ICS uses Remote Director system to conduct first color-accurate remote press check
Friday, September 05, 2003
Menomonee Falls, WI; September 4, 2003– Integrated Color Solutions (ICS), a technology leader in providing color management solutions to industries where color is critical, has broken new ground in contract “soft” proofing by using its award-winning Remote Director proofing system to conduct a press check of a live production job. The remote press check, which took place here yesterday at prepress provider C-t-PLUS and its printing affiliate Inland Press, is believed to be the first that relied exclusively on a display-based contract proof rather than a paper proof to set ink keys on press and to win customer approval. It also was made possible using an option to the Remote Director system that ICS will launch commercially at Graph Expo 2003 in Chicago in late September. C-t-PLUS conducted the press check for customer Guest Informant on a job that it had contract-proofed using the Remote Director system for a publication that will be available in W Hotels from New York to Sydney later this month. The job was printed on #1 commercial paper according to General Requirements for Applications in Offset Lithography (GRACoL) on a Heidelberg SpeedMaster 8-color sheet-fed press at Inland Press. C-t-PLUS is an ICS customer and consultant and has used the Remote Director system for more than 400 proofs since installing the system last spring. No paper proofs used for approval For the press check, a pressman at Inland Press brought the SpeedMaster up to color and pulled a press sheet, as he would during any press check. However, because the Remote Director system had been used for prepress signoff, the pressman used a Remote Director display located press-side in a special light booth manufactured by Graphic Technology Inc. to compare the contract proof to the press sheet. Based on that comparison, he adjusted the ink keys on press, brought the press up to color, and produced a press proof. Then, using a special wide-format scanner, the pressman scanned the press proof into a press-side Mac G4 running Remote Director software. Within four minutes, the image was available via the Internet for display on the Remote Director system at C-t-PLUS and approval by Joe Kraynak Guest Informant Vice President of Manufacturing and Production. By viewing a calibrated display color-managed by Remote Director software to GRACoL requirements for #1 paper, Kraynak was able to inspect the press sheet for registration, dot structure and traps, specify last-minute changes and confidently approve the job. “Most people believe display-based proofs can be used only for interim proofs. However, using the Remote Director System for prepress proofs and the final press check at remote locations on a job the caliber of this one for Guest Informant clearly demonstrates that color-accurate, display-based digital proofs are practical and effective in replacing hard copy proofs throughout the production process,” said Dan Caldwell, Vice President of Operations, ICS. “Because proofing is the only persistent non-digital step in the print production process, confidently maintaining a job entirely in digital form until it’s on press can result in significant savings of time and money.” Demonstrates ICS Color Management Flexibility The remote press check addressed several key issues relating to the application of digital technology to the print process, including the ability to “close the loop” from proof to press and the ability to proof jobs to virtually any print requirement. C-t-PLUS founder and president Dennis Redman commented, “It’s well known that Remote Director was the first soft proofing system approved by SWOP. We at C-t-PLUS have discovered its value with commercial products that pertain to GRACoL requirements for general commercial printing. The ability to ensure accuracy for conditions specified by each of these industry organizations demonstrates the effectiveness of color management technology and the versatility of the Remote Director system in applying that technology.” To ensure color accuracy, the press check applied ICC profiles created by ICS’s Profilecity.com division of the #1 paper and the Heidelberg SpeedMaster press used in the production demonstration. These profiles enabled the Remote Director system to display on screen how that particular paper will look when printed by that press. “Eventually we will fingerprint the press to several different paper stocks, so that any given customer will be able to see very closely how their job will print on that paper on that press,” said Redman. “Paper is a huge variable in printing – really a fifth color – because its color, absorbency, etc affects how a given ink appears. Being able to mathematically describe – to fingerprint – the press to a specific paper stock lets everybody involved in the production chain see very closely on screen how the final printed output will look,” explained ICS’ Dan Caldwell.