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Process Control: Not If, But When

Published on August 4, 2016

Printing to numbers in a calibrated production environment using grey balance as the reference—this is the essence of the G7 process control methodology, and by now, most printers have heard about it. Fewer have embracedit, but IDEAlliance's Steve Bonoff foresees greater adoption as brands press their print service providers to adopt a uniform approach to process control. Then, he says, the ROI of G7 can come quickly.

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Discussion

By Gordon Pritchard on Aug 04, 2016

I found this interview to be somewhat confusing (maybe just me?)
I thought that G7 was a methodology to bring a CMYK output device into grey balance. But here the scope of G7 seems to have been expanded to be a process control and communications methodology.
The notion of "printing to the numbers" has been a mantra in the print industry for decades - it's not an innovation of G7/ideallance. Grey balance as a process control metric has also been around for decades - one formalized method (among others) - is System Brunner.
When you talk about brand owners wanting to have a common language amongst their suppliers - in my experience, it is the brand owner that defines that language and the criteria for presswork acceptance. If the supplier doesn't meet the brand owners' requirements they don't just get the business.
Later, G7 is associated with color specifications - how does a grey balance methodology define color?
The understanding of end to end process control in the same way that an engineered production environment understands it is certainly lacking in the small to medium sized printshops, and a G7 engagement will hopefully give the printer an insight - however, I think that being G7 does not by definition result in process control in the shop.

 

By Joseph Pasky on Aug 06, 2016

Indeed, in the late 1980s we installed SystemBrunner software with an X-Rite ATD scanning densitometer in Stoughton Massachusetts, with excellent results. Instrument Flight is still a great system.

We now use G7. Earlier this year, we challenged the 'proof anywhere; print anywhere' concept by using the G7 strategy and CRPC reference values to produce a fashion catalog in the US, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. The client was thrilled with the matching results.

Seagate Technologies' retail packaging is produced at 5 different printers in China and Thailand. Each follows G7 methodology and is very successful in color-matching product images.

G7 has worked very nicely for us here in China since we first introduced it in 2006.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Aug 07, 2016

At Creo we used to provide marketing materials to clients to repurpose and print for their marketing purposes. What you wrote about your experience I could just as easily say about the materials our (non-G7) clients produced who weren't actually attempting to match each other's work.

That still doesn't address to questions/points I raised.

 

By Joseph Pasky on Aug 07, 2016

I guess we were lucky enough in both cases, to be able to work closely with the print buyer's color house to produce working files to our print specifications.

 

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