Printers are now realizing the cost savings that can be made by implementing process controls, writes NosmotGbadamosi
The process controls market suffered the same fate as most otherprint sectors during the recession, with falling sales due to tightening budgets. Fortunately, there are now signs that things are picking up and that customers are looking to re-invest in qualitycontrol products as a result.
"We believe that printers are realizing that good quality control techniques will help them retain their existing customers, as well as gain new ones," says Paul Foster,managing director at Rip ware.
While printers are still obviously trying to cut costs, they are beginning to realize that money can be saved by checking plates before they go on press.
"Even if thisdetects just one faulty plate in a year, this could easily repay the investment made, especially when you factor in the cost involved in reprinting a job," adds Foster.
There are many variables in theprint process that should be taken into consideration when measuring colour. While it's impossible to fingerprint every paper stock and weight for a press, printers can produce an average for typesof paper, such as matt and gloss.
"If printers at least measure plate exposure, plate development and potential dot gain on press, they have a chance of being consistent" says Foster. "The customersof most printers would not necessarily know if a tint area, for example, is 30% or not. What they would recognize is that it is not the same as previously printed."
Densitometersmeasure ink density of CMYK, while spectrophotometers measure the whole colour gamut. According to Albin Baranauskas, sales and technical director for Europe at Techkon, it's better to invest in aspectrophotometer than a densitometer, as most spectrophotometers offer densitometry functions.
"A densitometer is good for density control of CMYK ink layers, but it doesn't give information about colour...