Industry News

Targeting Optimum Density for Spot Colors

GLENDALE HEIGHTS, IL: All Printing Resources, Inc. (APR), in conjunction with SpotOn! Press, is introducing the latest industry innovation: a new pressroom software tool that flexographic press operators can use to target optimum density for spot colors. SpotOn! Flexo is new leading-edge technology that makes it possible to get optimum color reproduction and density information for any spot color, right at your fingertips.

“There’s always been a challenge in printing spot colors because of the lack of density information available to the press operator,” says Richard Black, director of digital solutions, APR. “That is why we have teamed up with SpotOn! Press to create SpotOn! Flexo. This software package that utilizes spectral data to determine the best ink density for optimum color reproduction, allowing the press operator to run a spot color to match a customer’s approved color.”

“Creating specific tools for different types of printing methods has always been a goal of SpotOn!,” said Bruce Bayne, SpotOn!’s creator. This process control software aids in printing to specifications, which was first released in 2008, and has been a leader in evaluating printing conditions to ISO and G7 methodologies. “We are pleased to partner with APR to create just the right tool for the flexographic market,” added Bayne.

Using a spectrophotometer, the software compares the spectral data of a color measured on a press pull to the spectral data of the reference color. A quick calculation gives the press operator the optimal density to obtain the closest (lowest Delta E, or ∆E) match to the reference color.

Besides making the lives of press operators’ easier, there are many timesaving and cost-cutting benefits to the software. A major benefit is the reduced press “make-ready” time trying to obtain the correct color match to a spot or custom/brand color.

Other benefits include: 

SpotOn! Flexo provides the density of the reference color as well as the density from the press pulls and provides the press operator the optimal density required to obtain the best color match. A simple user interface also shows the press operator if he is within the color match tolerance created for the specific print job. 

Reference colors can be imported from ink formulation software as .mif or CxF files, or they can be measured using a spectrophotometer that reports spectral data.  The software supports most major handheld spectrophotometers.

“Companies today place a very high priority on dynamic and engaging packaging that differentiates their products from others on the shelves. Spot or non-process colors are extensively used, but press operators have had few optimization tools,” says Dave Nieman, chief executive officer, APR. “So we are absolutely thrilled to offer a solution to this challenge. We are confident this industry innovation will change the way flexographic press operators print spot colors.”

Visit APR in INFO*FLEX Booth # 601 to see SpotOn! Flexo software in action.