There are no definite industry standards in packaging printing due to the huge spectrum of substrates, ink systems and refinement processes. If printing is done at different sites, or if different printing processes are used, minimising colour variations represents a major challenge. In the past optimisation occurred through adjustments to the printing press, but we can now safeguard the consistency of the print result through fingerprint-based targeted print colour management in the digital phase. As a result we work with an individual profiling process, which includes all of the relevant process parameters (up to 20 variables) in flexo and offset printing. This means that we can guarantee maximum colour consistency from design to print on varied substrate.
In the early phase of the prepress process we produce a target proof to define uniform standards and reliable objectives for the next phases. To do this, a file is printed with a targeted colour space conversion on a calibrated printer. This simulation of the expected result under reliable conditions must be released by the customer and subsequently acts as a binding model.
The contract proof is the result of colour separation in reproduction. It involves simulating the real printing conditions as exactly as possible. We gauge all contingencies for each individual printing project based on our many years of experience and the greatest of accuracy and use our comprehensive Print Colour Management. This means that we can optimise the entire process early in the digital phase. Once the contract proof has been printed, little room is left for surprises. Our thorough preliminary work pays off at the latest at the evaluation of the press proofing or production printing, which in an ideal case matches the contract proof.
It is the result of colour separation in reproduction. We transmit the calibrated repro data electronically and we are able to present contact proof on monitors. Once the SoftProof has been present on calibrated monitors and our server, little room is left for surprises. The only prerequisite for an absolutely reliable result is a calibrated monitor and suitable software solution. For this, we first calibrate the monitors. We are able to control calibration of monitors with our network theoretically every day.
It is no longer possible to imagine doing without a remote proof, specifically for companies that have extensive colour communication over long distances. The time and cost saving is huge as the proofs neither have to be printed nor sent. Instead we transmit the calibrated repro data electronically as a compressed ZIP file to our customer. The only prerequisite for an absolutely reliable result is a calibrated printer and suitable software solution. For this, in addition to well-known standard products from highly-reputed software providers such as GMG, we also use our in-house developed ‘prn’ application, which controls colour precision in the entire workflow.
All printing forms produced by 5M are carefully checked. The Step & Repeat Proof exclusively targets technical parameters. We check the distribution of use as well as the overall layout of the printing form. We also safeguard the correct placement of printing and control marks with this proof.