X-Rite and its subsidiary Pantone LLC have joined forces with ColorPartner to help automate colour management for industrial inkjet applications.
The new offering combines the ColorPartner ColorScout A+ automated colour measurement table and X-Rite’s Ci6x family of sphere spectrophotometers to enable printers to better measure colour on metallic, wood, plastic, ceramic and textured materials.
The new Ci6X/ColorScout A+ solution will be made available through a variety of RIP manufacturers that support industrial inkjet output devices.
“Inkjet technology makes it possible to print on a wide variety of materials, opening up new opportunities to industrial and commercial printers from fast fashion to flooring to packaging to home décor,” said X-Rite vicepresident Jan Keller.
“With higher material costs, printers cannot risk color errors that may be inherent in a manual measuring process. The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution eliminates these potential errors and can quickly and easily pay for itself by ensuring less waste due to color issues, increasing profitability and speeding time to market for brand owners and manufacturers alike.”
As the market moves to greater use of industrial inkjet, there is a growing need for an automated measurement solution that can quickly measure color across flat, textured and reflective surfaces. The 45/0-based measurement devices used in graphic arts applications are ideal for smooth or matte surfaces but have limited capabilities for textured or reflective materials.
The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution, in A3+ size (other standard sizes: A2+, A1+; others on request) accommodating materials up to 515mm by 310mm (20.3 x 12.2 inches) and up to 30mm (1.18 inches) (60mm (2.36 inches) optional) thick, is ideal for measuring color on surfaces that do not perform well with a 45/0 spectrophotometer.
As a sphere spectrophotometer, the Ci64 can accurately measure smooth, matte, reflective or uneven surfaces such as metallics, special effect finishes and textures commonly used in industrial inkjet applications from small label printing to LFP. Integration with color RIPs through X-Rite’s software development kit (SDK) will enable better color calibration and profiling of industrial inkjet printing and deposition solutions.
In addition to being more reliable, the Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution saves precious time in busy production environments. X-Rite tests reveal that it measures up to twice as fast as manual measurements, saving as much as an hour per 1,000 measurements.
“The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution is truly rare in the market, as it incorporates a sphere spectrophotometer to handle thick and textured materials, as well as reflective surfaces,” said Ingmar Brumm, Managing Partner, ColorPartner. “This will help packaging converters and industrial manufacturers achieve consistent color faster and with more repeatability.”
Jay Larsen of INX International, a manufacturer of inks for conventional and inkjet printing, was an early user of the solution, integrated with a CGS RIP. According to Larsen, “the biggest benefit is the time savings and the repeatability of the measurement. The unit is very well engineered and well built - which should result in years of useful service.”