Rite
Esko stand at Labelexpo Europe 2017. Photo PSA

At the Esko stand at Labelexpo, X-Rite showcased new versions of eXact and ColorCert Suite with improved ease of use and one-click guides to help operators understand if they are compliant with G7 or PSO guidelines. It unveiled new versions of ColorCert Suite 3.0 process control software and the award-winning eXact handheld spectrophotometer. Both support all G7 and PSO metrics, and guide operators in determining whether printed output is compliant with the guidelines.

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X-Rite Exact. Photo X-Rite

The new products, combined with X-Rite’s InkFormulation Software, offer commercial printers and packaging converters an integrated, end-to-end solution for managing color consistency in a G7 or PSO process workflow. A growing number of brand owners as well as packaging and label converters are looking at extended color gamut printing, or CMYK plus Orange, Green and Violet  (CMYK + OGV), to achieve more than 90% of brand and special colors using these as a fixed color set. In addition, brand owners, especially those in North America and Asia, are requesting G7 and/or PSO compliance from labels and packaging converters as a way to ensure consistent color across printing processes. G7 provides a structure that guides process print to achieve a common appearance for output across presses, printing technologies and production sites. Adopting the framework can help printers and converters meet brand owner requirements while increasing press uptime and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

“At Labelexpo, we are showing how eXact along with ColorCert helps validate that a printer has calibrated its processes to G7 and PSO guidelines, and can monitor print quality moving forward to ensure it stays in compliance,” said Ray Cheydleur, Printing and Imaging Product Portfolio Manager, X-Rite. “With this solution, converters can provide their customers with real-time ColorCert Scorecard data that confirms compliance with these brand owners’ specifications, speeding approval processes and often eliminating the need for expensive and time consuming on-site press checks.”

Operators can now quickly measure output with the X-Rite eXact and export the data to ColorCert Pressroom for immediate G7 or PSO compliance determination. The new ColorCert software provides guidance as to how to quickly address any issues, including adjustments to density or ink strength using the BestMatch feature. By integrating X-Rite’s InkFormulation Software to this color workflow, operations can also ensure accurate ink formulations, validating the quality of inks upon receipt, as well as quickly creating ink recipes, including the use of leftover inks to create spot colors when required.

New eXact interface improvements

The new eXact’s user interface now allows operators to choose one-step setup for G7 and PSO jobs for an 86% performance improvement over previous tools. A new quick menu tab on the front screen offers easy access to the most commonly used features in eXact. This includes one-click access to the Density/TVI tool for CMYK print processes and the L*a*b* tool for spot colors. X-Rite eXact still offers an enhanced mode for access to advanced features for power users, making it a flexible instrument for operators of all skill levels.

“While print consultants and other technical stakeholders require access to in-depth G7 and PSO metrics, a majority of press operators only need tools to quickly help them determine whether print output is compliant, and guidance on how to correct any color problems,” continued Cheydleur. “This latest release of eXact makes it easy to measure against G7 and PSO targets. Operators no longer need to manually select each job using multiple clicks. Now the instrument guides the user through the process automatically in one step.”

G7 in India

G7 compliance in India and South Asia became easier with the establishment of Idealliance India in 2013. With Idealliance India members taking part in brand owner and converter seminars and demonstrations by Steve Smiley, there is increasing demand by brand owners for print quality validation by numbers and for converters to be G7 certified. In September 2016, a full 5-day hands-on G7 Expert training was held in Mumbai. Apart from training professionals in several companies, a number of G7 Experts are now available as consultants for training, best practices and calibration in several parts of India and in the Middle East as a result of the program organized by Idealliance India. The establishment has also set up a small color management lab at Noida and can be reached at www.ippstar.org and www.ideallianceindia.org.

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The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

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The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.

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