Idealliance G7 Expert and Professional training calibrates color technicians

Parksons Graphics achieves G7 Master Qualification

Steve Smiley and Animesh Kejriwal checking the G7 first test run on the Heidelberg 74 5-color plus coater at Parksons Graphics in Mumbai. Photo PSA

The Idealliance India G7 Expert and Professional Training and Certification Program, conducted by Steve Smiley in Mumbai, was a significant milestone for skills training in
our somewhat fragmented industry. The program, initially designed for 25 candidates, saw 27 participants and ended with a huge amount of cheers and smiles. We couldn’t have asked for more but, most importantly, for us as well as for our stakeholders, the larger objective of our endeavour—to create G7 certified color technologists in India—was met.
The program included engineers and application specialists for wide web flexo, gravure and offset. We had prepress technicians from gravure, flexo and offset; press engineers and operators; and color management practitioners and consultants from South, West and North India as well as from Singapore and the Middle East.

In a real and peaceful Mumbai monsoon setting in East Andheri, Steve Smiley, the G7 expert and active member of the ISO TC130 committee on graphic arts standards, presented, measured and mentored both in the classroom and on the press site over the four days. Presentations on Day 1 led to the calibration of the Epson proofer to ISO 1559’s CRPC6. Following a morning of classroom interaction on the second day, we went across Andheri to Parksons Graphics for their initial test runs on the Heidelberg 74 5-color plus coater offset press and the HP Indigo 5600. We brought back the sheets to measure the P2P strips in order to create the G7 calibration curves.

Candidates took turns measuring the P2P wedges and saving the data into the Curve 3 software. We went back to Parksons for tweaking the final runs on the third day. Back in the classroom, the measurements revealed that Parksons Graphics had achieved G7 Master Qualification of its plant on both offset and digital presses.

After the review and exam on the fourth day, Aniket Rane from Maximus Graphics qualified as a G7 Expert in the training with several other candidates coming close and likely to pass on their second attempt. By the time you read this, others will also have achieved their objectives. Candidates who qualified as G7 Professional in the first go included Kashif Shakeel Baig and Sunil Kumar, service engineers at Windmoller and Holscher India; Sunil Rampurkar, prepress artist and Ganesh Zagade, prepress in charge at Akar Ltd. in Mumbai.

Several candidates aspiring to become G7 Experts (which requires an exam result of more than 90%), received more than 80% marks. Moreover, candidates who could not manage to clinch the G7 Professional or G7 Expert title will be given a second chance in an online exam within the next fortnight.

The essential takeaway of the 4-day G7 training by Steve Smiley, with hands-on visits to Parksons Graphics, was a comprehensive update of color standardization techniques and calibration in print. The training program was proof that intensive skills training coupled with hands-on practical work can bring our technicians up to effective speed in the implementation of global techniques and standards. The major achievement is in putting together a serious technical and practical demonstration program to provide the right kind of skills in a structured and cost-effective manner. All it needs is a bit of will and investment to recalibrate our technicians and printing plants to globally recognized standards.

The program would not have been possible without the considerable help of Idealliance in the US, and sponsorships and support from Epson, Chromix and Techkon. X-Rite also provided an Eye-One table for quick automated measurements. Parksons Graphics, Steve Smiley and Aniket Rane, of course, emerged as the undisputed heroes of the day even as several other candidates are retaking the exam to qualify each day.

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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.