X-Rite and ColorPartner unveil unique colour measurement solution for industrial inkjet printing

ColorPartner's ColorScout A+ automated colour measurement table.
ColorPartner’s ColorScout A+ automated colour measurement table.
Jan Keller.
Jan Keller.

X-Rite, a global leader in colour science and technology, and its subsidiary Pantone, have joined forces with ColorPartner (Kiel, Germany) to help automate colour management for industrial inkjet applications. The unique solution combines the ColorPartner ColorScout A+ automated colour measurement table and X-Rite’s Ci6x family of sphere spectrophotometres, allowing industrial printers to accurately measure colours on metallic, wood, plastic, ceramic and textured materials. The new Ci6X/ColorScout A+ solution will be made available through a variety of RIP manufacturers that support industrial inkjet output devices. “Inkjet technology makes it possible to print on a wide variety of materials, opening up new opportunities to industrial and commercial printers – from fast fashion to flooring to packaging to home décor,” said Jan Keller, Vice President at X-Rite. “With higher material costs, printers cannot risk colour errors that may be inherent in a manual measuring process. The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution eliminates these potential errors and can quickly and easily pay for itself by ensuring less waste due to colour issues, increasing profitability and speeding time to market for brand owners and manufacturers alike.”

X-Rite added that, as the market moves to greater use of industrial inkjet, there’s a growing need for an automated measurement solution that can quickly measure colour across flat, textured and reflective surfaces. “The popular 45/0-based measurement devices used in graphic arts applications are ideal for smooth or matte surfaces, but have limited capabilities for textured or reflective materials,” the company added. The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution is ideal for measuring colour on surfaces that don’t perform well with a 45/0 spectrophotometre. As a sphere spectrophotometre, the Ci64 can accurately measure smooth, matte, reflective or uneven surfaces such as metallics, special-effect finishes and textures commonly used in industrial inkjet applications – from small label printing to LFP. Integration with colour RIPs through X-Rite’s software development kit (SDK) will enable better colour calibration and profiling of industrial inkjet printing and deposition solutions.

In addition to being more reliable, the solution saves time in busy production environments. X-Rite tests reveal that it measures up to twice as fast as manual measurements, saving as much as one hour per 1,000 measurements. “The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution is truly rare in the market, as it incorporates a sphere spectrophotometer to handle thick and textured materials, as well as reflective surfaces,” said Ingmar Brumm, Managing Partner at ColorPartner. “This will help packaging converters and industrial manufacturers achieve consistent colour faster and with more repeatability.” Jay Larsen of INX International, a leading manufacturer of inks for conventional and inkjet printing, was an early user of the solution, integrated with a CGS RIP. According to Larsen, “the biggest benefit is the time savings and the repeatability of the measurement. The unit is very well engineered and well built – which should result in years of useful service.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.