Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cloud-based system improves digitally printed label color matching

UK specialist manufacturer of self-adhesive label solutions Mercian Labels has invested in the Xeikon Color Control, the latest color matching system from Xeikon. The tool enables printers to offer their customers repeatable and predictable colors, and the best simulation of custom spot colors all through the simplicity of a cloud-based application. As such,  Xeikon Color Control allows the closest possible matching of colors to both the full Pantone book as well as to hard copies of previously printed packaging and labels provided by customers.

“In today’s competitive environment, print buyers are asking their suppliers for the highest quality and accurate reproduction of brand colors,” explains Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director Product Management at Xeikon.  “With Xeikon Color Control, our customers have a smart and easy way to reproduce even their most complex jobs - the ones with  the  highest color requirements. With minimal time and effort, they can profile their environment and ensure customer specific colors can be reproduced with the closest possible match. It’s one of those small, but powerful tools that makes our customers’ lives easier.”

Color matching made better, quicker and more consistent
Xeikon Color Control enables printers to profile their Xeikon presses and create color tables for specific colors. Having printed a target, the measured values are uploaded to a central server where a new profile is created, together with a library of named colors. This enables printers to have much better control over their output quality and match the output with conventional jobs that have been printed previously. Furthermore, quality reports as well as an overview of the stability of the production environment, can easily be made available by the press room operator for others.

Color matching is a well acknowledged challenge by the industry. Xeikon Color Control was developed to eliminate human error in color matching. Furthermore, it maximizes the gamut of the Xeikon dry toner digital printing technology. The Xeikon system can be profiled for any substrate by uploading the color values of a printed test-chart. Together with a new output profile for the press, the operator will be given a color lookup table. In addition, an on the spot • E figure can be accurately given to assess the color accuracy of the Xeikon 3300 digital press installed at Mercian Labels.

Dr. Adrian Steele, Managing Director of the Mercian Labels Group, commented: "This is a really useful development enabling us to perform even better when facing color matching challenges from our customers. Nothing will extend the physical limitations of a CMYK color process gamut beyond its theoretical maximum, but using Xeikon Color Control we are really pushing the barriers of color matching to the limit. In one recent case we were asked to match an injection moulded plastic lid and a litho printed carton to that of a color known to be tough to print on a digital engine, even one as good as the Xeikon. Using Xeikon Color Control we quickly determined that we could get to a • E of 3 without printing anything on press. Once matched, that is exactly what it did – with a very impressive color accuracy! Whilst we may have got there eventually with a lot of expensive operator and press time undertaking iterative testing and assessment under different light conditions, Xeikon Color Control makes color matching of digitally printed labels better, quicker and more consistent. It’s going to make us a lot more effective  at color matching which can only be good for our customers."