Calibrating Success: It all Starts with Color
PRINT NW continues to grow since its opening in October 2001. A multi-channel manufacturing enterprise, PRINT NW is always looking for new ways to improve and diversify to meet customers’ changing needs.
About six years ago, PRINT NW changed over to an Agfa (Booth 8242) system to support its sustainable objectives. The company found Agfa’s processor to be easier to clean and maintain, while the no-bake, long-run Energy Elite plates offered dependable press performance, high image quality, and a long bath life. The company is minimizing its environmental footprint, while delivering advanced imaging quality to its customers.
As part of their continual improvement process, PRINT NW implemented Agfa’s PressTune five months ago.
“We’re a one-stop shop. Our selling point is delivering color consistency from business cards, to letterhead, to car wraps. PressTune gives us confidence [in our] color, and we can get to production faster,” says Gabe Hargis, press manager, PRINT NW.
“Before PressTune we knew when we had something weird going on, but we didn’t know if it was a plate, prepress, or pressroom related. Now PressTune’s assessment helps us analyze where we need to attack, what needs to be adjusted. We quickly recognize when we have an issue, and we get to a solution faster.”
PressTune, a print standardization solution with powerful analytic capabilities, guarantees color consistency and increases productivity by lowering ink and paper consumption. It forms a strategic relationship between prepress and pressroom, ultimately providing the tools to measure against a printing standard.
PRINT NW chose PressTune because it is an easy-to-implement software add-on to its current system, versus competitive solutions that required a whole new front end. “We liked it so much we installed it on a second press just two months after we started using it. We’re confident we are selling the highest quality work,” Hargis says.
With PressTune, PRINT NW can:
- Establish a color target and measure results against it. If a job scores lower than 80%, PressTune helps define where to make adjustments. "Could it be a cyan unit needs to be adjusted? Do we need more attack in the ink, or is it more of a plate or a press issue? The numbers were pinpointing what to fix,” Hargis says.
- Hit their numbers with color-managed jobs from offset, to digital, to wide-format. One customer touring the plant watched their six-color job score 98. That helps build PRINT NW’s reputation as color experts.
- Use G7-qualified methodology: PRINT NW maintains compliance to published reference print conditions CRPC 3 and 6.
- Help operators pay better attention so they achieve to a higher standard. Operators will say, “Hey come look at this ... we can’t get to a passable grade.” Now everyone strives to run at the highest grade.
- Save time and money from reprints and discounts. “Before PressTune, we might not have caught an issue, but our customers might have. We were wasting time and money. PressTune is helping us reduce our total cost of print production,” Hargis says.
- Calibrate on the fly. Calibrating the presses took up to two days. With PressTune, PRINT NW can calibrate live, while the presses are running, all with the color bar. “The adaptability is amazing,” Hargis says.
- Get the job done faster. PressTune allows the pressmen to understand, “You’re in color ... get going; go to production. We can actively produce the job faster.”
- Sell high-quality work. On any live job, the data from PressTune identifies consistency, maintains consistency, and adapts to consistency.
PressTune and InkTune are integral parts of the ECO3 system, just a few ways Agfa is demonstrating its commitment to sustainable innovation that focuses on ecology, economy, and extra convenience. Agfa’s hardware, software, and consumables are making prepress and printing operations cleaner, more cost-effective and easier to operate and maintain.