Cenveo Launches Cenveo Colorscience For Consistent End-To-End Color Matching And Output
Press release from the issuing company
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., August 16, 2004 —A print buyer at an advertising agency that does business with Cenveo reviews a soft proof on a precisely calibrated monitor, tagging corporate logos and other critical areas of color with a simple plug-in. Satisfied with the image, she sends the electronically labeled data to a nearby inkjet printer for a contract proof that accurately records what she wants the output from the printing press to look like.
At the Cenveo plant, meanwhile, the prepress department generates an identical proof from the same stream of data, which is continuously monitored for fidelity to a precise color standard as it moves from checkpoint to checkpoint in the workflow. It doesn’t matter whether the agency and the Cenveo plant are thousands of miles apart or whether the file is being sent to more than one Cenveo site. The remotely controlled process, designed to be turnkey and transparent for the end user, is guaranteed to deliver the kind of predictable, repeatable results that make print buyers everywhere smile.
It’s a print-buying advantage available only to customers of Cenveo, a leading provider of visual communications in North America. The company today announced the launch of Cenveo ColorScience, an end-to-end process control solution that will enable every plant in the Commercial segment of Cenveo to deliver consistent color from digital file creation to final printed output.
Cenveo ColorScience is a suite of hardware and software components that will be installed at customer locations and in the Commercial segment’s network of production sites, comprising more than 60 high-quality commercial print plants throughout North America. The system’s process-control backbone is the Total Customer Solutions (TCS) color standard, a set of color specifications and tight tolerances that all Cenveo ColorScience output will be required to meet. Centrally administered, the TCS color standard governs every step of the process from monitor calibration and remote inkjet proofing at the customer’s location to contract proofing, platemaking, and press runs at whatever Cenveo location is printing the job.
Cenveo states that the benefits to the customer include dramatically reduced production cycle times; streamlined quality control for print buying; cost savings from faster makereadies and reduced spoilage; and the peace of mind that comes only from working with measurable parameters that assure the desired result.
According to Steve Williamson, vice president of graphic technology at Cenveo, the solution is unique in the industry and goes far beyond other approaches to color control.
“We have blown away any of the competitive systems,” he says. “Other color control systems have no feedback to prepress or the pressroom. With Cenveo ColorScience, everything is trackable, and color values are repeatable all the way through to the press.”
But, the fact that the system is powerful doesn’t mean that it is complicated to use. Williamson describes it as “virtually hands-off for the customer—even for customers who have never made a proof in their lives.”
Cenveo ColorScience automatically tracks and maintains the color consistency of an image file as it moves from the customer’s monitor and inkjet proofer to the proofing, plating, and press equipment at the Cenveo plant. The customer starts the process by using an Adobe Acrobat plug-in—ColorNotes, downloadable free from a dedicated web site—to measure digital color values in the original file’s image area. The customer can electronically label color-critical elements of the image to create an audit trail that accompanies the file. Having generated a contract-quality inkjet proof on the customer’s end, the system then sends the image and its color values to final output at the Cenveo plant.
The controlling software compares the color at each production checkpoint against the TCS color standard. The system closes the color loop by measuring the image area of the press sheet against the color values of the original file as specified by the customer via the ColorNotes plug-in.
Cenveo ColorScience is the culmination of a three-year developmental effort with Cenveo and ColorSciences Company (formerly Southwest ColorScience) to develop a next-generation, cross-platform process control solution for Cenveo’s multi-plant structure. According to Mike Frost, CEO of ColorSciences, the solution is superior because it holds every reproduction step accountable to mathematical values known collectively as ?E—measurable deviations that let the system continuously compare the closeness of color to the customer-specified contract proof.
“Standards are meaningless unless you monitor and manage tolerances to those standards,” says Frost, noting that Cenveo ColorScience enables the TCS color standard to be properly implemented and maintained. “The math doesn’t lie. Cenveo ColorScience provides a non-subjective, reliable measurement to the tolerance.” This eliminates guesswork from the reproduction of corporate colors and other tricky elements: “The software looks at every single proof and makes sure that the logo is printed right.”
Another color expert, Microsoft Corp.’s John Dunn, regards Cenveo ColorScience as a breakthrough in what he calls a “very misunderstood” technology that few companies have attempted to implement in true end-to-end fashion. Dunn congratulates Cenveo for having successfully tackled “the daunting but very worthwhile task of bringing all of its various divisions under one color system.”
As Microsoft’s CRM Production Director, Dunn advises the software giant on all aspects of print production and monitors its relations with printers, agencies, and other vendors. He has been active in the development of PDF/X1a and other print workflow standards.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have consistency across all plants,” he declares. “With Cenveo ColorScience, Cenveo becomes the color engineer for its customers. The result will be a much smoother and more efficient workflow that can lead to significant savings.”
The Cenveo ColorScience Remote Proofing System (RPS), which has been piloted at a Cenveo customer location for the last six months, is now shipping. The Plant Process Control System is integrated with the RPS and is ready or close to ready for full operation at all plants in the Commercial segment.
Customer RPS locations will be equipped an Epson Stylus Pro inkjet proofer and ColorSciences’ Cross Match System Software. The system will remotely monitor and adjust each RPS so that customers, according to Williamson, “won’t have to do anything but change the paper and the ink.” A Cenveo ColorScience telephone hotline and the dedicated web site will answer users’ questions and provide centralized support to the entire Cenveo customer base.
Williamson says that Cenveo expects to set up several customer installations per month through the end of this year; hundreds next year; and a great many more after that. “Once we open the spigot, there will be thousands of candidates.”
The system’s performance at the pilot location, Wall Street Business Products, would appear to justify Williamson’s confidence. According to Steve Altmann, CEO of the New York, N.Y., print supply chain management firm, “Cenveo ColorScience provides the opportunity to generate excellent quality color proofs at remote locations.”
“I place my art file on an FTP site, retrieve my proof file, generate proofs and deliver them to my client, all in the same day,” notes Altmann, whose company handles the print and fulfillment needs of some of the world’s largest businesses. “It’s like having the plant’s prepress department in my sales office without the investment in real estate, equipment or human resources. It’s incredible!”
According to Paul Reilly, Cenveo chairman, president and CEO, Cenveo ColorScience is not only a technical breakthrough that helps the company to outdistance the competition—it is an emblem of the company’s entire approach to doing business.
“When we promised our stakeholders that Cenveo would function as one company, we also promised to develop systems that would enable us to standardize operations at all of our locations,” Reilly says. “Cenveo ColorScience is a prime example of how we are putting that idea into practice. One company, one color standard—this time- and cost-saving benefit is available to all of our customers today, whether they are working with just one Cenveo plant or with many. No other print provider has anything like our ability to match contract color this consistently or on such an extensive scale.”
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