The purchase of a handheld densitometer is a capital expenditure that requires due diligence and a proven path to ROI for most commercial and packaging printers today. Before making the final purchase decision, be sure to ask the following 8 questions:
- Is the densitometer equipped with functionality to scan color bars? The ability to scan color bars with a handheld densitometer should be a top consideration when evaluating your purchase decision. This feature is essential in increasing productivity, efficiency and press up-time. A fully integrated scan function at no additional cost, such as the tracking wheels on the bottom of the instrument, will allow for straight and simple scans on any color bar at any time.
- Does the densitometer use the latest LED technology? LED’s enable the ability to accurately measure print substrates that contain optical brighteners and support M0-M3 measuring conditions. Additionally, LED’s have a longer lamp life, are more efficient, and are more stable in comparison to an incandescent light source. It is likely that over the life of your densitometer this will be an important factor when service costs are taken into consideration. Given that LED’s typically last 10 times longer than incandescent lights, it is easy to estimate the cost savings in lamp replacements alone.
- Is the densitometer available with customer-exchangeable apertures for use in measuring smaller patch sizes? The option for a customer-exchangeable aperture whether at the time of purchase or at any time during the life of the instrument is an important feature of any handheld densitometer. There is a high likelihood that you will continue to gain customers and need to use your existing color measurement devices on jobs that may have patch sizes that vary from the size of your existing aperture.
- Is there a complete multi-year product warranty with the purchase of the densitometer? A comprehensive 2 year product warranty complete with a free loaner unit option is a great way to ensure that minimal downtime is experienced with your densitometer purchase. The 2 year warranty will translate into additional cost savings in the event that any repair is necessary.
- Are software and firmware upgrades available for free download? As part of your densitometer purchase, you should be alerted to and have access to all of the available software and firmware upgrades online. These updates will ensure that you always have the newest advancements on both the hardware and software.
- Does the densitometer have a high capacity memory for storage? For printers that service many different customers on many different jobs, another valuable feature is the ability to store a large quantity of sample, reference and color libraries on the instrument. This feature makes accessing and verifying a multitude of colors extremely easy.
- Is technical support accessible, available, and free? An important part of your purchase decision should be the availability of technical support and service whether the instrument is in or out of warranty. The implementation of any color measurement device will require operators and managers to learn new functionality, processes, and technology. When technical questions arise – free online, telephone, and chat support will be essential in assuring a smooth transition to a new device and process.
- Does the densitometer easily support a G7 workflow? A densitometer that comes preloaded with industry standards related to G7 makes implementation of the instrument faster and easier. If you are measuring for G7, an instrument that does not require templates or software can also aid in the implementation process.