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Quad/Graphics: Press Run Is the Start of Something Big

Monday, August 07, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Earlier this year, Quad/Graphics became the first web offset printer to use a new printing specification on press. It’s a new calibration, printing and proofing process control method from General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography, or GRACoL, part of the industry organization known as IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance). Commonly referred to as G7, the GRACoL 7 specification is the seventh and latest version from IDEAlliance. G7 was developed based on the results of research sheetfed press runs conducted at nine U.S. sheetfed printers in 2004 and 2005. Input was also taken from existing ISO printing standards. The purpose for the experimental press run at Quad’s Hartford, Wis., plant was to update the existing standards and specifications used by offset printers, both web and sheetfed. The current SWOP specs are based on sheetfed press runs only, not web offset, and therein lies the challenge for IDEAlliance and web offset printers such as Quad/Graphics. The significance of the Hartford press run and the others that will follow is that, for the first time in printing history, data from actual web press runs will be the basis of web offset printing standards. “Our goal was to try and replicate on the web offset press what was achieved with the sheetfed press runs using the G7 calibration method,” says GRACoL color expert Steve Smiley. “This was something that had never been tried before.” Steve or another GRACoL rep have been present at all G7 web press tests scheduled for this spring and summer. “With every press run we hope to learn more to make the G7 methodology better,” he says.




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