads a dated certificate ready to print and display.
|GretagMacbeth’s NetProfiler2, an internet based technology which remotely verifies and certifies multiple spectrophotometers, is a must see.|
The Swiss firm’s ProfileMaker 5 Packaging and vipPAQ color solutions elevate its standing in the packaging and flexography worlds. ProfileMaker 5 Packaging allows color profiling of n-color (spot colors in combination with normal CMYK) targets, a must in the custom color dependant packaging world. vipPAQ provides inline densitometric color control for flexographic and gravure printing.
In the day to day activities of the average prepress, press or quality assurance supervisor, few things are more useful than the humble hand held spectro, and GretagMacbeth’s Eye-One Pro system allows, like the company’s previous SpectroScan, for the hand held device to be linked to a robotic base for unattended measurement (the Eye-One Pro is blisteringly fast compared to its predecessor). The Eye-One is also useful for measuring ambient light for viewing conditions control.
|Heidelberg ’s harmonious and comprehensive Prinect workflow would make J. Edwards Deming weep with gratitude were he still alive|
GretagMacbeth announced at Print ’05 the delivery of the 1,000 th Prinect ImageControl on-press color control system to Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG. Heidelberg’s Chuck Koehler was kind enough to spend more than an hour thoroughly demonstrating Heidelberg’s entire suite of production color control tools, including Prinect ImageControl, a system built around GretagMacbeth’s powerful two-pass spectral measuring head designed to capture 160,000 LAB values from a press sheet (or digital proof). These readings are used not only to adjust ink key settings for optimal print reproduction, but can be deployed in their entirety or from localized zones as well to create a digital reference against which to compare the remainder of the press run. (Heidelberg ’s harmonious and comprehensive Prinect workflow would make J. Edwards Deming weep with gratitude were he still alive and able to work up a good blubber).
|Heidelberg’s Chuck Koehler analyzes a press sheet with the Prinect ImageControl system which features a sophisticated spectral scanning array from GretagMacbeth|
GretagMacbeth is booth 6319.
X-Rite at the Show
X-Rite’s Pulse ColorElite System extends color controls upstream into the creative agency world. The combination of low cost yet large gamut ink jet proofing devices along with user friendly color management software has put agencies into a position of being able to participate in the device calibration and press prediction game. The expense of spectrophotometers and colorimeters kept these devices out of creative budgets until recently. X-Rite’s Pulse ColorElite System is priced to equip even the more modestly sized agencies with the wherewithal to ferret out and lock in the sweet spots of their digital cameras, light boxes, computer displays and printers. X-Rite’s Pulse ColorElite System includes the Pulse CIE Precision Spectrophotometer, the monacoOPTIX Display Colorimeter, and color management software including Monaco GamutWorks for 3D gamut display and analysis.
Also bundled in is a very handy item called the Pathfinder Scan Guide, a plastic hand held guide that aids in device positioning and reading while protecting the press sheet or proof from scratches or stains form the device itself. If you’ve ever seen the underside of a hand held device used by multiple press operators, you understand the need for this guide. Oh, how happy life would be were my college program’s hand held spectros not encrusted with flexo ink hardened to a bullet proof finish, with the perpetrators forever damned by their fingerprints in cyan and magenta on the sides of the device.
|X-Rite’s DTP70’s are everywhere on the show floor, supporting color RIPs by ORIS, EFI, Creo and Xerox|
The X-RiteColor Ensembles+ offers a more robust, prepress strength color management system built around the DTP45, a detachable strip or spot reading spectrophotometer. Rounding out the X-RiteColor Ensemble+ is the monacoOPTIX colorimeter with Monaco Gold or Platinum and monacoOPTIX Pro software.
X-Rite’s DTP70 is a turbo charged chart reading spectrophotometer which, when combined with X-Rite’s Monaco profiling software, forms their Advanced Ensemble. X-Rite’s DTP70’s are everywhere on the show floor, supporting color RIPs by ORIS, EFI, Creo and Xerox, among others. The DTP70 eats color patches faster than that Japanese guy wolfs down hot dogs.
Finally, X-Rite’s press side IntelliTrax automated color bar reading systems features a variety of color control methodologies, both densitometric and spectral, for the commercial sheetfed and folding carton printers.
X-Rite’s Marc Levine guides a prospect through a demonstration of the Pulse color control system
X-Rite is booth 7518.