In the past two years a large number of 7-color presses and a few that are 8-color and even longer presses have been imported by carton printers. In some cases these longer presses were installed in order to accommodate in-line foilers that were mounted across the first two units – leaving the other units for C,M,Y,K and special or brand colors.
Printing with a fixed set 7-color inks really started with Pragati in Hyderabad importing two new Komori 7-color presses for printing shade cards for a paint company. This was accomplished (as I have written earlier) by using Esko’s Equinox software for the color separations. Subsequently, new 7 and 8-color presses with coaters from Heidelberg, KBA, Komori and RMGT have been installed around the country for printing on cartons.
However, when in the past two years I asked some of the leading carton printers about their reasons for purchasing 7 and 8-color presses, (apart from the need for more units in the case of adding an in-line foiler), they were not too interested in using a fixed set of 7 color inks to expand the gamut on their presses. They were not keen to deviate from the usual scheme of C,Y,M, K and special color inks for matching brand and Pantone colors. Even at seminars where extended gamut printing was presented, there was little interest or interaction – perhaps because most serious printers who understand extended gamut printing know that while it can give a huge competitive edge, it also requires best practices, calibration and standardization of a fairly high order to be put into place.
Now that several Indian carton printers have already imported and installed 7 and 8-color presses, the concept of extended gamut printing using a fixed set of C,M,Y,K plus Orange, Green and Violet inks is starting to catch their imagination. And it is here, that Heidelberg has an opportunity to gain some traction amongst its long press customers because its Prinect prepress software already contains all the important packaging modules such as trapping and imposition as well as color management and Multicolor – its 7-color solution.