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Correct color on inkjet means uniform color; profiles are not enough

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This presentation, made at the recent Fespa 2019 in Munich, shares some of the insights and advances we’ve achieved over the last few years as we’ve worked with many inkjet press vendors to increase their output quality.

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Correct color on inkjet means uniform color; profiles are not enough

  1. 1. Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 May 2019Martin Bailey, CTO Correct color on inkjet means uniform color; profiles are not enough 190501
  2. 2. 4 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Some of our OEM customers
  3. 3. 5 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Focus on production print  I’m going to concentrate on high-volume inkjet today • Printing final product • Often high speed, and/or with a large print area  Many new vendors entering the production inkjet space • Finishers/converters, Office printers, • Offset/flexo/gravure  And new print sectors being opened up to inkjet • Décor: ceramics, wall coverings, laminate flooring, vinyl floor tiles, textile for soft furnishing and curtains • Other textile: soft signage, sportswear, fashion, DTG • Other industrial: coatings, functional, control panels, dashboards, etc etc
  4. 4. 6 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 The quality target  All trying to match “offset quality”  But what does that mean?
  5. 5. 7 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 What do you see in most samples?  What do people who print on offset, flexo and gravure look for? • Lots of detail!  What do you see in the samples handed out at trade shows? • Lots of detail!  And on samples from inkjet press vendors? • Lots of detail! Is a lot of detail the hardest thing for inkjet to get right? I’ll be impressed when I see inkjet vendors giving out prints of flat 50% tints!
  6. 6. 8 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 What should you be looking for in inkjet samples?  Small-scale effects (micro non-uniformity) • Mottling • Streaking • Missing/blocked/misaligned nozzles  Large-scale effects (macro non-uniformity) • Banding
  7. 7. 9 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Mottling is most common on less absorbent substrates, often caused during drying/curing Micro effects Streaking is most common on more absorbent substrates, caused by ink drops coalescing on the substrate surface Blocked and deviated nozzles can occur on any substrate
  8. 8. 10 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Macro effects  Variation within a head • Commonly a ‘smile’ shape • Caused by pressure or voltage changes  Variation between heads • Especially as heads become field replaceable  Head wear Density ONE HEAD
  9. 9. 11 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Banding examples Single- pass Multi-pass (scanning)
  10. 10. 12 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 The Traditional ‘Porthole’ Test  Used with décor printing long before digital • If you can tell the direction of printing then it’s a fail
  11. 11. 13 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 For signage, graphic arts, labels and packaging  Reduced visual quality of prints • Increases potential for buyers to reject them • May reduce margin achievable Companies using inkjet presses all seem to have a metric in mind: “What proportion of jobs submitted by my buyers can I print on this press and be confident I will get paid?”
  12. 12. 14 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 For décor, textiles, industrial print etc  If multiple prints will be used together they must be uniform  Wall-coverings  Ceramic & vinyl tiles  Laminate flooring  Curtains  Soft furnishing  Fashion textiles  Labels & cartons  etc The same metric applies, but also compare the left and right sides
  13. 13. 15 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019  Mitigating issues takes time and cost • More expensive to build a press • More frequent and longer maintenance procedures • Printhead purging • Voltage trimming, etc  Non-uniform output breaks color profiling/calibration • Patch color can vary by print location • Means poor profiling … or even profiling failures The cost for all sectors
  14. 14. Enough of problems! Tell me how to fix it!
  15. 15. 17 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Solving the problems  Vendors should make reasonable efforts to tune inks, wave forms, encoders etc.  After that software is usually the fastest and most effective solution  Micro effects • Advanced Inkjet Screens  Macro effects • PrintFlat applied during ScreenPro processing  Blocked/deviated nozzles • Meteor Inkjet’s blocked nozzle compensation technology  Applicable to both single-pass and multi-pass
  16. 16. 18 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019  Specialized screening patterns to improve inkjet performance  Pearl – optimized for most inks / substrates  Mirror – optimized for difficult and poorly wetting substrates Global Graphics Software – Advanced Inkjet Screens™
  17. 17. 19 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Global Graphics Software – ScreenPro™  Advanced Inkjet Screens are applied using Global Graphics’ ScreenPro stand- alone screening engine • Or using the Harlequin RIP  High-speed screening usable with virtually any RIP and for virtually any press
  18. 18. 20 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Global Graphics Software – PrintFlat™  Automatically correct for banding based on measurement of uncorrected prints  Adjusts every nozzle separately without time- consuming voltage adjustments  PrintFlat is an option in Global Graphics’ ScreenPro
  19. 19. 21 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019 Global Graphics Software – PrintFlat ™ High quality press compensation • The sky looks smooth • Color patches are consistent • Flat tints are flat
  20. 20. 22 Copyright © Global Graphics Software Limited 2019
  21. 21. For more information: martin.bailey@globalgraphics.com info@globalgraphics.com https://www.globalgraphics.com/screenpro Includes links to: • White paper on screening for inkjet • Case study on PrintFlat for multi-pass inkjet at Ellerhold (PDF and video) • Case study for ScreenPro at Mark Andy (PDF and video)

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