SunColorBox is a fully-optimized “toolkit” of digital applications and services that ensure precise color at every stage of the print production cycle. The latest version incorporates four important new features — Private Cloud, expanded SunConsulting and process printing through SunCMYK and SunECG — which “make SunColorBox the most complete digital color management solution on the market,” says Patrice Aurenty, business leader, Color Management, Sun Chemical. “One hundred percent digital color management, integrated on a global scale, is now a reality.”
“SunColorBox is unique in that all users operate in a fully-digital workflow, producing colors that match the original specifications,” Aurenty continues. “These are established at the outset from measuring real colors on real substrates and are available to every party involved in the workflow — designers, brand owners, pre-media technicians, printers and ink manufacturers. Because everyone works from the same precise and unique color definition — the DNA of the color, as it were — SunColorBox injects digital efficiency into the production process, saving time in pre-media, money in production and making the customer experience significantly better.”
The four new features extend the functionality of SunColorBox considerably. Private Cloud, for example, utilizes a cloud-based solution to manage converters’ private databases of bespoke spot colors and make them available digitally throughout the supply chain and production cycle. This enables their unique colors to be accurately communicated privately, alongside PantoneLIVE references, across the entire packaging workflow to their selected partners, from design concept to retail store shelves.
The expansion of SunConsulting, the first stage of Sun Chemical’s process involving onsite audits and consultations resulting in a proposed digital color workflow implementation plan. As well as reviewing color management aspects, Sun Chemical can now offer business improvement tools centered on process mapping, waste hunting and Lean manufacturing. These tools align well with color management to deliver a high level of productivity benefits to converters.
SunCMYK and SunECG are services for the color management of process printing. SunCMYK is a consulting service whereby Sun Chemical ensures that its process ink sets are printed in compliance with global industry standards, preparing customers to be certified by recognized bodies, such as Fogra and G7. Sun Chemical offers a choice of compliance and certification levels, from a simple validation that the customer complies with the industry standards to a full start-to-finish certification process.
SunECG addresses the growing demand from customers for Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) printing, whereby additional colors are added to the standard CMYK set. With Sun Chemical’s goal being to work as closely as possible to industry standards and guidelines, the company is collaborating with Esko via Equinox to deliver ECG solutions to its customers to reduce the complexity of the process and steer them to an outcome that meets their needs.
This includes working with the converter to establish the process and validate the press, providing a compliance report service to guarantee the production consistency on which a successful implementation depends, or integrating the solution into the prepress workflow in a way that enables the customer to establish which jobs can be managed using this approach.
Global Color Management with Local Support
To support SunColorBox customers, Sun Chemical has put in place an extensive support structure, currently comprising over 100 locally available color specialists trained to analyze color workflows and design the best combination of SunColorBox components to suit each customer’s requirements. These specialists are supported and updated about new developments by Sun Chemical’s centrally coordinated Global Color Management team.
SunColorBox already has a significant user base, with implementations at over 50 printers and converters worldwide. Among the customers that have testified to the major benefits SunColorBox delivers is IMAJ Ambalaj, one of the leading flexible packaging companies in Turkey, which has achieved the following:
Press make-ready time reduced by 44%
Color “right first time” on press in 95% of runs
Waste on press reduced by 34%
Eight tons of printed waste saved in a year
“Since implementing the SunColorBox, we have seen considerable savings throughout the whole color management workflow,” says Zekai Akca, purchasing manager, IMAJ Ambalaj.”
Other SunColorBox Components
In addition to Private Cloud, SunConsulting, SunCMYK and SunECG, other key components of SunColorBox include:
SunDigiProof, which produces quick onsite, on-demand color accurate proofs
SunDigiGuide, a digitally printed color standards book that accurately communicates colors to customers in a visual but accurate way
SunMatch, which enables full digital color communication between ink supply and customer networks across multiple locations to achieve the best, quickest and lowest cost color match for any customer job
SunColorQC, which enables measurement controls to be put in place to monitor production
PantoneLIVE, which is used to underpin the color offering, together with color management hardware and software from X-Rite Pantone