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controlling color from prepress to printing

Nov 1, 2002 12:00 AM


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This is an exciting time for X-Rite as it carries positive momentum from this year's new prepress color-management and printing color-control solutions throughout Graph Expo,” says Iain Trevor Pike, X-Rite's worldwide printing and imaging business unit marketing manager. Booth visitors were able to “test drive” X-Rite's ATS Auto-Tracking spectrophotometer, 500 Series spectrodensitometers, X-Rite Color Ensembles, and the new 939 Portable spectrodensitometer.

Leading X-Rite's product line-up at Graph Expo was the new DTP41 Series II spectrophotometer, featuring USB capability. This USB capability delivers a faster method of transferring color data from the instrument to the system. Key features of the DTP41 Series II include USB and serial connectivity, as well as automated, high-speed spectral scanning. Supporting a variety of media, the spectrophotometer is designed to deliver high-end versatility and accuracy.

“The DTP41 Series II also features ‘3-in-1’ connectivity, providing one input connecting point on the instrument for USB, serial and power, allowing users greater flexibility and ease of use,” comments Bill Owens, X-Rite's worldwide product marketing manager for digital imaging, photo and medical.

Introduced earlier this year, and prominently featured at Graph Expo, the 939 Portable 0°/45° spectrodensitometer is equipped with X-Rite's new high-resolution, 31-point spectral engine. This proprietary spectral engine yields an average agreement of .15 Delta-E and a maximum of .30 Delta-E.

“With this proprietary feature, the 939 spectrodensitometer provides assurance in precision color matches for multi-site and multi-unit users,” states Pike. “With this and many user-recommended enhancements, the 939 unit raises the standard for quality assurance and capabilities for high-end graphic-arts instruments.”

The 939 spectrodensitometer can store more than 3,000 color references and samples, is easy to calibrate for either black-and-white or color validation, and includes optional, changeable aperture sizes (4 mm, 8 mm and 16 mm) to test small and large samples. It comes in a rugged, graphite-colored case to endure even the most rigorous print shop use. The 939 spectrodensitometer is fully supported by X-Rite Color Master software and offers a large display for data or on-instrument graphics.

The new model is compatible with its predecessor, the 938 spectrodensitometer and includes a data-interface emulation mode. Measure outputs can be calculated and displayed in nine illuminant types (C, D50, D65, D75, A, F2, F7, F11 and F12) and two observer angles (2° and 10°).

All data are time-stamped and saved in memory, so ISO or vendor review reporting is as simple as connecting to any X-Rite Color Master software solution and transferring supporting data. With on-board storage for thousands of color standards, tolerances and samples, users can make pass/fail decisions at press side or in the field with no need for an attached computer.

Up to 1,000 measurements can be taken before the instrument's battery needs to be recharged, and the battery can be recharged in as fast as three hours. Measurement data display is available in English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese or Spanish. The portable spectrodensitometer weighs only 2.4 lbs.

SOLUTIONS FOR COLOR MANAGEMENT

Designed for advanced color profiling, the X-RiteColor Ensemble Solutions feature MonacoPROOF and MonacoPROFILER color management and X-Rite's color-measurement instruments.

“Demand for tightly integrated color-management solutions is increasing,” explains Owens. “Users often struggle with putting together disparate color- management solutions, which is time consuming and costly. X-RiteColor Ensemble Solutions eliminate the headaches involved in piecing together color management by providing the industry's most reliable, accurate and cost-effective tools and software in a simple, affordable package.”

X-RiteColor Ensemble Solutions bundles MonacoPROOF or MonacoPROFILER with X-Rite's Monitor Optimizer and the new DTP41 Series II AutoScan spectrophotometer. The DTP41 Series II AutoScan spectrophotometer provides single-button operation and automation and is capable of measuring more than 900 color patches in less than 10 minutes. Professionals can print a test image using MonacoPROOF or MonacoPROFILER, and scan it with the DTP41 Series II to maintain consistent, accurate color levels. Monitor Optimizer assures on-screen color accuracy.

X-RiteColor Ensembles with MonacoPROOF are suitable for managing monitors and simple four-color output. For more sophisticated control, or for four-plus-color work, MonacoPROFILER offers support for up to eight colors. Both packagings offer calibration for monitors and scanners.

“Monaco has joined forces with X-Rite to assemble an affordable solution, integrating proven technologies in the professional imaging markets,” says Bonnie Fladung, director of marketing for Monaco Systems, Inc. “X-Rite's historic focus on quality hardware development, coupled with Monaco's continuing drive to develop state-of-the-art technologies in color-management software, will raise the standard for color solutions.”

In other news, X-Rite announced that its instrumentation for measuring color for profiling and calibration, within the integrated color-management workflow, is incorporated into the DuPont CromaPro XP inkjet color proofing system. The full integration of spectral data collection, color-management and RIP functions into one easy-to-use software package is new to the digital proofing market.

X-Rite's DTP41UV spectrodensitometer instrument is a natural fit for the CromaPro XP proofing system. It delivers UV filtering and accurate color measurement on glossy and “bright white” substrates.

PACKAGE PRINTING SOLUTIONS

X-Rite offers color-management solutions throughout the package printing workflow. In prepress, the X-RiteColor Ensemble combines software, hardware, service and support into one complete solution. The Monitor Optimizer helps users achieve and maintain color accuracy among multiple monitors used in the workflow. The DTP41 AutoScan spectrophotometer provides single-button operation and automation for fast, accurate color management. And the MonacoPROFILER software is designed to create and edit high-quality profiles.

Using this color control system enables users to produce digital proofs that accurately represent final press output. In addition, the system offers full support for multi-ink profiles. Package printers can synchronize color accuracy throughout prepress workflows with monitor, proof and press color management.

In the pressroom, package printers can make good use of a family of QA and formulation solutions. The X-RiteColor Master Systems deliver a wide range of benefits, including direct color identification, ink color formulation or adjustment and the assurance of color quality on press. Printers can take advantage of the networking, data sharing and reporting capabilities to improve efficiency and reduce the miscommunication across the extended workflow of clients, suppliers and production teams.

Hand-held color measurement solutions also play an important role in the pressroom. The 500-Series color reflection spectrodensitometer features accuracy, multi-site agreement and durability, improving color results at every step of the package- printing process. The 500 Series is offered in a variety of aperture sizes, and includes models that measure density, color and spectral data, plus the capacity to remember color standards and formats.

The 939 color reflection spectrodensitometer is a portable instrument designed for accurate color measurement. It features inter-instrument agreement, thereby excelling in multi-site or multi-party applications. The 939 spectrodensitometer ensures precise ink and substrate color to minimize pressroom problems.

X-Rite's ATS Auto-Tracking Spectrophotometer is a scanning system that gives users flexibility to measure process colors, special colors and substrate attributes. In just seconds, the ATS can deliver precise, accurate data to maintain customers' critical colors. The ATS can reduce ink and paper waste with shorter makereadies and simple, graphical views for press operators.

Hallmark Cards partners with X-Rite

X-Rite has announced an extensive supply agreement with Hallmark Cards, Inc., the leading creator and marketer of greeting cards and personal expression products. Hallmark will utilize X-Rite color solutions at its printing sites around the world to ensure color integrity and consistency of printed products bearing the Hallmark brand.

“X-Rite values its long-standing relationships with leaders in the graphic-arts industry such as Hallmark Cards,” says Michael C. Ferrara, X-Rite's president and COO. “We are pleased to be a part of making Hallmark successful on a global scale with X-Rite's color-measurement solutions and services.”

Hallmark Cards will incorporate X-Rite color- measurement and control products into their quality control and production process, including X-Rite's 500 Series line of spectrodensitometers, ATS scanning systems and other X-RiteColor color-measurement and control solutions. X-Rite will support Hallmark's system-wide color implementation with a variety of training and support services.