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UK-Based Ultimate Packaging Sees 200% Improvement in Quality with X-Rite/Pantone Solutions

X-Rite Incorporated, a global leader in color science and technology, and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, today reported that UK-based packaging converter Ultimate Packaging has leveraged X-Rite/Pantone solutions to better serve its client Asda, a Wal-Mart subsidiary, in the delivery of high quality flexible packaging for fresh and chilled foods. The company participated in an Asda pilot project using PantoneLIVE and ColorCert as part of Asda’s effort to engage key suppliers in a more streamlined and color-accurate manufacturing process. Ultimate Packaging reaped a number of unexpected benefits in doing so.


“X-Rite/Pantone solutions gave us visibility into problems we were not aware we had, including with our ICC profiles, ink formulation and proofs,” said Vincent Whatley, X-Rite Coordinator at Ultimate Packaging. “We have implemented ColorCert: X-Rite Edition on our newest F&K flexible packaging press where 20% of the work produced is for Asda. We are reporting on all of the work the press produces, however, making the information available through ColorCert Scorecard, so that Asda can see how the press is performing overall.”

Asda begins by specifying spectral values for brand and other colors within the PantoneLIVE library. This makes color specifications available to all authorized stakeholders. ColorCert then uses these color standards against which to measure performance.

PantoneLIVE is a cloud-based solution that enables the universal Pantone Color language to be accurately and digitally communicated among brand owners, designers, premedia, ink suppliers and pressroom with no ambiguity, breaking down the siloes in the color workflow.

ColorCert: X-Rite Edition is a cloud-based standards-compliant and specifications management solution sold exclusively by X-Rite and its authorized dealers, closing the loop for exceptional color management from customer file all the way through production. ColorCert delivers statistical process control for defining, monitoring and communicating production quality.

According to Whatley, X-Rite solutions have been integrated into the workflow for the entire plant. “We have customers that require us to match to both PANTONE colors and their own standards,” he says, “and we have been using spectral measurements with X-Rite SpectroEye spectrophotometers and X-Rite NetProfiler to do so for the past three years. We had also already been using Color iQC, a job-oriented software solution that streamlines color measurement, reporting and tracking to maintain a centralized, cost-efficient process, and we are still using it across the plant.”

Think Ink

Another area of the business benefiting from the Asda partnership and X-Rite/Pantone solutions is ink formulation. Ultimate Packaging partners with Sun Chemical for on-site ink formulation and dispensing. Whatley reports that X-Rite  InkFormulation Software has been key to ensuring that not only are the correct inks delivered, but that inks are formulated accurately for each job. PantoneLIVE integration with the ink kitchen has resulted in more efficient and accurate ink formulation as well as less waste on press and more efficient use of leftover inks.

A Bright Future

“Our relationship with Asda was always good, but it has really improved since we implemented PantoneLIVE and ColorCert.” Whatley states. “Having the ColorCert Scorecard in place has given performance visibility to all authorized parties in the supply chain.  This helps with communication, putting everyone at ease, knowing that product delivered will be consistent and of highest possible quality. We are also having ongoing conversations with a number of other customers about the benefits X-Rite solutions can bring, and we expect to on-board more customers with both PantoneLIVE and ColorCert in the near future. These are exciting times!”