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Heidelberg and GretagMacbeth Extend Their Long-Term Partnership

Monday, September 12, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

Regensdorf, Switzerland / New Windsor, NY; September 9, 2005 – At Print'05 in Chicago GretagMacbeth announced the delivery of the 1,000th Prinect ImageControl on-the-press color control system to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). Heidelberg sold the system already to a customer in Germany.   Prinect ImageControl, now available as version 4.0, which is major element of the Heidelberg Prinect total workflow solution, is a system created through a partnership of Heidelberg and GretagMacbeth. This partnership has now been in operation for 25 years. Dr Jürgen Rautert, Heidelberg Board member responsible for Engineering and Production, stated that GretagMacbeth is "for us clearly the best in class of companies in the color measurement business." Heidelberg and GretagMacbeth have just signed a long-term ongoing partnership relationship to continue to co-develop next generation color measurement, management and control systems for current and future Heidelberg presses.   The products available today from Heidelberg produced under the partnership with GretagMacbeth include the two industry leading on-the-press color measurement systems, Prinect Image Control and Prinect Axis Control. Both are closed loop color measurement systems that scan printed sheets using spectrophotometric measurement, and which feed back the readings to automatically adjust the ink settings on the press. These systems differ from all others in that the closed loop color control uses spectral measurement, rather than densitometric measurements.  It is widely accepted by color printing experts that spectral measurement is far more accurate than using density measurements – just measuring the ink film thickness, not the color itself - for ensuring exact color matching throughout a press run.   Heidelberg and GretagMacbeth's partnership produced its first product in 1981 when Heidelberg introduced the CPC-2 press control system with the first scanning densitometer. This measured ink densities printed on the color bar on the press sheet. Joint patents between the two companies on closed loop press controls came out in 1985 and 1988. These were followed in 1990 with the launch of the CPC-21 (CPC-2S) control system, which was the first spectral measuring system. This easured colors in the color bar control strip on the sheet and automatically, through a closed loop system, updated the ink settings of the press.   The next major development came in 1998 with the launch of Image Control. This system, - for the first time - allowed the measurement and controlling of colors within the printed sheet rather than the coloar. On top of this, Image Control, which is connectable up to four presses, offers a wide range of further abilities like e.g. Color Management.   In 2002 the product portfolio was enlarged by Axis Control. This system, integrated into the press console, is able to measure and control the color bar and rounds up the Heidelberg offering in measuring systems.   Dr. Francis Lamy, Executive VP and CTO of GretagMacbeth made the following comment about the ongoing partnership with Heidelberg. “Heidelberg and GretagMacbeth have enjoyed a long lasting and strong partnership for 25 years. This has deep roots in GretagMacbeth color know how, especially when it comes to high performance spectroscopy and embedded systems. This partnership encompassed shared IP and close collaboration on both sides of the R and D edges."




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