Print

New Schawk partnership simplifies quality control



Published March 2, 2012
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A partnership between MeasureColor, the Color Management Group (CMG) and Schawk, Inc. now offers print providers a simplified way to collect and deliver print and color metrics through Schawk’s Enterprise Print Quality (EPQ) Solution while delivering print providers immediate feedback on quality measures.

The Schawk EPQ Solution is a scalable enterprise-class print quality control system that captures data directly from print providers—from a single location or from multiple print locations globally—to improve print quality throughout the packaging supply chain. This customizable print quality communication platform offers tighter color controls and simplifies the process of entering, presenting and delivering instrument and visual attributes. By standardizing these variables, print providers can improve their performance and help brand owners achieve greater brand consistency, improved print quality and faster time-to-market.

The Schawk EPQ Solution captures instrument and visual data from the print provider to monitor printer performance. The range of scoring criteria that was established covers objective measurements, and calibrated subjective evaluations. Because the tools are web-based, they are available to all members of the brand owner’s supply chain. This multi-platform system is already in place at some of the world’s largest consumer products companies.

The Schawk EPQ Solution enables brand owners to:

• Clearly communicate quantifiable standards to printers
• Create a database of print provider information
• Assure brand consistency by focusing on key print performance metrics
• Deliver predictable results with continual improvements
• Allow printers to compare print quality at single or multi-facility operations worldwide

CMG was engaged by Schawk as a color-critical partner to innovate a better data collection system using MeasureColor as a key component. CMG helped articulate and specify Schawk’s requirements to the MeasureColor engineering team that took certain visual metrics specifically designed for the Schawk EPQ solution into consideration.

According to Stephen Kaufman, chief technology officer at Schawk, Inc., “We believe that MeasureColor has the best tool to connect the end-user spectrophotometer with an elegantly simple and actionable user interface at press, and then to integrate this data into an enterprise quality hosted data model and scoring system.”

Adds Kaufman, “I am confident that the Schawk EPQ Solution will not just serve the needs of our clients and print partners today, but will also set the standard in the supply chain management tools required to achieve consistency in brand colors globally, in the years to come.”

Lida Jalali Marschke, co-founder and managing director of the Color Management Group, the exclusive distributor of MeasureColor in North America, says, “We are excited to assist Schawk in their efforts to help printers reduce color variations—sometimes while materials are still being produced. MeasureColor software, when coupled with the Schawk EPQ solution, can deliver a rapid ROI.”

Adds Marschke, “With MeasureColor, electronic results are transmitted directly to Schawk in real time, reporting print quality results before the job ships.”

MeasureColor is a fully database-driven system where every user automatically works with common color standard information including references, spot colors, jobs, and tolerances. There are no separate files to load or save and no need to exchange data between multiple third-party applications.

MeasureColor offers key advantages when compared to other methods of collecting and reporting print quality data:

• MeasureColor can report all color data, whether from proofing, digital, flexo, offset, and other print processes in a modular process, rather than from one specific printing niche, thereby saving the cost of purchasing and integrating numerous software programs.
• All data is stored centrally—and controlled—on a printer’s client-server platform and is completely accessible by authorized users, from anywhere in the world
• Data supporting any standard can be collected from all popular measurement devices from a wide variety of vendors, allowing print providers to use the measurement tools they prefer. The easy-to-use MeasureColor software also supports traditional metrics, such as density, grey balance, ink trap, etc.

“Industry performance shows that a particular press run fluctuates over production, necessitating measurements to verify conformance to customer specifications. Automating the process not only eliminates errors, but also allows a press operator to observe any deviations and make adjustments during a printing run—something that can’t be done with manual data delivery systems,” notes Dan Uress, Chief Technology Officer at MeasureColor Inc. “CMG and the Schawk’s EPQ Solution have helped MeasureColor extend our reach in U.S. and across North America. CMG’s representatives in the U.S., and globally, are expert color management specialists who truly appreciate our technology.”

The customized version of MeasureColor designed to Schawk’s print quality standards, enables print providers to use one application to communicate directly with the measurement instrument, while also permitting operators to enter visual, non-measurable data, such as registration, opacity, and defects related to production and prepress. The Schawk EPQ solution gives print providers the flexibility to use virtually any data collection system. Using MeasureColor takes only 90 seconds, allowing print providers the opportunity to assess data quickly and make adjustments to the press while the job is still running rather than reviewing data, “after the fact.”


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