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FLEXO Magazine : May 2014
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Color Matching, Made Easy APR/SpotOn! Press Collaboration Wins 2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award Spot colors are typically matched in one of two ways: visually, using a subjective comparison of the colors and a keen eye, or by calculating Delta E through the use of a spectrophotometer. Regardless of the method used, there are a number of variables that make obtaining accu- rate, consistent results from job to job and press to press a difficult process. To make matters more complicated, neither of these methods provides any corrective actions to improve the determined color match. All Printing Resources (APR) and SpotOn! Press decided to tackle this problem and developed SpotOn! Flexo. The inven- tion was named the winner of FTA’s 2014 Technical Innovation Award in the Prepress Pressroom category. “ On behalf of APR, we are honored to be recognized with the prestigious FTA Technical Innovation Award for our SpotOn! Flexo soft- ware,” said David Nieman, president and CEO of APR. “ Our vision of creating an effective, accurate and depend- able tool for flexo press operators to consistently control ink densities would not have been possible without the support and involvement of APR,” added Bruce Bayne, founder and SpotOn! Flexo architect. “ SpotOn! Flexo is color made easy.” OPPORTUNITY SPOTTING “I met Bruce more than 20 years ago while I was with Fujifilm,” recalls Richard Black, APR ’s director of digital solu- tions. “ Bruce was one of the first consultants to become a G7 expert. In working with his clients and the G7 process, Bruce developed a complex Excel spreadsheet he used to help ob- tain and manage the G7 process—other consultants who had seen the spreadsheet actually offered to buy a copy.” This Excel spreadsheet is what led to Bayne’s software, also called SpotOn!, says Black, which was released in 2008 and sold well. After spending several years in the flexo market with APR and understanding the ink delivery system, Black reached out to Bayne in October 2009 to discuss creating a pressroom software product aimed at assisting flexo press operators. “A fter a few meetings, Bruce and I literally created the idea of SpotOn! Flexo on a cocktail napkin,” Black says. SPOTON!’S BENEFITS • Improve color matching • Reduce press makeready time • Improve color consistency • Reduce downtime • Provide historical records of each pressrun • Reduce waste SpotOn! Screen 1: Color composition is analyzed and data is plotted on color curves and axes. 34 FLEXO | MAY 2014