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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Heidelberg Expands Prinect Color Toolbox

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga. - Heidelberg is pleased to announce the release of its Prinect Color Toolbox v3.5 with Gray Balance Optimizer calibration tool, the latest addition to its Prinect Color Toolbox suite of integrated color management solutions for optimizing color and imaging among proofing, plating and press output devices. The Prinect Color Toolbox also enables printers to calibrate their equipment to the GRACoL G7 specification.
Gray Balance Optimizer is an extremely simple, user-friendly way to accomplish near neutral calibrations. Gray Balance Optimizer can also be used for creating reference values for specific substrates, inks, or printing processes. The software uses industry standard color management targets such as the IT8.7/4 or EC2002, etc., requires no special charts and eliminates the need to print TVI (dot gain) scales in order to perform calibrations. Gray Balance Optimizer achieves both tone reproduction and gray balance by calculating new CtP curves to match any desired target. Near-neutral calibration with Gray Balance Optimizer enables print shops to assure their customers of accurate, repeatable color matches from job to job, even when using different materials and output devices.
"It's much easier to calibrate using a common standard reference profile for different presses or output devices," said Chuck Koehler, Senior Demonstrator for Print Quality Standards at Heidelberg’s Print Media Demonstration Center. “Conventional calibration methods have had to contend with dot gain issues associated with specific inks, substrates, printing processes and pressroom conditions, but where the traditional method has been to pick a dot gain target and calibrate the CtP process curves to it, Gray Balance Optimizer technology uses profiles or user-defined reference values to calibrate directly to the neutral tone characteristics of the reference profile.”

Praise for Gray Balance Optimizer
“Heidelberg’s Gray Balance Optimizer enables me to achieve near-neutral optimization from one color space to any other color space quickly and easily,” said Steven Smiley, Director of Color Technology at Vertis, Inc. and Chair Print Properties & Colorimetric WG. “It’s a huge advantage to be able to receive a file with any output intent profile and then print to any location or printing type, with a set of curves for my plates that allow my customer’s expectations to be met, regardless of where the file came from. Gray Balance Optimizer is the only tool that lets me do that easily.”
“Gray Balance Optimizer is a terrific tool that makes it dead simple for us to create near neutral calibrations and device link profiles from our current press and proof conditions to any standard,” including GRACoL G7, said Peter Montgomery, Director of Prepress at Moquin Press, Belmont, Calif. “I like the fact that we can use the same IT8 target to generate near neutral curves and profiles. Prinect is feature rich-and has tools to accomplish all of our color needs.”
“What impressed us about Gray Balance Optimizer was that it got closer to achieving an acceptable gray balance the first time,” adds Gary Gassman, Prepress Team Leader at Lahlouh, a Bay Area commercial printer. “With other methods, we often had two or three different iterations before we could achieve an satisfactory result.” Moreover, “The way it ties into Prinect Image Control saves us even more time, since we can evaluate all our variables (L*a*b values) more efficiently at press.”

“R.I.T. has been using Gray Balance Optimizer during seminars on its Heidelberg Speedmaster sheetfed offset lithographic press for the past year,” said Steve Suffoletto, Senior Training Specialist at R.I.T.'s Printing Application Laboratory. “The results have been very impressive, resulting in low Delta E color difference between the proof and press match. Gray Balance Optimizer is an efficient, effective calibration tool because the first attempt often provides accurate results, eliminating the need for additional expensive press testing.” Furthermore, Suffoletto said, “With Gray Balance Optimizer, users are not restricted to using a special test target with a limited number of color patches or single specification target. Printing is a global business these days, so the flexibility to use any U.S. or international target and specification is of tremendous value.”

“Color Toolbox v3.5 combines an ICC open architecture for measurement, calibration, characterization, diagnostics, editing and verification to any ICC characterization dataset or profile,” said Joe Suffoletto, Senior Technical Service Consultant for PIA/GATF. “A wide variety of color measurement devices are pre-installed for easy plug-and play measurements, including Prinect Image Control. A full set of profiling parameters, including device link profile generation is also at hand. Heidelberg’s Gray Balance Optimizer yields excellent results and accuracy to the ISO 12647 series of color reproduction standards, reference printing conditions and specifications such GRACoL G7.”
Do You See What I See?
Gray Balance Optimizer automatically accounts for differences in substrates, inks, overprint trap characteristics and processes, and the results create visually existing standards such as ISO, GRACoL or SWOP. With a few clicks of a mouse, users can prompt the Gray Balance Optimizer to compare data and generate values for calibration. The accuracy of the new CtP curves is verified by repeating the press test over again using the calibrated plates and the exact same test conditions as the first calibration run. Color Toolbox also enables users to verify calibrations by applying the resulting curves directly to the process profile, eliminating the verification run. The new functionality enables different output devices to calibrate to a common visual appearance, yielding consistent color from any press.




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