Chroma LT – We can help press operators match spot colors faster!

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to our blog series on ChromaLT. As a reminder, ChromaLT is the ultimate companion software for your handheld pressroom spectrophotometer and by far the easiest color quality solution for packaging printers to deploy in their pressroom. Throughout this blog series, we’ll be highlighting specific pressroom use cases and illustrate how ChromaLT can increase the efficiencies of your press operators and ultimately lead to better color matches and a higher quality level across jobs.

Blog 2 – We can help press operators match spot colors faster!
Here’s the scenario…’re in make-ready and your clients critical brand color was just measured and shown to have a deltaE of 4.3 compared to the color standard in the job. Do your press operators know the fastest and most cost effective way to get it below a deltaE tolerance of 2.0? Are some of your press operators more skilled at solving this problem than others? How would you like a press-side, color quality management, solution that could provide very clear instructions to your press operators for matching this color efficiently by only changing the density? Allow me to introduce Techkon’s InkCheck technology and how ChromaLT can remove the guesswork and provide clear and actionable instructions for your operators regardless of their skill level.

Techkon’s InkCheck technology has been integrated into ChromaLT in a big way and it is one of the most popular features in the software. With a single measurement of a printed spot color, InkCheck can predict the lowest possible deltaE for that color and provide the press operator with specific density adjustments to get there.

Here’s a look at the how the software communicates this information to the press operator:

In our example, the printed spot color in the job has a current measured density is 1.41 and a resulting deltaE of 3.12 compared to the desired color standard. However, the software is stating that the optimal or “Best” density value for this spot color is really 1.28 because that will result in the lowest possible deltaE for this ink which is 0.54. Think about it…..our operator has cut only a single sample from the web, measured it, and instantly they knew the density that will provide the lowest possible deltaE. That’s a powerful feature!

So while the example above has a happy ending because we have an easy solution to get our deltaE under control, this is not always the case. Depending on your ink, sometimes InkCheck may have bad news for the press operator where the best possible density value still results in a deltaE value that is higher than the tolerance specified by the customer. In these cases, again, InkCheck is invaluable for the press operator because now they immediately know the limitations of the ink on press (after only measuring one printed sample) and they can decide if they want to tone the ink on press or go back to the ink department and have the ink reformulated. So in either case, InkCheck is providing vital information to the press operator about how to match color on press and in the most efficient manner.

The other feature within InkCheck that I would like to point out is called the “Density Spread”. Density Spread is the calculation of the range of densities where the press operator can run the spot color and still be measuring under the deltaE tolerance setup for that color. Have a look at the screenshot below:

The “V” shaped curve plotted here shows the resulting deltaE’s (Y-axis) for different printed density values (X-axis) of the ink. The dashed line at the bottom of the V curve shows the density value that produces the lowest possible deltaE, while the “Density Spread” shows the range of density values for this color that will produce measured deltaE values within the tolerance that has been set for this color. This is also really helpful information for the press operator because it gives them a sense for how quickly the color will change and possibly go out tolerance if the density floats around throughout the press run. In our example, we have a pretty wide density spread so this ink will be pretty forgiving for small density changes. However, this is not always the case and the Density Spread can then direct the press operators attention to those colors that are the most sensitive in the job and need to be more closely monitored.

So that’s the end of this blog regarding InkCheck technology and why it is such an important and helpful tool for your press operators. Give your operators the tools to reduce the guesswork, reduce the subjectivity, reduce make-ready, and increase the overall productivity & profitability of your jobs. Also, keep in mind that InkCheck technology has been implemented in our ChromaQA and SpectroVision print quality management products too. Thanks for reading and let us know if you have any questions or would like to learn more about any of Techkon’s press color management tools.