On 6 June 2009 the Ingrin Institute organised a day-long conference on ISO 12647 process colour standardisation for offset printers. The conference was attended by owners, designers, senior executives, and technical personnel from newspapers, commercial printing and packaging plants as well as prepress houses. The 70 persons who took part in the sold-out event included staff from equipment and ink suppliers. Apart from the participant fees, the event was made possible by sponsorship support of JDC Printing Technologies PL.
“Let ISO 12647 storm the beaches of indifference . . . If we start at the nadir, at the bottom, and move up as the market moves up, we will rise as the market rises,” said Ian Anderson as he flagged off the meeting. After the conference sponsor JD Cyril’s and the SLAP president’s brief remarks, Frits Beurskens of the Asia Print Media Group based in Quezon City in the Philippines made a comprehensive ISO 12647 technical presentation.
Asian Print Media is an official partner of FOGRA in Germany and Beurskens is FOGRA trained and qualified to provide on-site support and carry out certification audits. The ISO 12647-2 certificates for Process Standard Offset will be provided by FOGRA itself on the basis of their evaluation of the audit submissions.
The day-long presentations and interactions discussed the need for standardisation, the relevance of 12647-2 and then discussed its implementation and certification process. Currently there are seven 12647 standards for the various processes and 12647-2 is meant for sheetfed presses and for heatset web offset presses. It is aimed at standardising the actual level of printing – the actual output of the printing process. The certification is possible for just the prepress as well.
Beurskens pointed out that in the past printing was based on relationships – it was easy to resolve quality issues on the basis of discussion between the printer and the customer. He said that because of technology, borders are disappearing and the modern print buyer or customer will evaluate his print vendor on the parameters of knowledge, technology and price. The global customer can no longer afford to trust printers on the basis of their promises and would prefer to have a better system of evaluation and selection. He added that for printers standardisation is essentially gaining control of the process and always printing to a certain quality.
Customers are increasingly asking their printers to get ISO 12647 certification. Already in Sri Lanka and India, Marks & Spencer are demanding ISO 12647 from their packaging suppliers. Customers benefit from standardisation directly because they first of all get an independent and concrete basis for file preparation and in-house proofing. They are more likely to receive proofs in line with their synchronised expectations and this can speed up the entire approval process.
Printers can expect to benefit from having an independent and concrete basis for calibration, process control, proofing and standardised output systems from their presses. They can expect to achieve a controllable process that gives them predictability, is repeatable and comparable. Printing standards dictate certain aspects or attributes of quality while others aspects are learned or developed during the implementation. After achieving the standardisation there are still many opportunities for printers to differentiate their services – these could be based on their productivity, service levels and on their own innovations.
What came out of the discussion is that there is no point in investing in digital prepress, CtP, and new multicolour presses if you are not interested in standardisation especially when there is a standard with an implementation and certification methodology for the colour offset process. As Frits Beurskens said, “Why would you buy a Formula 1 team and put a Colombo taxi driver in the car?”
The IppStar Monsoon Summit conferences in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in July will also discuss ISO 12647-2 implementation and certification. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .