X-Rite Incorporated, the world leader in colour management, measurement and communication technologies, today announces that its technical support team has successfully completed the first Opaltone Recertification project in Russia in one of the country’s biggest flexo houses. The recertification project for Gotek (Zeleznogorsk) was organized by one of its partners, ColorLab Ltd (Moscow, Russia). Opaltone is a patented imaging technology that digitally mixes CMY+RGB process inks, and optionally, black, eliminating the need for special inks and facilitating fixed colour palette printing.
Modern packaging design is shifting toward the use of more graphics for increased selling power. Meanwhile, major retailers are seeking lower supply chain costs. Opaltone 7-colour process printing addresses both trends; it is a cost saving alternative to spot color printing and it can be more accurately controlled utilizing integrated color measurement solutions from X-Rite. A number of X-Rite instruments, including the 528, 530 and new flagship eXact spectrophotometers, are certified to be used in the Opaltone process.
“The key to predicting any outcome is to measure the ingredients that are used,” said Augusto Cordero Berends, Managing Director, Opaltone Europe. “The same rule applies to print. We must measure and control the ingredients – which in print means the numbers -- making the achievement of exceptional color a science, not a craft. This is where X-Rite’s color measurement solutions are paramount.”
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t control anything.” stated Maxim Siniak, X-Rite’s International Technical Expert. “Opaltone provides a cost-effective methodology to expand the color gamut beyond conventional CMYK process printing. Complementing this methodology with X-Rite color management solutions assures color consistency and repeatability throughout the printing workflow.”
Training and Technical support
X-Rite and Opaltone plan to further promote their joint process control solutions in support of multicolor process printing, also referred to as fixed color palette printing. “In the future, we predict that press operators will be able to use X-Rite technology, including PantoneLIVE, to further enhance their digital color productivity,” Berends concluded.
The Company Gotek was the second company in Russia and the CIS countries to use the Opaltone system in its production workflow, having gone through the certification process in 2013. Since that time, the company not only improved its production quality but also benefited from tremendous savings and a simplified workflow.
During the recertification process, X-Rite conducted several training sessions to update employee knowledge, ensuring an in-depth understanding of color theory and the application of that theory to new, stricter Opaltone certification requirements.
The critical element of preparation for recertification was standardizing processes across all production stages. Since the general rules for standardization are applicable to any printing process, including flexo, as well as methodologies such as Opaltone, X-Rite was able to bring the necessary expertise, along with hardware and software recommendations, to position Gotek for recertification.
“The Opaltone methodology is a unique closed-loop process that provides tools and techniques for each production stage. For example, there are unique Opaltone inks for digital proofing that are very close to offset and flexo printing inks in terms of colorimetrical definition,” Siniak explained. “For the utmost in printing quality, consistency and productivity, display, digital proofing, plate making and printing must all be controlled and tracked in exactly same way as specified by PSO, G7 and other recognized methodologies.”
In addition to direct technical support for Opaltone customers, starting this year X-Rite and Opaltone will be offering two-day classes at X-Rite headquarters in Regensdorf, Switzerland. “How to print the eXpected with Opaltone” is designed to educate existing and future Opaltone customers in standardization and the correct implementation of hardware and software that supports the Opaltone methodology.